Wiesbaden in Germany turned out to be a city that offers lots of fun combined with beautiful architecture and an impressive history. Let’s check it out!
“We use around 250,000 liters of water every day….”
The technician of the 100 year old Kaiser Friedrich Spa lets us in early Saturday morning for a look behind the scenes.
“At this spa 5 natural hot springs come together”, he proudly continues. “We use the hot thermal water to heat our baths, but of course you can also bathe in pure thermal water. And did you know that thermal water also has healing powers?”
The Kaiser Friedrich Therme is one of 15 natural hot springs in Wiesbaden. Some of them are canalised for use in bath houses. Elsewhere the water spurts out of the ground for public use. In these public areas people fill plastic bottles with the water that is indeed said to have healing powers.
Of course we also drank a cup….but let me tell you about the taste later.
Nero mountain railway
A bit older than the Kaiser Friedrich spa is the Nerobergbahn (Nero mountain railway). You now know they use a lot of water in Wiesbaden and this railway is no exception.
“This beautiful railway is 125 years old. We use 7,000 liters of water for each 3,5 minute train ride up the mountain. Don’t worry, we reuse every drop of it!”
We talk to the train driver when he drives the historical machine down the track. The two trains on this railway move at the same time, where the one going down has an additional ballast of 7,000 liters of water. Through a well-designed ballast system and an 8-braided cable, the trains pull themselves to the top. No electricity, no coals, just water.
From the top of the Nero mountain you have a wonderful view of the city of Wiesbaden.
Thermal water everywhere
The earth’s crost below Wiesbaden is quite thin. Deep down in the earth (2 km) water flows for thousands of years where it passes the magma below the thin earth’s crust. It gets heated up. Through constant pressure the hot water is being pushed upwards…..up to the city of Wiesbaden. 2 million liters of thermal water is being pushed out of the earth every day.
I kid you not. 2 million liters every day.
Wealth of the city
This thermal water has always been the wealth of the city. People were drawn to the city and Wiesbaden quickly became a thriving spa town. There has always been a strong believe in the healing power of the water.
“As long as you believe it, it helps against skin diseases, obstipation, throat problems…..and even against the cat of the neighbor” (Quote Patrick the Guide – Patrick was our amazing guide that I will keep on quoting).
“Money doesn’t smell, but it tastes funny” (Quote Patrick the Guide)
The thermal water, the wealth of Wiesbaden, does indeed taste funny. It holds an abundance of minerals after thousands of years of below ground activity. In the past poor people used to drink it a lot: the salty tasting and warm water gave them the illusion of having eaten a full meal!
Patrick tells us that today some local people still drink about 1 liter per day (which is actually the maximum they advise you to drink, because of all those special mineral ingredients…). We had enough after a small cup. But hey, you have to try the local delicacy!
Everywhere in Wiesbaden you can drink water coming out of the ground. But when we encountered this, Patrick said (and I again quote): “This was drinking water…. before the dog got in”.
Spas are of no strategic importance….luckily
Where many German cities where bombed and destroyed in the Second World War, Wiesbaden was spared. Being a spa town it was of no strategic importance. That’s why the city is full of beautiful architectural highlights.
Wiesbaden, the Nice of the North
They call Wiesbaden the Nice of the North. It indeed has a nice climate and the area is full of vineyards. Wiesbaden is part of the Rheingau area, producing a very nice Riesling white wine. There are wine festivals that are of course a perfect combination with a visit to one of the spas. After your spa treatment it’s great to relax in one of the beautiful parks.
Wiesbaden is a great destination and absolutely worth a visit: The Wiesbaden museum, the Russian Church, the Kurhaus and many more fascinating places. Check out all these Wiesbaden travel tips on this blog later this month.
It’s also a great place to discover by bike (as I will show you in one of my next posts).
We stayed in the Schwarzer Bock (Black Goat) hotel, the oldest luxury hotel in Germany. It dates back to 1486 and started as a bath house. Today it still has its own spa.
When you love spas and great architecture you definitely have to visit this beautiful city. Yes, it’s time to visit Wiesbaden!
Our family has been traveling to Wiesbaden by invitation of Wiesbaden Marketing.