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Tips for a visit to the beautiful spa town of Wiesbaden

the beautiful spa town of Wiesbaden

Tips for a visit to the beautiful spa town of Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden has a lot to offer architecturally. Here in the photo: the Nassau State Cathedral on the right, the New Town Hall on the left

Wiesbaden is called the “Nice of the North”. In the former cosmopolitan spa town with its magnificent boulevards and villas you can wonderfully feel the atmosphere of the 19th century.

The water from the cooking well comes straight out of the ground at a temperature of 66 degrees. It gives off a sulphurous smell and tastes accordingly. It’s hard to believe that 150 years ago, spa guests in Wiesbaden drank up to four liters of it every day. Back then, health was less important. The motto of the spa guests was: see and be seen.

Even various emperors came to Wiesbaden, the opera star Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) spent his holidays here. Writer Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) gambled away his belongings in the local casino and was inspired to write his novel “The Gambler”. And these are just a few of the celebrities who put the handle – or rather the water cup – in their hands here.

Hot water straight from the ground

The spa guests of Wiesbaden used to use the Kochbrunnen – some drank up to four liters a day

Tips for Wiesbaden

If you visit Wiesbaden today, you should start the tour right there: in the middle of the city at the Kochbrunnen and the Kochbrunnen-Springer. The city has 26 hot springs , and the Kochbrunnen pools several of them. Around 20,000 liters gush out of the brass taps here every hour. Local residents keep coming by to fill up on the salty broth.

All you have to do is look up to see the power of the fountain and its impact on the city. Around the Kranzplatz and Kochbrunnenplatz, the city is bursting with grandeur: Here is the “Schwarze Bock”, probably the oldest hotel in Germany from the year 1486, the old “Hotel Rose” – today the Hessian State Chancellery – and the “Palasthotel”. , where illustrious spa guests once resided.

In Taunusstraße, which begins at Kochbrunnenplatz, the city surpasses itself once again with monumental buildings in which a particularly large number of antique dealers now offer the finest goods. Boulevards with magnificent buildings from the 19th century are typical of Wiesbaden.

Residence of illustrious guests

Wiesbaden has quite a few monumental buildings – for example the Palace Hotel

How Wiesbaden got rich

Today’s Wiesbaden is mentioned as Wisibada in the early Middle Ages. Over the centuries, the hot springs of the settlement apparently brought guests and modest prosperity again and again. The city’s heyday began in 1806, when Wiesbaden not only became the seat of government for the Nassau family, but also when modern health tourism began.

Within a few years, Wiesbaden was transformed into the “world spa town”, as it was called from then on. The fact that it became part of Prussia in 1866 even proved beneficial. Kaiser Wilhelm I and II now also took their cures here. The list of prominent guests reads like a who’s who of culture: Thomas Mann, Goethe, Brahms, Wagner, Liszt, Stravinsky, Balzac, Empress Sissi.

From 1904 to 1907, at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the magnificent new Kurhaus was built in the classicist style on Wilhelmstrasse, where today you can once again play for your neck and neck.

Suddenly the fun stopped

With the First World War, the fun was over. Wiesbaden remained a spa town, but the time of imperial pomp came to an abrupt end. In 1918 the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council moved into the City Palace, just a few months later Wiesbaden was occupied by French troops and was then under British occupation from 1925 to 1930.

The global economic crisis also left its mark – and not long afterwards the Second World War. The fact that all the splendor of the 19th century still exists today is not least due to the fact that Wiesbaden was glamorous for a long time, but not really important politically. In the Second World War they got off lightly.

Historical pomp
Street with old buildings in Wiesbaden: the city’s architecture is often stately and magnificent

Strolling down “the Rue” in Wiesbaden

There is more to see in Wiesbaden than hot springs and fat mansions. Of course, a walk through the city center is worthwhile. For example, via the pompous Wilhelmsstraße, affectionately called “the Rue” by the locals. To this day it is a street of the rich and definitely not a place for bargain hunters.

The Schlossplatz with the Red Market Church from 1862, the tallest building in the city, is also worth a visit. And the city palace of the Dukes of Nassau, which now houses the Hessian state parliament.

It may come as a surprise that Wiesbaden only has a comparatively small old town. Large fires destroyed the city several times in the 16th century. No wonder that the oldest town house, the Cetto house on Wagemannstraße, dates back to 1728.

Wiesbaden from above

You have to get out of the city to get the big picture. If you are good on your feet, you can do it in a one-hour walk north-east along Taunusstrasse. In the Nerotal, the final stop of the Nerobergbahn awaits on the Neroberg, Wiesbaden’s local mountain.

Once at the top there is not only a wonderful view over the city, but also a handful of sights. The Opelbad in the Bauhaus style, one of the first outdoor pools in Germany, impresses with a wonderful view. And hefty prices.

ascent on foot
Those who are good on foot can also hike up the Neroberg 

The Schlossplatz with the Red Market Church from 1862, the tallest building in the city, is also worth a visit. And the city palace of the Dukes of Nassau, which now houses the Hessian state parliament.

It may come as a surprise that Wiesbaden only has a comparatively small old town. Large fires destroyed the city several times in the 16th century. No wonder that the oldest town house, the Cetto house on Wagemannstraße, dates back to 1728.