Alamanicus

Badenweiler Roman Baths

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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.

Gallery

(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).

Practical Information

Located in the 'Kurpark' under the shadow of Badenweiler castle (itself turned into ruins by retreating French troops in 1678 during the Franco-Dutch war), the ruins are open daily 10:00 - 19:00 (17:00 from November to March), with entry at €2 per adult or €5.50 for a family ticket. Guided tours are available at 16:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays and 11:00 Sundays (Sundays only from November to March). More information is available in English on the Badenweiler website at http://www.badenweiler.de/en.
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Alamanicus is wandering his old Alemanni haunts, revisiting the places where once he used to drink, carouse, and beat up the odd Roman legionnaire or two. Things have moved on since his day, and the old Alemanni country now lies across south west Germany, French Alsace, and northern Switzerland. Cut through by the mighty Rhine, it is an area of great beauty, and a lot has happened there since Alamanicus last walked this land.

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Guest Sunday, 28 May 2017

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Alamanicus posts some of his favourite images to 500px

Autumnal Glow in Müllheim, by Alamanicus on 500px.com

Autumnal Glow in Müllheim by Alamanicus

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