Baden or Baden bei Wien is the capital of the Baden District located around 26km south of Vienna in Austria. The name Baden bei Wien when translated into English means Baden near Vienna and is not the official name of the town; but it used to distinguish the city from other towns with similar names.
Centuries ago, the town used to be the principal resort during summer vacations, and was loved by the rich inhabitants from Vienna. During the 19th century the aristocracy and nobility of Vienna loved the spa because it was easily accessible and there was a tram which connected the town with the national opera that was based in Vienna. In 1812 an extensive fire almost burnt the town to the ground; it is the rebuilding after this fire that gave the entire town that popular neo-classical look that many people enjoy today; the plans were made by an architect called Joseph Kornhausel.
Baden hosted numerous celebrities over the centuries. Ludwig van Beethoven was a frequent vacationer here; there is even a museum known as Beethoven Schauraume located in the town. Czar Peter the Great and Napoleon I. were also among the guests of Baden.
The town has fifteen well known bathing establishments and a town hall that contains numerous historical archives. The spas or warm baths that made the town popular are still present and they are thirteen in total; these baths are rich in sulphate of lime and have a temperature ranging between 72°F (22°C) to 97°F (36°C).
Most of these springs rise from the 1070 ft Cavarienberg that is mainly made up of dolomite limestone. The water is known to treat a wide variety of ailments like rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pains, and some forms of skin ailments to mention but a few. There is also an open air pool, commonly known as Thermalstrandbad that is quite inviting; visitors are encouraged to take a dip in the pool too, even though it is operated separately from the spas. The Undine fountain with its beautiful ornaments and elaborate decorations is quite eye catching to say the least; it is worth visiting.
For those interested in sightseeing, a good place to start is the main square (Hauptplatz), from here you can see the Emperor’s House (Kaiserhaus); a relatively modest house that was extensively used by Emperor Franz I for summer vacations. The town hall (Rathaus), built in 1815 is also a magnificent building that has stood the test of time. The town also prides itself in having several parks that are quite picturesque, the Helenental is a good example.
There are fine museums in Baden; they are culturally rich and well maintained. The Kaiser-Franz-Josef museum has a large collection of Habsburg memorabilia; it contains armor from as late as the 17th century. The Rollett-Museum has numerous anatomical exhibits, from death masks and skulls dating several centuries back.
Those interested in contemporary art can visit the Frauenbad gallery which features several exhibitions at any given time. Those interested in gambling will find the casino in Baden quite engaging. The town of Baden is surrounded by over 120 vineyards and prides itself in having over 70 high class, well stocked wine pubs dotting the town.