History of Bad Nauheim

Popular for 2500 years

Between the low ranges of the Taunus hills and the cultural landscape of the Wetterau – not far from the financial metropolis of Frankfurt am Main – numerous warm saline springs ascend from the depths of the earth. The Celts already used these springs between the 3rd and the 1st century BC in order to produce salt in one of the largest saltworks of that epoch.

As you stroll around Bad Nauheim, you will succumb to the city‘s particular charm, its surprising cultural treasures and pleasant atmosphere. Under the rule of the landgraves of Hessen-Kassel, the salt works on the outskirts of the village of Nauheim developed into one of the largest and most modern facilities of their kind.

The Söder- workers at the salt works - were already aware of the healing power of the natural springs. Nauheim‘s crucial change from a Söder-village to a spa town began in the first half of the 19th century. The first saline baths opened in Nauheim in 1835. In 1854, the village received the legal status of a town and was awarded the designation Bad (bath, meaning health resort). In the following decades, Bad Nauheim rose to a renowned spa for cardiac and vascular diseases. Prominent guests, the European high nobility as well as the national and international bourgeoisie, stayed at the famous health resort. At the forefront, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (“Sisi“), the Russian Tsarina Alexandra Feodorowna and the German Empress Auguste Viktoria.

At the dawn of the 20th century Europe was seized by a reform movement. Jugendstil – in France and England called art nouveau - broke with the traditions of European architecture and arts and crafts that had been rigid for decades. Health-conscious thinking became part of the life reform in society, also in Bad Nauheim. Between 1905 and 1912, the architect Wilhelm Jost and members of the artists‘ colony in Darmstadt shaped the new face of the town. Nature and architecture merged together harmoniously – an urban masterpiece in the spirit of modern age was created.

Nowadays, Bad Nauheim is an important part of the energetic metropolitan area between the Rhine and Main rivers. As an eminent centre for medical science and research, medical therapy and sustainable health care, Bad Nauheim has found its distinctive role in the Rhine-Main area. However, its popularity reaches far beyond the borders of the region.