From Stadtwiki Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden (until 1931 simply Baden) is a famous spa town in south west Germany located in the foothills of the Black Forest. The curative hot springs, which come to light in the area of the Florentinerberg, were already used by the Romans. For a long time Baden(-Baden) was the residency of the Margraviate of Baden and is therefore eponymous for the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Baden became well-known in the heyday during the 19th Century when the small town evolved to an important international spa town. Emperors, kings, nobles and other rich persons met here. From that time the town has been able to preseve a diverse cultural heritage. This is the reason for the current attempt to get the status of an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, Baden-Baden is known as a city of art and culture.
Until the 20th Century, the name of the town was simply Baden. To distinguish it from other towns with the same name (e.g. Baden in Switzerland) it was called Baden in Baden. This soon lead to the unofficial simplification Baden-Baden. In 1931 the town was officially renamed to Baden-Baden.
At the time around 70 AD, the Romans occupied the previously celtic Oos valley and founded the Roman settlement Aquae, whose name was derived from the numerous hot springs. Between 99 and 197 AD this settlement rose to the main town Aquae Aurelia of the adminstrative district Civitas Aurelia Aquensis. The military base turned into a regional center with a civilian administration. Urban structures developed. After the fall of the Limes in the year 260 AD the Alemanni conquered and occupied the Oos valley. The subsequent Alemannic and Frankish settlement phase left only little tracks in the area. As a derivative of the Roman name the town received the name Badon in Ufgau.
A document from 1040 proves that the town Baden developed to a town with an own market right. The name Baden was at first only the name of the town, later also the name for the Margraviate and the Great Duchy. With Hermann II the time of the Zähringer sovereignty in Baden began in 1112. The construction of the Castle Hohenbaden is attributed to him.
In documents from the founding of the Monastery Lichtenthal in 1245 the other settlements in the Oos valley were historically mentioned for the first time: Balg, Oos, Beuern, Geroldsau and Scheuern.
In 1479 Margrave Christoph I. moved the residency from the castle Hohenbaden to the New Castle which is located closer to the town. In 1514 he built a town wall and gave the town a progressive municipal law. In the 15th and 16th Century famous doctors and writers visited Baden-Baden.
As a result of the Reformation, the Margraviate was divided in 1533 into the Catholic line of Baden-Baden and the Protestant line of Baden-Durlach. In 1594 Margrave Ernst Friedrich of Baden-Durlach occupied the Margraviate of Baden-Baden. The Margrave Ernst Friedrich accepted the wish of the emperor and committed himself not to change the faith in the occupied part of the country. Even after the death of the margrave and the beginning of the reign of his brother Georg Friedrich there was no official change. However, the Catholics were increasingly disadvantaged. In the Thirty Years War the troops of Georg Friedrich were defeated and Margrave Wilhelm of Baden-Baden started reigning the Margraviate Baden-Baden. A period of Catholic Renewal followed. Margrave Wilhelm invited the Capuchins and the Jesuits to found convents in the town.
During the War of Palatine Succession the town was attacked by French troops, set on fire and completly destroyed in 1689. At that time Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm was fighting against the Turks in distant Vienna. Upon his return, he moved the residence from Baden-Baden to Rastatt. With the sons of Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden, the line died out and the Margraviate of Baden-Baden fell to the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach
During the distribution struggle of the Napleonic Wars the insignificant Margraviate rose to a Grand Duchy in 1806. Grand Duke Carl Friedrich instructed Friedrich Weinbrenner to develop Baden into a high-class resort. He moved his summer residence to the restored New Castle. Weinbrenner was responsible for the construction of the new Kurhaus. Baths, drinking cures and especially gambling in the casino attracted an international audience. Baden-Baden became the meeting place for politicians, nobility, wealthy citizens and artists alike. With a rising number of guests the infrastructure expanded. The Lichtentaler Allee was transformed into an English landscape park, luxury hotels and many important buildings, that characterize the town today, emerged.
With the war against France in 1870 the foreign visitors stayed away. In 1871 the gambling was forbidden by law in the newly founded German Empire. With the Casino a major visitor attraction was lost. In order to cushion the anticipated decline in visitors one concentrated on the baths again. Grand Duke Friedrich had the Friedrichsbad and later the Auguastbad built. Instead of the French nobility, from then on the Prussian nobility met in Baden-Baden.
The two World Wars only did minor damage to Baden-Baden. In 1945 the town became the headquarter of the French occupation forces in Germany. The French residential district "Cité Francaise" was founded in the western part of the city. Many famous artists settled in Baden-Baden. The city regained its appeal.
Numerous well-known personalities have lived in Baden-Baden and decisively shaped it. For a long time the Markgraves of Baden were responsible for the fate of the town. Many names are associated with the heyday in the 19th Century. Grand duke Carl Friedrich instructed Friedrich Weinbrenner to develop the town into a high-class resort. The casino tenants Jacques Bénazet, Edouard Bénazet and Emile Dupressoir understood how to reinvest the profits of the casino into entertainment, advertising and infrastructure projects in order to increase the prestige of the city considerably. Emperor Wilhelm I. and his wife Augusta, often accompanied by Otto von Bismarck, were regularly guests of Baden-Baden. Well-known artists and writers, like Ivan Turgenev lived temporarily in Baden-Baden or settled down permanently. Even today there are numerous patrons, such as Frieder Burda, who continue to support the town in its positive development. Some of these personalities became honorary citizen of Baden-Baden.