Wiesbaden - The elegant city with the golden dome.
Updated: Aug 28
From rainy Bavaria I have traveled to another region in Germany - The German State Hesse and to its capital Wiesbaden. On the way, I wondered if Wiesbaden would remind me of Baden- Baden, the famous spa town in the Black Forest (that I have visited a couple of times, they both have in common the name Baden- to bath) I read some reviews about Wiesbaden -a city renowned for its thermic water and spa.
I have tried not to see many pictures, to leave space for the imagination. I love being surprised by a city.
A rather summery day welcomed me in the city of Wiesbaden. Wide avenues with elegant clear buildings and impressively adorned balconies, similar to those in Paris, were the first impression as I was heading to my hotel.
After a long journey on the train, the first thing to chill out was to have a coffee and ice cream in one of the most famous old Cafés -the Maldaner Cafe.
Whoever reads my texts knows that I love historical places and keen to find out where are the best Cafes in town.
The Maldaner Cafe invites you to one of these luxurious Cafes in Vienna in the 19th century. It was formed at this period of time.
It is as if you were sitting inside a festive royal ballroom. However, it was fairly warm so we sat on the terrace and enjoyed the sunny afternoon.
I have recharged my batteries and was ready to get to know Wiesbaden.
I was walking in the old town. It was around 6 pm, the pretty, bright cafes and restaurants were packed with customers having an aperitif, savoring the warm caress of the sunshine. Their glasses filled with white wine.
Wiesbaden contains many vineyards, and the local grape variety is Riesling which grows by the Rhein's river. Therefore it’s the regional production.
I love middle-size cities, where you can walk everywhere. They are friendly and accessible. Although there was a lot to discover, I felt that I could perceive the character of Wiesbaden pretty fast.
One street in the center had reminded me of the Latin Quarter in Paris." The Goldgasse" with a range of Italian restaurants, and a Mediterranean flair. It is long, curved, and the waiters were waiting patiently outside by the terraces. inviting you with a smile to dine in.
The hotel Klemm where I stayed was in a very central spot. A few minutes from KranzPlatz. It is a broad and remarkable square, famous for its fountain of the spring water "Kochbrunnen"
Located next to a little Pavilion. People stop by to fill a little cup and drink this special water.
It has healing qualities. The water is boiling, and they come from a very deep source in the ground,(2000 km below) their smell has reminded me of the salty Dead Sea.
At night the square is illuminated and quite busy. You can also sit on the terrace of a big restaurant in the square, and have a nice, general view. In front of the square is the Majestic Palast Hotel.
On that first evening, I wanted to do something light in the neighborhood.
Not far from the Hotel Klemm, I have discovered a quirky park." Nerotal Anlagen".
I have walked up the large street Taunus, which also has lovely buildings and some restaurants, going up the avenue, I have reached this discreet park.
It is elegantly blossomed and resembles to the English gardens inside Holland Park in London. It has a Japanese garden, ponds, waterfall, and a view to the beautiful villas on the parallel street,
The next day it was Wiesbaden in all its splendor. The weather was ideal for a walk. I have found a city that is blessed with green valleys and wonderful architecture mainly from the 19th century.
I have seen the town hall at night, and I could see how massive it was in the daylight, beside the town hall in the Market square, located the church, the tallest building in the city. There is a fountain ornamented in gold in front that you can't miss.
Wiesbaden exposes quite a few outstanding fountains: with special hot water or the cold one, you can almost hear the sound of the flowing stream accompany your promenade. If you are as fond of them as I do, it will make your experience in Wiesbaden even more delightful.
The Romans discovered the quality of the water source in Wiesbaden 2000 years ago, and they have established there the first Romans baths. It was one of the favorite holiday cities of Keiser Wilhelm who often visited it. No wonder that his attendance is imprinted in the aristocratic architecture of the city.
The city guide Manfred Rose showed me the significant monuments. He loves deeply his city and shared with me his knowledge with enthusiasm. He also told me some nice anecdotes relate to the city. Elvis Presly was stationed in Bad Nauheim,70 kim from Wiesbaden as a U.S soldier .He met his beloved Prescilla in Wiesbaden.
Sometimes to observe the beauty of a city, you need to see it from different heights and perspectives.
The golden dome of Neroberg hill
We took the little train to Neroberg hill. Already on the way up, I have perceived a variety of elegant, classy villas.
