Bad Wildungen is a spa town in the Waldeck-Frankenberg district of Hessen, Central Germany. It is located on the scenic German Timber-Frame Road in the foothills of the Kellerwald range, 10 km from Fritzlar, 35 km from Kassel & 60 km from Marburg.
Its first documentary mention came around the year 800 from the Hersfeld Monastery under the name “Villa Wildungun”. Around 1200, a castle was built by the Thuringian Landgraves, around which Alt-Wildungen developed. In 1242, Nieder-Wildungen was granted town rights. From 1263, the castle and the 2 Wildungens were owned by the Counts and Princes of Waldeck, who only abdicated after WW1. In 1906, Nieder-Wildungen was given the new name Bad Wildungen. In 1940, Bad Wildungen was given the title of “Preußisches Staatsbad” (“Prussian State Bath”). In the time when alleged witches were persecuted, 78 people fell victim to witch trials. At the time, there were only 1200 inhabitants. The persecution came in waves in the 1500s and 1600s.
Europe’s biggest spa park
In the 1990s, the Bad Wildungen spa park was connected by a “green bridge” – not natural but made to seem so – to the Reinhardshausen spa park, making one large park now regarded, at 50 ha, as Europe’s biggest spa park.
In the foothills are the Odershausen Waterfalls, which are well worth seeing. In the woods near the Jägersburg stand 3 very old dwarf beeches. The Bilstein Cliffs are great for climbers. Bad Wildungen’s local mountain, the Homberg, affords a great panoramic view. Das Paradies near Albertshausen is not simply called this; hikers will also find this unique forest towards Gellershausen and Kleinern to be something of a paradisiacal treasure. The 167 km Kellerwaldsteig, awarded as 1 of Germany’s 3 finest hiking trails, begins and ends in Bad Wildungen. In the former Hutewald (forest used for grazing) lies a centuries-old beech forest.
Culinary specialities & Health Spa
One speciality is Schepperlinge, a kind of potato pancake, traditionally served with bacon, onions, and black coffee. Bad Wildungen is a therapeutic spa town with springs that bring forth water containing iron, magnesium, and carbonic acid. The times when visitors would “partake of the waters” are somewhat bygone. More at the fore of medical rehab nowadays are orthopaedics, psychosomatic illness treatments, internal medicine, rheumatology, neurology, oncology, and urology.
The yearly number of overnight stays here was roughly 1.4 million in 2002, which made the town second only to Frankfurt among Hessian locations with the most overnight stays. As is true throughout Hessen’s North, “Ahle Worscht” is an ever-popular sausage dish.