Visiting Baden-Baden: A dreamy blast from the past

For the audio-story, please click here

Was that Queen Victoria of England just having a casual giggle while meandering along the gently flowing Oos-river?  That can´t be right…or can it? You rub your eyes incredulously. Maybe that coffee wasn´t such a good idea after all if it makes one of the most influential women in history suddenly appear out of thin air. What´s more: If you peer really hard into the distance, you can spot Dostoyewsky´s silhouette just at the end of the street, heading into the majestic Casino. What the hell? You try to shake it off – what are these shenanigans, you ask yourself quietly and slightly nerve-wracked,  just to turn to your left and find Tolstoy writing away on a napkin, right at the round elegant table next to yours. The great Tolstoy! Maybe you could quickly ask him a thing or two about War and Peace, or Anna Karenina? There´s gotta be some secrets to his magic writing sauce! How else could he come up with such meaningful phrases like

“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Entschuldigen Sie bitte?” (Excuse me please?) You slowly register a gentle voice with a quietly determined undertone. “Mmh?” you reply, only gradually coming back to yourself. You must have dozed off, that must be it, you tell yourself decidedly while glancing wide-eyed at the elegantly dressed waitress. “Entschuldigen Sie, aber wir schließen jetzt!” (Excuse me, but we are closing now!) , she explains slightly apologetic. “Ok, ok, kein Problem” (No problem) is all you can muster to say, while picking up your coat and purse and leaving a few coins Trinkgeld, tipps, on the black-and-white patterned table. “Bye Tolstoy”, you whisper ever so quietly and step out onto the imposing alleys of everyone´s favorite 19th-century German spa town. Well, maybe not everyone´s, but sophisticated Baden-Baden had its fair share of admirers among the rich and famous of the nineteenth century.

A spa-town like no other: Healing baths, cultural haven

Having been settled by the Romans, Baden-Baden had to brave a lot of obstacles throughout its history-  yeah, the school of hard knocks named life, you know what I mean. People go through it, cities go through it, countries go through it. And animals. Maybe even ants? Anyway, there´s a time for everything, so at the end of the 18th century, it was finally Baden-Baden´s time to shine, and what a shine it was, ladies and gentlemen! Baden Baden was truly the stuff stories were made of back then. Elegant, rejuvenating, luxurious stories, that is!

The spa-town in south-western Germany, located only 10 kilometers from the border with la belle France, was and still is famed for its mild climate, its pristine air, and its high acclaimed thermal springs. Baden Baden, a name which translates to bathing bathing (no surprises there) takes great pride in its illustrious list of visitors. Want some gossip? Good old out-of-this-world novelist, essayist, journalist and philosopher Dostoyewsky wrote his masterpiece The Gambler here…while gambling his money away at the town´s notorious casino. Maybe he was just doing some research? A writer/journalist gotta know what he´s writing about, after all! Other famous visitors who chose to vacation in bathing bathing include German composer Johannes Brahms or French composer Hector Berlioz.

Inspired by Napoleon III and Queen Victoria: Strolling around spa-town

You can almost sense their silhouettes gliding majestically over the pavement and through the spacious alleys of Baden Baden, passing by the many imposing mansions and villas as well as the serene and lush park-landscapes. Napoleon the III must surely have had a drink or two of pure spring water from the Friedrichsquelle at the Trinkhalle (pump house) Kurhaus spa complex in his days. His ghost might be surprised to find a tourist office in the commanding building nowadays. Queen Victoria and her entourage most certainly loved paying some visits to the world-class- rose gardens dotted around town – Baden Baden is  dubbed the Rose capital of Germany, after all!

Following in Royalty´s footsteps, it won´t take you long to realize that this place really has a certain “je-ne-sais-quoi“, as the French say: a very particular something. It might be due to the laid-back pace of life, or it might be thanks to the superb quality of air that thousands of lime-trees, oaks, tulip trees, and chestnut-trees gift their visitors with. (Trees rock!) Or it might just be the mix of the alluring regal architecture, the luxurious and extra-spacious alleys, and the exquisite cuisine, that makes foodie´s mouths water…Spätzle, anyone? It´s probably all of the above and then some. And no matter whether you prefer to spend your time admiring cutting-edge contemporary art at the museum Frieder Burda or strolling along the peaceful Oos-river, there are some highlights that no visitor should miss!

