Wiesbaden - Germany


Wiesbaden, sometimes called the “Nice of the North”, due to its mild climate was known by the Romans for its hot springs, and named “Aquae Mattiacorum” or the waters of the Mattiaci tribe, which occupied the area before the Romans. The modern name of Wiesbaden translates as “meadow baths” but the meadows are long gone, replaced by a successful city, renowned for its architecture, as well as for its continued use of its 26 healing springs. These days visitors to Wiesbaden can enjoy the hot waters in the thermal baths, or family-friendly swimming pools. The Opelbad on Wiesbaden’s Neroberg, which offers a fantastic view of the city, is considered one of the most beautiful open-air-pools in the region. Two of Wiesbaden’s hotels have access to private thermal springs, and have developed their own spa centres to complement the public facilities, and of course there are medical facilities too, specialising in rheumatic and orthopaedic diseases and rehabilitation.

The expansion of the town in the early 18th Century led to Wiesbaden’s rise to world fame as a destination for treatment and the cure – and gambling. European nobility and celebrities such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Otto von Bismark, and Henrik Pontoppidan flocked to the town, and Wiesbaden became particularly wealthy with more millionaires living there than any other city in Germany, building houses that experimented with new forms of architecture – historicism, classicism and art nouveau. Aristocracy and the emerging middle class were in closer contact here than in any other place at this time. And it was in the second half of the 19th century that the city experienced an enormous boom, spurred by visits from large numbers of prominent guests.

The First World War followed by the economic depression hit the town hard. Wiesbaden never recovered its status and fame it enjoyed during the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, when it was most frequently visited European spa. Today Wiesbaden has a reputation for the treatment of rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders, as well as relaxation and wellness treatments offered at the modern Aukammtal thermal baths and the historic Kaiser-Friedrich-Terme a luxurious spa built on the site of a Roman sauna.

Historical background

Indulgence Spa of the Romans
There is proof that people lived here and, in particular, used the hot springs of Wiesbaden in prehistoric times.  However, the Romans were the first ones who provided for permanent settlement traces of which can be still found today. Most likely, already in the years 6 to 15 A.D., the Romans erected a border fort as a military base. Soon after that, the central location and the rich thermal springs gave rise to a civilian settlement and the development of spa culture. The hot water gave the town its name: “Aquae Mattiacorum” – the springs of the Mattiaci. Around today’s Kranzplatz, the thermal spas provided luxuriousness, whereas the business centre was in the area of today’s Mauritiusplatz. In its time of prosperity, Aquae Mattiacorum had definitely the character of a city. However, the decline of the Roman Empire and the subsequent migration period caused a sharp drop. However, there are many indications that settlement continued during this period, too. Kinsmen of the Franconian tribe settled in Wiesbaden, and they most probably kept using part of the still existing Roman spa facilities. Einhard, the biographer of Charles the Great, provided the first written information about Wiesbaden after the Romans. He travelled through “Wisibada” in 828 and 829, and described it as a castrum, which means a fortified settlement. In the 13th century, Wiesbaden was even the imperial city for a short time, but it was repeatedly destroyed in wars and by fires in the later centuries.

History of the spa

Rise to the “World Destination for Treatment and Cure”
It was not until the 18th century that the city experienced a new upswing. When Wiesbaden became the capital of the new duchy of Nassau in 1806, the town was systematically extended, which formed the foundation for its rise to a world destination for treatment and cure. Soon, the spa welcomed European nobility, but also many celebrities such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Russian poet Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Otto von Bismarck as its guests. The handover of the town to Prussia fostered its growth even more. Kaiser Wilhelm I as well as his grandson Wilhelm II stayed in the town frequently.
Both influenced its further development. Carl von Ibell, who was its Lord Mayor for almost 30 years, contributed significantly to lay the foundation for a large city: government and administration buildings, the Kurhaus and the State Theatre were built, the services industry boomed, and the traffic infrastructure was consistently extended. The number of inhabitants doubled between 1880 and 1905. Mansions and houses in the construction style of historism, classicism and art nouveau were characteristic for the townscape. World War I and the inflation put a sudden end to Wiesbaden’s success and to the wealth of its citizens. A new orientation proved difficult, as the town was occupied by French and English troops until 1930, and the following global economic crisis hit the old spa town particularly hard.

- Historic and cultural spa heritage
The healing effect of the 26 hot springs was one of the reasons why, even before preventative health measures were known, Wiesbaden developed into a “classic spa city”. Today Wiesbaden enjoys the reputation of a recognised centre for the treatment of rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders. Attractive opportunities to relax and enjoy therapies and treatments are offered by both the thermal bath Aukammtal and the historic spa Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme.

