Baden-Baden - SANDRA SCHWAB | Historical Romance Author

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"'Civitas Aurelia Aquensis,' Mrs Chisholm murmured absentmindedly, a deep frown marring her forehead. 'Already the Romans appreciated the mineral springs, and you can find altars to their gods all over town. Just like our Bath, really. Only the people are speaking German, of course. Quite curious, isn't it?'"

From Murray's Handbook for Travellers on the Continent: Holland, Belgium, Prussia, and Northern Germany (1845):

"There can be but one opinion as to the beauty of the situation of the town of Baden,embosomed among hills forming an offset or commencement of the Black Forest range, and seated on the banks of the Oes, a stream which, though insignificant in size, once formed the boundary line between the Franks and the Alemanni. The town has about 4500 permanent inhabitants, and is built chiefly on the slope of a hill, owing to the narrowness of the valley. The mineral springs were known to and appreciated by the Romans, who fixed a colony there, and called it Civitas Aurelia Aquensis. It was for 6 centuries the abode of the Margraves of Baden, who at one time deserted it for Rastadt in the flat plain of the Rhine: at present the Grand Duke of Baden occasionally visits his Villa here, but resides principally during the summer at his Castle of Eberstein. Baden was once considered one of the most fashionable German watering-places. . . . It has the greater attraction of being by far the most beautiful of all the baths of North Germany in its situation; even surpassing in this respect the Brunnen of Nassau. The surrounding country, without the sublimity and grandeur of Switzerland, is distinguished by a pleasing and romantic wildness; it is, as it were, a prelude to the Alps. The neighbourhood will afford almost endless gratification in the beauty of its prospects, and the number and variety of the rides and walks, cut for miles in every direction through the forests, and up the surrounding hills.

Whatever be the taste or disposition of the traveller, he will assuredly find something to please him here. If disposed to be gay, there are balls, concerts, gaming-tables, and many of the luxuries of a capital; and, if tired of the bustle of the promenade and saloon, he may plunge, by 20 different paths into the depths of the dark woods or deep valleys, and in 10 minutes enjoy solitude so complete that he may fance himself far from the haunts of men. From the number of woods and avenues around, the invalid may enjoy a shady walk at all hours, even in the height of summer. The months of July and August are the season when the baths are most frequented, but visitors are constantly coming and going from May to October, if the weather be fine. Not less than 20,000 persons in a season resort to the baths. The number of English visitors has increased so much of late that the place assumed the appearance of a settlement of our countrymen."

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