And next time…

It would be my absolute pleasure to let you in on some more delights of the cultural and spa capital Baden Baden in my next post, where I´ll take you along on a visit to Friedrichsbad with its warm, bubbly, healing waters. Oh, and on a little getaway to the fairytale-like Black forest. Oh, and we might be indulging in the scents of hundreds of roses together. And, of course, tasting some fantastic, tastebud-infatuating regional cuisine. Are you up for that? I know I am!

Back to you, dear reader: Have you ever heard of Baden-Baden before? Or have you maybe been to a spa-town or some hot springs which you particularly enjoyed? As always, I would love to hear from you! Enjoy your week, wherever you may be, and thanks for reading:)

Categories: Posts in English, Reiselust- Hungry for travel, Reisen | Tags: , , , , , , | 76 Comments

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76 thoughts on “Visiting Baden-Baden: A dreamy blast from the past

  1. Fascinating sweetie! I knew NONE of this and I enjoyed every word!
    I’ve never been there, but it looks so good and so full of rich culture. Love that. I’ve been to spa town in the UK called Bath. It has a great Roman heritage I believe but it was a long long time ago when I visited.

    Your photos are GOLD.

    and I do love a pretty rose, so thank you 😉💋💋💋
    Hope you’re well!
    Xx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hola Fiery, awesome, so glad to hear you enjoyed coming along to bathing bathing town 😉 It is one of my favorite smaller towns to visit, so I can recommend it wholeheartedly! The thermal springs are just next level! Bath must be a gorgeous place to explore as well, thanks so much for sharing that recommendation 🙂 Thanks for your absolutely wonderful and thoughtful feedback, and I am happy to hear the rose was to your liking 😉 Hehe. Hugs from Spain xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve been to Spain!
        I didn’t know you were there.
        So I went on a school trip when I was like 16. We stayed for a week and went to Madrid, Seville, Granada, Valencia ….I think that’s it. Oh I LOVED IT.
        For me, Seville was just warmth and cosy beauty personified. My favourite place there, easily.
        My pleasure to read your words sweetie!
        You are a treasure trove of sweetness xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, so cool!!That school trip sounds like so much fun, and you definitely went to some amazing places there. You are right, Seville is an exceptionally warm and graceful place. Just a zest for life lingering in the air…I´ve lived in Madrid and Seville before and they both are very quintessentially Spanish places in their own way, much more than (also stunning) Barcelona.

        I´ve written a post on Seville before btw, in case you feel inspired to reconnect to some more of those beautiful memories: https://agypsyatheart.com/2016/04/26/sevilles-sensual-celebration-la-feria-de-abril/ 🙂 Thanks for all your kindness! So lovely, and so much appreciated:) ! xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes I will be checking that out ASAP, sweetie!
        Thank you so much! You’re so awesome

        💋💋💋💋💋

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome, dear. Btw, really want to visit more places in the UK in the future, Bath sounds really gorgeous, thanks again for that great recommendation! You are awesome, too:) Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful tour, full of fun, facts, and life. Thanks for introducing me to this hidden gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in Baden Baden last November. It was cold in the Black Forest! Thank you for the beautiful tour.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, dear, for coming along on the ride! The second ride, for you that is:) Yeah i can only imagine how cold it would have been in November! Did you get a chance to check out the hot springs to warm up at all?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No I didn’t go there. I was on a cruise up the Rhine from Bern through Germany. I lived in the Moselle Valley region for several years but had not returned in a while. Beautiful photo’s, I really love them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, really happy you love them, so great to hear:) That cruise sounds exciting, cruising the Rhine must be a really interesting experience! I haven´t been on a cruise yet, so that´s definitely on the list. Have you also visited other regions in Germany while living in the Moselle valley area? Any special cities or areas you would be interested in reading more about? Thanks for your lovely comments again, wishing you a great day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • While living in Germany it was quite easy to visit the bordering countries, France, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, etc. One of my favorite haunts was the little country of Luxembourg. I lived in Trier, the oldest city in Germany and a treasure trove of historical sites. Munich and southern Germany is also a beautiful region. I hope to get back there soon. Thanks again, I really enjoyed your post and wonderful Photos! On a side note, I took the Viking Tour up the Rhine. I recommend it, I had to fly to London, then on to Bern, board the “boat” and back up to Germany. It was the end of November and it was very cold…being from Florida I am not used to cold weather but I enjoyed the winter snow when I lived there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome, it´s my pleasure and it´s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this little trip to Baden Baden:) Yeah, Trier would be a great location to explore a variety of places from, so awesome you got to experience that!