On the top of the hill is waiting for you, "la crème de la crème," the breathtakingly gorgeous Russian Orthodox church. "St. Elisabeth's church". From a distance, glittered in the sun its golden domes.
It was built in the 19th century by Duke Adolf de Nassau, a memorial for the death of his wife, when she gave birth, the duchess Elisabeth Mickhaliovna of Russia, at the age of 19. So was her newborn baby.
Although the circumstances of its construction were unfortunate, this monument radiates light and awe and loads the viewer with uplifting energies.
Walking up a bit higher, I could have seen the whole Wiesbaden spread out. Especially the green valleys and the vineyards in a graded shape. It was a reminder to drink this fresh and fruity Riesling Wine, again.
From Neroberg hill, we went down with the funicular. It was a very short ride, and then we used the bus to reach the town center.
We were walking all along the large Wilhelmstrasse. It is a central avenue in the beating heart of the city. when we crossed the road, Manfred showed me a giant Cuckoo Clock. It's the largest in the world, near the big store Galleria Karstadt and the shopping area.
This city would happily greet the shopping lovers. There are many stores with various brands and in different styles and prices.
When you go further in the Wilhelmstrasse you reach the Art and Nature museum." Museum Wiesbaden" I was thoroughly impressed by the eclectic collections of paintings and furniture in Art Nouveau design. It needs a few hours to see all the great assemblage of art objects that it contains.
I have realized that the only similarity between Baden Baden and Wiesbaden is that they have both special cure water and spa swimming pools. (I will try it next time when I will be back in Wiesbaden) but Baden Baden is much smaller and a lot more Bourgeoise, while Wiesbaden offers a broad range of entertainment and sites for all tastes and preferences.
The splendid Kurhaus
This monument is an admirable jewel of Wiesbaden. It was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture. The facade recalled of an ancient Roman building and inside, the hall is glamourous and luxurious in Viennese style. Having lunch on the terrace of the Kurhaus restaurant was a lovely summery experience. The lunch was of high quality, authentic international dishes and a view over the charming garden
This building is loaded with stories. Inside there is a magnificent Casino (it looks like the Casino Royal from the James Bond movie)
The notable Russian author Dostoyevsky used to gamble there. He had lost much of his possessions. It inspired him to write his novel "The Gambler." It was interesting to learn about the Russian influences over Wiesbaden.
Inside the picturesque garden outside the Kurhaus, settled the sculptured bust of Dostoyevsky.
I continued to explore the surroundings and saw the great Theater of Wiesbaden next to the Kurhaus and the Kurpark. which is a graceful colossal park. Situated nearby another park with a grand fountain, Warmer Damm
When I have returned from the leisure excursion to the Kurhaus, I saw many people gathering in the hall.
I have found out that there would be a concert playing at 20 h.
I have to see it. It would be the first concert after one and a half year, since the Corona pandemic has burst into our world and lives and forced the culture venues to shut their doors for such a long time. I couldn't miss the opportunity to watch it.
"There are still tickets available," informed me a tall man who was one of the organizers of the festival- The Rheingau Music Festival. An important classical music festival that takes place during July, August every year, in Wiesbaden with various concerts.
A Midsummer Night Dream
It was spontaneous, and almost as if I have just dreamt it. Here I was sitting in one of the front ranges, in the heavenly designed concert hall, waiting for the musicians to start playing.
It was the cherry on the cake.
The concert was of the Bamberg's Symphonie with the Violin soloist Rey Chen and the conductor Jakub Hrusa.
They played a violin concert by the composers, Mendelssohn and Dvorak.
In the town of Füssen, I made a wish to listen to a live concert of violins which was realized unexpectedly in Wiesbaden.
It exuded a stirring melody, harmony, and joy. It was a feast of exhilaration. In the end, before the "encore", the excited conductor, who had directed marvelously the orchestra, said he had celebrated coming back to the stage after almost a year of not being able to perform and also on this occasion, his birthday.
when I left the concert hall, the sky at 9.30 pm was still glowing in vivid blue. The fountains were prominent. On the side plaza, musicians played Latin tunes. People held glasses of white wine, talking, some were dancing the tango. It felt as if everybody were celebrating the summer. The lights suddenly were turned on. The night has just begun.
The Hotel Klemm
Located in a beautiful and elegant villa. The rooms are comfortable and cozy, which plunged you into the romantic atmosphere of the city. Great breakfast with bioproducts. I highly recommend it. Located in a quiet street but very close to KranzPlatz. and to the town center.
By Niva Josef
Photos, Niva Josef