The healing powers of the hot springs were already known to the ancient Romans who named the place "Aquae" - waters. In the 19th century Baden-Baden became the summer capital of Europe where the powerful, the rich and the important (and those who wanted to be) met for the holidays.
The late 19th century, the belle epoque, has formed the appearance of the town till today: elegant hotels and villas, the parks along the river Oos and Lichtenthaler Allee, the spa hall and the casino, upscale shops... Baden-Baden is Germany's poshest spa. One can spend a lot of money in Baden-Baden. On the other hand, the atmosphere, the walk along the river and through the lovely parks, people-watching in town, sampling the water from the hot spring, forest hiking, a visit to the castle ruins, all this is free, hence Baden-Baden has something to offer for the shoestring traveller, too.
"It's so nice, they say it twice." Why the double name? In the late middle ages the castle named Baden (the ruins now known as Hohenbaden) became the centre and residence of the Marggraves who named themselves after the castle. When the house of Baden split up in two lines, the one that stayed here named themselves "Baden-Baden", the other one "Baden-Durlach" (later the founders of Karlsruhe). The town's name remained"Baden" until people noticed that they were frequently confused with the equally famous spa of Baden bei Wien in Austria. The resolution was made to use the Marggraves' name of "Baden-Baden" from then on to distinguish the towns.
Gernsbach in the Murg Valley is one of the many small towns in the valleys of the Black Forest that have preserved their old flair. In past centuries it was the home of the Counts of Eberstei…
Karlsruhe was founded in the 18th Century, planned by margrave Karl-Wilhelm. Therefore it has the typical fan-shaped structure of an absolutistic city with a palace in the middle.
Gengenbach is the prettiest among the row of interesting towns and villages in the Kinzig Valley, the large valley which divides the Black Forest into a Northern and a Southern part.