Baden-Baden lies in a valley of the Northern Black Forest in southwestern Germany. The western districts lie within the Upper Rhine Plain. The highest mountain of Baden-Baden is the Badener Höhe (1,002.5 m above sea level (NHN)), which is part of the Black Forest National Park. The old town lies on the side of a hill on the right bank of the Oos. Since the 19th century, the principal resorts have been located on the other side of the river. There are 29 natural springs in the area, varying in temperature from 46 to 67 °C (115 to 153 °F). The water is rich in salt and flows from artesian wells 1,800 m (5,900 ft) under Florentine Hill at a rate of 341 litres (90 gallons) per minute and is conveyed through pipes to the town's baths.
Roman settlement at Baden-Baden has been dated as far back as the emperorHadrian, but on dubious authority. The known ruins of the Roman bath were rediscovered just below the New Castle in 1847 and date to the reign of Caracalla (AD 210s), who visited the area to relieve his arthritic aches. The facilities were used by the Roman garrison in Strasbourg.
The town fell into ruin but its church was first constructed in the 7th century. By 1112, it was the seat of the Margraviate of Baden. The Lichtenthal Convent (Kloster Lichtenthal) was founded in 1254. The margraves initially used Hohenbaden Castle (the Old Castle, Altes Schloss), whose ruins still occupy the summit above the town, but they completed and moved to the New Castle (Neues Schloss) in 1479. Baden suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War, particularly at the hands of the French, who plundered it in 1643. They returned to occupy the city in 1688 at the onset of the Nine Years' War, burning it to the ground the next year. The margravine Sibylla rebuilt the New Castle in 1697, but the margraveLouis William removed his seat to Rastatt in 1706. The Stiftskirche was rebuilt in 1753 and houses the tombs of several of the margraves.
The theater was completed in 1861 and a Greek church with a gilt dome was erected on the Michaelsberg in 1863 to serve as the tomb of the teenage son of the prince of MoldaviaMihail Sturdza after he died during a family vacation. A Russian Orthodox church was also subsequently erected. The casino was closed for a time in the 1870s.
During the Second World War, 3.1% of the houses in Baden-Baden were completely destroyed by bombs and 125 civilians were killed. 5.77% of the houses were heavily damaged by bombs. Lichtenthal, a residential area in the southwest of the town, was hit by bombs and Saint Bonifatius Church was severely damaged on 11 March 1943. Balg, a residential area in the northeast of Baden-Baden, was hit by bombs on 17 December 1944. On 30 December 1944 one third of the buildings of Oos (i.e. about 300 houses), a residential area in the north of the town, was destroyed or heavily damaged by bombs and Saint Dionysius Church was severely damaged as well. On 2 January 1945 the railway station of Oos and various barracks on Schwarzwald Road were heavily damaged by bombs.
After World War II, Baden-Baden became the headquarters of the French occupation forces in Germany as well as of the Südwestfunk, one of Germany's large public broadcasting stations, which is now part of Südwestrundfunk. From 23-28 September 1981, the XIth Olympic Congress took place in Baden-Baden's Kurhaus. The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Germany's largest opera and concert house, opened in 1998.
CFB Baden-Soellingen, a military airfield built in the 1950s in the Upper Rhine Plain, 10 km (6 mi) west of downtown Baden-Baden, was converted into a civil airport in the 1990s. Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport, or Baden Airpark is now the second-largest airport in Baden-Württemberg by number of passengers.
1934-1945: Hans Schwedhelm (when he was not in office because of military service, mayor Kurt Bürkle was in office)
April 1945-May 1945: Ludwig Schmitt
May 1945-January 1946: Karl Beck
January 1946-September 1946: Eddy Schacht
1946-1969: Ernst Schlapper (CDU) (1888-1976)
1969-1990: Walter Carlein (CDU) (1922-2011)
1990-1998: Ulrich Wendt (CDU)
1998-2006: Sigrun Lang (independent)
2006-2014: Wolfgang Gerstner (born 1955), (CDU)
since June 2014: Margret Mergen (born 1961, (CDU)
Baden-Baden is a German spa town. The city offers many options for sports enthusiasts; golf and tennis are both popular in the area. Horse races take place each May, August and October at nearby Iffezheim. The countryside is ideal for hiking and mountain climbing. In the winter Baden-Baden is a skiing destination. There is an 18-hole golf course in Fremersberg.
The Kurhaus, whose Kurgarten ("Spa Garden") hosts the annual Baden-Baden Summer Nights, featuring live classical music concerts
^Landesarchivdirektion Baden-Württemberg, ed. (1976). Das Land Baden-Württemberg. Amtliche Beschreibung nach Kreisen und Gemeinden. V. Regierungsbezirk Karlsruhe [The State of Baden-Württemberg. Official description of administrative districts and municipalities. Volume 5 Karlsruhe administrative district] (in German). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. p. 12. ISBN3-17-002542-2.