Sunday, 6 April 2014

salient factor

A little while ago, we had the chance to visit the spa town with ancient roots known as Bad Salzungen on the Werra river and not far from Wartburg. The settlement, which was founded originally over two millennia hence by Celtic tribes grew around a salty marsh, which contained the prized substance in high enough concentrations to yield commercial amounts through simple evaporation in shallow pools, salterns and saltpans, which at the time of its discover were mostly relegated to far off lands, like the coastal estuaries of Bordeaux or the northern reaches of Germany, die SalzmannstraรŸe was a trade route from here to Erfurt and Halle (named not for a hall but rather the Latin term for salt) and on a wider scale connected Frankfurt am Main with Leipzig and beyond.
Throughout medieval times, this proved a huge boon to local royalty and led to the building of many structures and offices (also halophiles) who sought to tax the exchange, but there was not quite a bust once salt became a less valuable commodity and more of a condiment to be given away freely. In the modern era, the place quickly reinvented itself as a wellness destination with a lavish resort and galleries of graduation lanes (degrees of salinity in the air, Gradierwerke, where one can stroll and breath it in) whose inland theatres look like they're based on locales on the sea.