Badenweiler Roman Baths
The best preserved Roman spa north of the alps, the Badenweiler Roman Bath ruins ("Badenweiler Römische Badruine" in German), known at the time as Aqua Villae, were first constructed in the 1st century A.D., not long after the area was first conquered by the Romans. The original building, consisting of two pools fed by the natural warm springs, was subsequently expanded to include a reception area, changing facilities, sauna, two cold pools, and stone terraces. The facility would have been visited by serving Roman legionnaires and veterans who had been rewarded with grants of land in the area, as well as local merchants and officials.
In the 3rd century Alemannic incursions forced the Romans to abandon their settlements and pull back the frontier in this area south and west, to the line of the Rhine and Donau rivers. The baths in Badenweiler were forgotten and left to ruin until they were rediscovered and excavated by Margrave Charles Friedrich von Baden in 1784. The contemporary marble-constructed neo-classical baths now existing immediately next to the Roman ruins were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Today the warm and cold water pools retain their original surfaces, and large parts of the sandstone-lined relaxation and sauna areas as well as parts of the underfloor heating system also remain. Since 2001 the ruins have been protected from the elements by a spectacular glass roof.
(N.B. Last two pictures are at the New Vosges Viewpoint (Neue Vogesen Aussichtspunkt), the other side of the castle from the baths. Alamanicus was actually out trying to get more images of the new snowfall, but every time he got the camera out it started snowing quite heavily again, which is why he ended up under the shelter of the baths in the first place).