Baden bei Wien
The cure has been taken in the town, previously known as Aquae in Baden, since Roman times, a combination of medicine and recreation. The town entered its golden age under Emperors Franz I and II. Franz I made Baden an internationally renowned spa town in the first decade of the 19th century. The prosperity of the time can be seen in the spa parks, the town centre with its imperial residence and the town hall, Biedermeier baths and the Sauerhof. Architects such as Louis Montoyer, Charles Moreau and Joseph Kornhäusel also contributed to Baden bei Wien’s townscape.
This Arcadian landscape still attracts visitors to this day. Beethoven spent many years in Baden and composed several of his works here, including his 9th Symphony, while at the Attems Palace (today’s Café Central) Prince Metternich and Emperor Franz laid plans for the Congress of Vienna.
The emperor and his brothers established their summer residences in the town and until the demise of the Austrian monarchy the Habsburgs would have a huge influence over Baden. Once connected to the railway system, the journey from Vienna was less than an hour and each summer the aristocracy, high-ranking officials and army officers would arrive here on holiday. From 1885 onwards, their villas combined with characteristic spa houses, meeting rooms, hotels and a theatre, to create a very special urban landscape. This heyday continued until the onset of the economic crisis in 1929. The thermal spa, drinking hall and Krupka recreational area with the Beethoven Chapel make Baden an obvious choice for the The Great Spas of Europe nomination.