Baden-Baden became one of the most coveted retreats for the European aristocracy during the late nineteenth century, and today, it’s still one of Europe’s most luxurious spa towns. Set on the northern foothills of Germany’s beautiful Black Forest, this village offers visitors a chance to step back in time to the grand era of belle epoque Europe, and you can do just that during an included visit here on Vantage’s Switzerland & Heart of the Rhine and Moselle Cruise.
Historical and Healing Spas
Beyond its natural beauty and picturesque architecture, this traditional town is famous the world over as a special place of healing — in a top-class luxurious manner. Its name in German translates to bath-bath, but when you visit these special natural wonders you’ll experience more than that. The town’s healing reputation began 2,000 years ago with the discovery of its natural hot springs. The Romans realized the healing benefits of the waters and built the first sanatoriums in 69 CE. During the Belle Époque (1871–1914), the spa town was considered Europe’s summer capital; among its famous 19th-century visitors were Queen Victoria, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Leo Tolstoy. Today’s jet set and rich and famous, including Bill Clinton and Victoria Beckham, continue to travel there.
The temperatures of the town’s dozen thermal spas reach 68° C/154° F, bubbling up from a depth of 2,000 meters. The water’s therapeutic powers are used to treat all types of ailments stemming from heart, bone, metabolic, and respiratory system problems. The curative waters contain minerals such as lithium, silicic acid, boric acid, manganese and magnesium, cobalt, zinc, and copper. The town’s two fantastic bathhouses, the Caracalla Therme and the Roman-Irish Friedrichsbad, are quite famous for invigorating those who bathe in their healing waters.
Even if you don’t “take the cure” here, there is much to delight the senses. Deluxe hotels stand tall and grand in this old-world destination, surrounding the majestic tree-lined Lichtentaler Allee Park. In the park itself, you’ll find the Frieder Burda Museum, a museum of modern art that houses the works of such famous artists as Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Gerhard Richter. Other art institutions you can visit in this culturally rich town include the Baden-Baden Museum, Fabergé Museum, and Baden-Baden State Art Gallery. A tour through town will bring you right to the doors of Festspielhaus — Europe’s second largest opera house and concert hall. The impressive architecture of Baden-Baden is an attraction in and of itself: prepare to be impressed by the Kurhaus, a gleaming and gilded white casino and elegant local landmark. The Iffezheim racecourse has hosted races that have attracted high society events since the mid-1800s. Baden-Baden’s appeal also can be found in its shopping options, where beautiful boutiques line the old quarter. While in town you’ll want to stop in one of the fine restaurants to sample local wines, as Baden is considered Germany’s third largest wine region.
From race horses to roulette, from fine dining to unforgettable health spa experiences, Baden-Baden remains one of the world’s most elegant and stylish towns. And on Vantage’s Switzerland & Heart of the Rhine and Moselle Cruise, you can navigate through this scenic locale that’s situated right on the banks of the Oos River. Feel the thrill of this reinvigorating village on your next river cruise with Vantage.