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The Lichtentaler Allee (Lichtental Avenue) is a unique cultural monument in Baden-Baden and is therefore specially protected. The name refers to the 2.3 km long avenue itself, but also to the English landscape park surrounding the avenue. The Lichtentaler Allee follows the river Oos from the Goetheplatz near the town center to the Klosterplatz in Lichtental. It was mainly created during the 19th century. While Baden-Baden evolved into an international spa town, the Lichtentaler Allee became a prestigious strolling avenue. Since then many well-known personalities took a walk there. Today numerous monuments within the park remind us of the visitors of former times. The planting of the Lichtentaler Allee is diverse. Due to the specific Baden-Baden climate not only local but also many exotic varieties of plants can be seen there. The park is smoothly merging into the gardens of the neighboring luxury villas and grand hotels, which adds to the vastness of the park.
Course and Characteristics
Starting at the Goetheplatz close to the town center and the Kurhaus the Lichtentaler Allee is heading in southern and later in south eastern direction to the Monastery Lichtenthal. It is divided into three sections by the Fremersbergstraße and the Gunzenbachstraße.
The first section of the Lichtentaler Allee between Goetheplatz and Fremersbergstraße is known as Baden-Baden's Museum Mile. Here one finds the Theater, the Kulturhaus LA8 with the Museum LA8, the Staatliche Kunsthalle, the Museum Frieder Burda and the Stadtmuseum. On the eastern bank of the Oos the Augustaplatz is neighboring the park. The Kongresshaus and Germany's most expensive grand hotel, the Brenners Park-Hotel and Spa, are also located on that bank. Striking in the first section of the Lichtentaler Allee is the central sinter stone fountain and the huge weeping beech near the Kulturhaus LA8. There are also the Empress Augusta Monument and the Turgenev Monument. The trees along the avenue are tulip trees and some scattered oaks. A special highlight is the crocus flowering in early spring, which is very lush at this part of the Lichtentaler Allee.
After crossing the Fremersbergstraße one reaches the middle section of the Lichtentaler Allee. The tennis courts of the Tennis Club Rot-Weiss, one of the oldest tennis clubs in Germany, are located here. The Josefinenbrücke leads to the geometrical designed Gönneranlage, which is a rosarium today. The monumental Josefinenbrunnen marks its center. Southeast of the Gönneranlage there is Park Residence Bellevue with a huge private park. Previously, the Bellevue was a luxury hotel, now here is a senior residence housed. The Villa Schriever is located shortly before the Gunzenbachstraße. A large sculpture of a rose has been placed in the garden of this mansion. In the middle section there are oaks located along the avenue.
Behind the Gunzenbachstraße the Klosterwiese starts and thus the third section of the Lichtentaler Allee. At the very beginning there is the Hirtenhäuschen a former shepherds cottage. Close to this small building an assassination attempt on King Wilhelm I. von Preußen took place in 1861, which had luckily no serious consequences for the king. Some more steps ahead there is the Dahlia Garden with the Bénazet Pavilion. Three busts in the garden remind the visitors of Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Robert Stolz. On the other bank of the Oos you can see the park side of Palais Biron, the former Hotel Bären and numerous houses in the Swiss chalet style. The trees along the avenue in this part of the Lichtentaler Allee are silver linden trees. Here the avenue is open for one-way traffic. The Lichtentaler Allee terminates at the Klosterplatz in front of the Monastery Lichtenthal.
A legend says that the Lichtentaler Allee was created in 1655 by the chamberlain Moritz von Lassolaye as a connection between the town of Baden-Baden and the Monastery Lichtenthal and was planted with oak trees. There is doubt about this. It is certain that Amtmann Johann Weiss planned the planting of an oak tree avenue between Baden-Baden and Lichtental in his memorandum for the development of Baden-Baden from 1691. The name Lichtentaler Allee is derived from the monastery.
At the beginning of the 19th century grand duke Karl Friedrich induced the transformation of Baden-Baden into a resort for guests of nobility and wealth. The Kaiserallee was created as an English landscape park but short time afterwards, in 1825, flooded and destroyed by the unregulated river Oos. After the regulation the systematic transformation of the wetlands at the river's west bank into parks started. The garden around the Kurhaus became a famous strolling avenue. At this time the casino tenants were obligated to organize an entertainment program for the guests of Baden-Baden. Parts of these funds were also invested in the Lichtentaler Allee. In the time from 1850 to 1870 and on behalf of the tenants Jacques and Edouard Bénazet the Lichtentaler Allee was transformed into an English landscape park as well.
In the recent history of the Lichtentaler Allee the focus was placed on preserving the garden monument Lichtentaler Allee. In 1956 the municipal garden office developed a garden atlas in order to record all important trees. 125 trees were given the status of a natural monument. In 1965 numerous three hundred year old oak trees in the area of the Museum Mile had to be replaced by tulip trees. Gas for street lights had leaked from a defective line, penetrated the ground and suffocated the oaks. Since the late 1980s the municipal garden office cataloged all trees in the Lichtentaler Allee and the Kaiserallee. With funds of the Bäder- und Kurverwaltung it was possible to create a park maintenance concept. On 26.12.1999 hurricane Lothar caused a lot of damage throughout the city and also in the Lichtentaler Allee. In spring 2000 a collection of donations was very successful and resulted in the planting of 200 new trees.
See the main article: Freundeskreis Lichtentaler Allee e.V.
The Freundeskreis Lichtentaler Allee is a development association founded in 2002 in order to preserve the beauty of the Lichtentaler Allee. The association can support the maintenance of the park with funds from private donations. In addition the association organizes speeches and guided tours and supports the application of Baden-Baden for the UNESCO world heritage status. Since 2012 the association also offers an audio guide for the Lichtentaler Allee.
- Bernd Weigel Parkführer Baden-Baden. Die Gärten und Kuranlagen im Oostal. 2. Auflage, Wesel-Kommunikation, Baden-Baden 2003, ISBN 3-00-010770-3.
- Ulrich Coenen Von Aquae bis Baden-Baden - die Baugeschichte der Stadt und ihr Beitrag zur Entwicklung der Kurarchitektur Aachen, Mainz 2008, ISBN 3-8107-0023-1 p. 458 et seqq.
- Johann Ludwig Klüber Beschreibung von Baden bei Rastatt 1810 Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Tübingen (online)
- Weiss, Memorandum. according to Coenen, see above, p. 459
- Coenen, see above, p. 466
- Bernd Weigel Parkführer Baden-Baden see above, p. 38
- Bernd Weigel Parkführer Baden-Baden see above, p. 37 et seq.
- Bernd Weigel Parkführer Baden-Baden see above, p. 32
- Audio guide offered by the Freundeskreis Lichtentaler Allee