        I once spent a day in Luxembourg, surely not enough time, it seemed to be a really intriguing place, though. Thanks for sharing that recommendation with us:) And I´ll be sure to check out the Viking Tour as well! Always great to get some insider-information:) You are right, the winters in Germany can get crazy cold and crazy long! The snow does make it all much more lovely, though:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Enjoy your travels. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much 🙂 Hope you can come back to Europe again, soon, and continue your explorations:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Me too!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hola Amiga,

    What a thoroughly entertaining popst. No, I had neverr heard of Baden Baden before. This was all new to me and you presented it in such a fascinating way. Thermal springs, fine cuisine, and much history. Sounds like a wondefful place to visit.

    Can’t wait for your next post, to get a closer look at this well kept secret.
    Cuidate Amiga. I hope you are well. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bueno dias amigo,
      muchas thanks for reading and leaving such an encouraging and lovely comment, querido Drew! It means a lot, and I am honored to have you as such a loyal friend and reader. I trust that you are well, still have that email on my mind, but read you were quite busy atm so didn´t wanna add to your “pile to read” list for the moment 😉 Me encanto tu ultimo poema! You are such a word-wizard Drew!! Magnifico. Cuidate mucho, abrazotes xo

      Like

  5. So much beautiful description about Baden Baden.most beautiful city.Tolstoy,Gorky and Dostovaski are my favourite writers.specially Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina,War and Peace,and Gorkey’s Mother Dostoyevasky’s Crime and Punishment are most admirable.many books of them were purchased by me but i have lost all those novels.only i can read about them online. Wonderful dreamy blast,my dear dost Gypsy Soul.you have taken me in my past when i read those novels and see the movies on Anna Karenina and Crime And Punishment.most impressive those novels and movies.you are most lovely and thanks for sharing the precious stuff,my dear dost🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aruna, thanks so much for sharing some of your favorite book titles with us! Happy to hear that the post resonated with you and your literature preferences, that´s awesome. Will need to check out those movies you were mentioning! Dhanyavad (?) for your ever so lovely, thoughtful and detailed comment, dear mitra! Many hugs 🙂

      Like

  6. Most beautiful word”Baden Baden”, enjoy dear!! Take a bath in hot spring in Germany,my dear dost!!always think that i am travelling with you with my soul,my dear dost!!💕💕💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve heard of it. Never been until you carried us away with your descriptive whimsical words. Exactly what I needed to read to carry me in my dreams. Bless you and sweet dreams from a warm, moonlit South African night. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good afternoon Kavitha (so cool that we are in the same time zone, I always know how to address you and don´t need to look anything up for that lol 😃), your comment brought a big smile to my face and heart! So glad to hear that this proved to be just the right “bedtime story” of travel adventures for you 🙂 With every one of your posts I get more enamored by South Africa by the way. It´s definitely in my top 5 new travel destinations to discover, together with India, Ireland and a few more. Enjoy the rest of your day and blessings to you in your wild and stunning country! xo

      Like

      • Id love to visit Spain… And there you are!
        You’d love to visit South Africa… Maybe we should swop houses for a week. 😉🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are always welcome here! Yes, house swapping would actually be quite a cool idea!! Only I would actually also love to meet you in person/ have a catch up….we will see 🙂 Definitely blessed with our countries!! Let me know anytime if you want Spain travel suggestions, happy to help lovely! Hugs to gorgeous South Africa 🙂

        Like

      • I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Hugs received and returned. So grateful that it’s Friday morning. Have a fabulous weekend my friend. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, Kavitha!
        Ngiyabonga (just guessing – do you understand that or did I guess the wrong language for SA?), hugs and enjoy your time off 🤗