Spa and treatments

Thermal spa Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme:
Even the most experienced sauna and spa fans will find a visit to the Kaiser-Friedrich- Therme an extraordinary event.
Built on the former site of an old Roman sauna, the Kaiser- Friedrich-Therme restores the spa luxury of the days of the Emperor Wilhelm and fulfils all wishes modern guests might have. Nowadays, guests can perspire in the Tepidium, the Sudatorium, like the ancient Romans, or in the Russian steam bath. Moreover, guests will find a stone steam bath and, of course, a classic Finnish sauna, as well. In addition to the Lavacrum, a cold-water dipping bath, the historical cold-water
swimming pool, and a tropical ice rain shower provide ways to cool down. A fresh-air room, relaxation areas, a relaxation room with changing coloured lights, and the Quellen-Bar ensure well-being and regeneration in this high-class facility.
Services provided at the Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme also include a rasul steam bath in the oriental style, a sand bath, various types of massage, cosmetic treatments as well as different soft-pack applications.

Size: 1,450 m²
Location:in the city centre
Type of management: public
Address: Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme, Langgasse 38- 40, 65183 Wiesbaden
Website: www.wiesbaden.de/baths
Thermal bath Aukammtal
The large indoor pool (435 m²) comprises a non-swimmer area with a water depth of 1.20 meters and a swimming area that is 1.80 meters deep. Neck spray jets, massage nozzles and water massage recliners, as well as a whirlpool with special light impressions ensure additional well-being.

Guests may take part in daily water gymnastic courses. The 450 m² large outdoor pool with depths of 1.20 to 1.35 meters is equipped with water massage recliners. A swim-through channel connects both pools. Water Activity Pool: In the 80 m², large activity pool with a water depth of 0.90 to 1.20 meters guests may enjoy special health courses such as Aqua Workout with pool noodles and Aqua Back Strengthening. The thermal bath Aukammtal offers a generously laid out and fascinating sauna with four indoor and three outdoor saunas each with a unique ambience and design. A whirlpool with a light studded ceiling overhead adds invigorating enjoyment. Refreshment between sauna baths is provided at the wading pool, an ice fountain and special cold showers. The “Aqua-Sauna bar“has a wide choice of refreshing beverages and snacks on offer.

Size: bathing area about 4,400 square metres / sauna area about 3,000 m²
Location: Aukammtal
Type of management: public
Address: Thermalbad Aukammtal, Leibnizstraße 7, 65191 Wiesb aden
Also many of the traditional grand hotels of Wiesbaden, such as the hotels Nassauer Hof, the Radisson Blu Schwarzer Bock or the Hotel Bären, have their own thermal springs for the wellbeing of their guests of their hotel as well as visitors.

A spacious and manifold sauna facility as well as a large range of various massage offers is provided in all the thermal spas and in many of the hotels of Wiesbaden. They account for the wellness aspect, which is inseparably linked to physical health and is gaining in importance

Demography : 275 976
Spa treatments
Medical treatments: Aqua gym courses, back strengthen courses in the thermal spa
Well-being treatments: Spa packages of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme and the thermal bath Aukammtal for individual Travellers. Promotion at the websitewww.wiesbaden.de andwww.wiesbaden.eu and in the brochure Wiesbaden flexible
(German / English)

Beauty treatments: soap made of water from the Kochbrunnen fountain
Leisure: towels and bathing shoes with the spa logos

Facts and figures

  • Arrival (2009)
  • Tourist attendance (2009)
  • Medium stay length (2009)
  • Brief report on the tourist flow in the last five years Other forms of complementary tourism Arrivals and attendances of spa tourists Accomodation capacity
  • hotel calssification (stars)


Tourist data 2010

  • Arrival ( 2010 ) 526 062

  • Tourist attendance time: 14 856 033 days

  • Medium stay length : 1,9 days

  • Brief report on the Tourist flow in the last five years:

With exactly 526,062 guests visiting, the state capital of Wiesbaden reached a new high last year. Although the two previous years, 2008 and 2009, were still satisfactory considering the worldwide economic and financial crisis, with almost 516,000 and around 494,000 guests arriving respectively, the level achieved in 2010 was an impressive endorsement of the city's marketing activities. The high number of guests meant that, as in 2008, the one million mark was reached for overnight stays: 1,017,033 were registered in commercial accommodation in the state capital (2009: 973,791 overnight stays).


In the summer months 2010 - July, August and September - especially, Wiesbaden was more attractive to tourists than in the previous year. The number of guests arriving in August, for example, rose from around 41,000 in 2009 to almost 44,600 last year. In September, the number of tourists in the state capital rose to almost 52,000, significantly more than the around 48,000 guests in 2009. The significantly increased number of guests, also seen in the spring months of March, April and May, is reflected in the number of overnight stays. The month of September is particularly worth highlighting here: 100,313 overnight stays were registered in commercial accommodation in September of last year, almost 10,000 more than in the previous year (2009: 90,895 overnight stays). A significant increase was also seen in July, up from almost 76,400 overnight stays in 2009 to over 85,300 last year.


  • Other form of complementary tourism

Congress tourism, business tourism, cultural tourism, sport tourism, health tourism and passing tourism

  • Arrivals and attendances of spa tourists :


Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme 78 932

Thermal bath Aukammtal 310 356


Accommodation capacity: Hotels 67 and 6354 Beds

  Total Hotels & Guesthouse Hotel Garni Others ( boarding houses, tourist and young hostels) Camping
Number of Hotels 67 30 32 8 4
Number of Beds 6354 3466 2096 792 z

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