Wednesday, 25 September 2013

bad soden am taunus

In the afternoon, I visited the nearby town of Bad Soden am Taunus. Well outfitted and known for its thermal springs since Roman times, today it is a quiet bedroom community for neighbouring metropolis of Frankfurt am Main but there was quite a bit to see and to test.  Dozens of beautiful villas, pensions for guests taking the waters, surrounded the town's core and the ensemble of stately structures like this spa with outdoor theatre and other buildings divided among three adjacent parks. To cater to an impressive guest list—some of whom are depicted on this unique fountain, also a thermal well, with poseable metal statues with kung-fu grip, but possibly not Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father who worked there before taking his family to the Netherlands or the fictional Kitty who was Anna Karenina's niece who sought a cure here (as Tolstoy did)--the town was the first to have electric street lamps and other advanced infrastructure in the then Duchy of Nassau.

There was a trail that bounced from fountain to fountain and I had a drink at a few: the warm water tasted strongly of sulphur and salty and each well had a protocol, reading like the labels on medicine about its healthful benefits, although all recommended only small amounts as there is quite a heavy concentration of iron-oxides dissolved in the source. A popular, almost with cult status, lozenge is manufactured with this special water. There was also a nice surprise with a happy, colourful apartment block designed by renowned Austrian architect Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser.
The flats, which also host a parking garage where I would have tried to park had I known, are just outside of the Quellepark and are pictured in the background, behind the gazebo sheltered what is designated as Fountain Number One, the Solbrunnen with the town's neoclassic personification and mascot, Sodenia.  I am learning there are quite a few more things to discover and we will definitely be returning to this area.