Bad Kissingen is a German spa town in the Bavarian region. Situated to the south of the Rhön Mountains on the Franconian Saale river, it is one of the health resorts, which became famous as a 'Weltbad' in the 19th century. In 2021, the town became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name 'Great Spa Towns of Europe'.
The town was first documented in the year 801 and was renowned above all for its mineral springs, which are recorded from as early as 823. The town developed to a spa in the 1500s and recorded its first official spa guest in 1520. The town grew to be a fashionable resort in the 19th century, and was extended during the reign of Ludwig I of Bavaria. Crowned heads of state such as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Tsar Alexander II of Russia and King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who bestowed the 'Bad' on Kissingen in 1883, were among the guests of the spa at this time. Other well-known visitors to the resort included author Leo Tolstoy, composer Gioachino Rossini and artist Adolph von Menzel.
The resort's clientele changed in the 20th century, with ordinary people increasingly replacing nobility as guests. The spa suffered a one-year interruption in 1945, the only closure in its history.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.