In modern times, gambling institutions have been quick enough to adopt cutting-edge technologies. Earlier people used to travel to a large city, or even to another country, to visit a casino site, today’s gamers can have it all in an online casino. But in this era also if you do not want to leave your sofa to enjoy casino-style games like blackjack and poker, the early casinos built in the age of opulence still hold a great appeal. Kurhaus in the Black Forest spa town of Baden Baden is one of the most fabulous examples of these monuments to that early age.
A Roman Spa
The biggest attraction of Baden Baden was noticed by the Romans who built the first spa bathhouse there. This spa is served with hot-running mineral springs, making it a great place for soldiers and eminent Roman citizens to relax. Though the Romans left and the site became a ruin, by the 19th century, Europe’s aristocracy got attracted toward such spa towns. It is fitted with gaming and concert-going well with such lifestyles, due to this these activities flourished in Baden Baden. As per records, gambling may have begun there around 1748.
European Spa Town
Having a dozen of underground thermal springs all year round, Baden became a premier spa resort for the rich and popular. Flocking of tourists prompted the development of landscaped parks, high-end hotels, and shops with elegant facades reflecting the very best styles of Belle Époque architecture. You can today visit the famous opera house, or can also enjoy a pampered stay at the ultra-exclusive Brenners luxury hotel.
Baden Baden’s patrons were mostly royal and other titled gentlefolk and in its heyday, the spa hosted several famous people. This includes Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who has been a regular guest, who penned his novel ‘The Gambler’ on his experience of the Baden Baden casino.
Popular musicians also frequently performed in the town and enjoy its attractions and cosmopolitan atmosphere. For instance, Johannes Brahms spent many summers here, and both Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann knew the place well. It is also graced by the renowned French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz along with the “Swedish Nightingale” Jenny Lind, another popular figure of the international concert circuit.
This way, Baden Baden’s appeal spread even more and Edward VII of England became a regular visitor, as was Germany’s Marlene Dietrich, and Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle kept visiting this town for meeting purposes.
Decline and Revival
Having gained loads of traction and recognition, Baden Baden enjoyed many decades when its Kurhaus was celebrated as the foremost casino in the world. But in 1872 its own casino was forced to close down, just to open up again in 1933. In 1944, another closure followed, before a splendid relaunch in 1950 saw the Kurhaus regain its reputation as the ‘most expensive casino in the world’.
Several high-profile gamblers are still regular visitors to Baden Baden, but its cosmopolitan appeal keeps growing. Tourists love this town, and it is also known for international gatherings of all kinds – including chess tournaments, NATO summits, and Olympic committee meetings to name just a few.