        Like

      • Right on!
        Our Zulu word for “thank you”. 🌺
        So good to see it and hear it here… 😊
        “SALAGASHLE” meaning Stay Well my friend. 🌺 🌻 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, beautiful! Salagashle to you, too my friend! Thanks for teaching me this cool word 🙂 Hugs xoxo

        Like

  8. Have you ever heard of Baden-Baden before? No, but after reading your post, I would adore the place – it’s like eye-candy for a photographer and a person who loves to discover history. You shared such wonderful details of it, who wouldn’t want to visit there? I love how you intertwined authors into your post as well. Or have you maybe been to a spa-town or some hot springs which you particularly enjoyed? I’ve only been to Yellowstone Montana to see Old Faithful Geyser. And I’m pretty sure no one ever wanted to take a bath in it! It was fascinating to watch it erupt though. This was definitely a fun virtual trip for me today, thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello to Wisconsin, Shelley! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, it means a lot 🙂 Yes, eye-candy is the perfect word for Baden Baden! The atmosphere there was so elegant and romantic, it really felt as if Tolstoy or Queen Victoria could just pop up out of nowhere, quite inspiring, to say the least.

      Thanks so much for sharing your travel experience, also! I can only imagine how exciting it would have been to see the Geyser erupt. Mother nature in all her fierceness!! Very happy you enjoyed our trip to Baden Baden, lovely Shelley. Have a wonderful weekend! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your gift of imagination is infectious! I’ll be back to see your next travel adventure. I enjoyed this trip for sure!
        Hope you have a wonderful weekend too, xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww Shelley, you give the loveliest compliments! Your warmth really shines through in your words, thank you for that! Sooo happy to hear that you´ll be back for the next post. Well, I´ll do a second part on Baden Baden first, but I am still debating whether to write about a former trip to China, Thailand, Australia, Portugal or the Netherlands next. Any preference for you? Many hugs gorgeous xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome – ditto to you! I’ve never been to any of those spots. I’m sure I’d enjoy anyone of your posts about them. On my bucket list is a visit to Australia. I’d love to go to Shelley Beach someday, just because it shares my name. 😉 I get my fix of what its like to live in Australia through Brian at Bushboy.blog. I’ll stay tuned to see where you head off to next!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you muchly. Great to know about your love for Australia! My partner is Australian and I was blessed to live in Western Australia for 4 years, it is such a swoonworthy place!! You would love it there, am sure of it. I miss it and have my fingers crossed for you to visit there! And especially that you´ll make it to Shelley beach, how cool would that be!! Will be checking out Bushboy. blog also to ease my longing for Australia. Thanks for that great recommendation! Talk soon Shelley 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. That’s wonderful news all around. I look forward to hearing more!! Enjoy your visit to Brian’s blog too. See you back here soon!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much Shelley, see you soon 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautifully written post ~ amazing photographs as well which gives a great feel for Baden Baden… and then to have the perfect Tolstoy quote: “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow…” makes a perfect introduction to this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, it means a lot! Very happy you liked the post. It´s especially cool to get such great feedback for the photographs from such an amazing photographer as yourself! Great to e-meet you 🙂

      Like

  10. how wonderful to relax
    like royalty, dear one!
    thanks for taking me
    to your spa holiday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You´re so welcome, dear David! Yes, it was a blissfully relaxed holiday, part of a 4-week roadtrip I did. So glad you posted again, was wondering where you were:) Your latest post really touched my heart. You are doing beautiful work there! Blessings to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey my dear dost!!what are you doing now.i have received your comment just now.oh my God!!that is sent by Andrews.Love and big hugs to you my dear dost!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Baden-Baden, part 2: Relax and relish like royalty | A gypsy at heart

  13. Taking ‘the cure’ with your post on Baden-Baden was a real pleasure. Thank you for sharing! (and thank you for swinging by the Ranch-we 💖visitors, especially ones who charm and delight us with their travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear, thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely and heartwarming comment! Made me smile:) Happy to swing by your Ranch – your work is beautiful, and all true animal friends like you are already my friends:) Enjoy your day! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Danke Dir 🙂 ❤️

    Like

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