The spa town of Bad Wildungen is located at the foothills of the Kellerwald. The town is one of the largest rehabilitation and spa locations in Germany,
Alma the Adria, has grabbed one of the very special and highly sought after spaces on the towns motorhome Stellaplatz, like most of these epic German stops for just a few euro a nights we are offered safe and legal parking for our motorhome. (N 51.12, E 9.13626)
Bad Wildungen became famous for its healing springs and attracted the first people looking for a cure as early as 1350.
The town’s beautiful spa park is considered the longest spa park in Europe and invites you to take relaxing walks. The grounds are a good 6 kilometres long and connect Bad Wildungen with the district of Reinhardtshausen.
The majority of visitors, like ourselves use the paths for strolling, taking a break on the benches and loungers and enjoying the beautiful parkland with its diverse nature.
On many walks through the Kurpark, we were drawn to the shell shaped band stand.
This is used for concerts. Below the concert shell is a small lake with a fountain, a family of swans waddled past me.
Strolling through the old town itself is a true joy , you are surrounded by beautiful half-timbered houses. Some of the houses date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
The steeple of the town church is clearly visible from every point in the town.
The church stands on the highest point of the town hill and apparently it a must see inside the nave, but sadly for us it wasn’t to be as it’s currently undergoing some major renovations.
High up on the Schlossberg hill in Bad Wildungen is Friedrichstein Castle.
The footpath to the castle leads on steep paths through the wooded hill. A very beautiful, albeit strenuous, way uphill, which was rewarded in between again and again with a beautiful view over the town.
Friedrichstein Castle looking down upon a perfectly formed medieval town. The Town Hall and church were in the middle, and those orange-tiled homes I had come to know and love spread out from the center. It looked quiet and serene from high on top of the hill with the colorful baroque castle standing guard.
But we are here as part of our Germany fairy tale route, so what connects this amazing spa town with the Brothers Grimm?
Snow White of course !
The real Snow White that is …..
Born in 1553, Margaretha von Waldeck was the daughter of the Count of Waldeck-Wildungen
Apparently she left the town when she was 16 to live a new life amongst other European royals in Brussels.
She soon caught the eye of the future king of Spain who became infatuated with her.
As you can guess, like all good fairy tales the story didn’t end well. She was not the “right” match for Phillip II due and when she was 21, she was slowly poisoned to death.
Nothing is known for sure, but all signs point to the fact that the future king’s family played a major roll in her death.
This alone doesn’t necessarily point towards the Snow White myth, but when you add in the fact that Margaretha’s family also owned the local copper mine where the working conditions severely stunted worker’s growth, and you finally have what appears to be at least the inspiration of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Well it’s a good story ……..