The walk starts down by the harbour at the town hall. The town hall, which was originally used as a warehouse, bears the initials CLZH: Carl Landgraf zu Hessen in memory of Landgrave Charles, the founder of the town. The visitors‘ lounge and the ideal model of the town complex are on the ground floor. The offices of the town council are on the upper floor, as is the baroque Landgrafensaal which serves as a concert and lecture hall, a registry office, and a meeting-place for the town council. Behind the townhall, the Rosengarten invites visitors to linger.
In front of the townhall there is the historic harbour. The building at the right-hand corner of the block is the former custom-housewhich was built by Landgrave Frederick, as the coat-of-arms above the entrance indicates.
Walk along the canal to the Invalidenhaus which was built as a home for retired and disabled officers and soldiers of the Hessian army.
At the end of the street there stands the driving axle of a steam locomotive which used to run on the oldest railway line in Hesse, the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Nordbahn, which was in operation from 1848 to 1966.Turn right into Weserstraße. At the end of the block you will find the town’s oldest house where the first stone was laid in 1699.
Today it is the “Landgraf Carl” hotel. Cross Weserstraße and walk down to the quay where ships used to be loaded and unloaded. On the right you can see the remains of the lock between the river and the harbour. The bridge over the lock takes you to the little building where flood levels are registered, then onto the promenade.
The camping site can be seen on the other side of the river. Walk along the promenade and under the bridge till you reach the modern health centre and the graduation house.
The Weser-Therme is situated behind the graduation house. The three indoor baths have varying saline concentrations ranging from 1.5 % to 5 % and water temperatures from 33 - 36 °C. The sauna landscape includes five indoor saunas, three outdoor saunas, two steam baths and an Ottoman hamam.
Walk back to the Weser bridge on the upper promenade path and carry on down Weserstraße to the traffic lights.
Turn left here and keep going, passing the monument to Landgrave Charles on your right and the former Thurn and Taxis stage post on your left, till you arive at the German Huguenot Museum where the walk ends. The museum which is situated in a former tobacco factory can provide you with more information on the town’s history.
Bad Karlshafen was founded in 1699 by Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel at the confluence of the Diemel and the Weser.
His plan was to connect the new town with the capital Kassel by a canal to allow ships to avoid the town of Hannoversmünden in Lower Saxony which had the special right (“Stapelrecht”) to unload and sell passing merchandise.
After 17 kilometres of contruction the project ran into insurmountable difficulties and was finally abandoned after the death of the landgrave. In the early years, however, there was quite a lot of shipping traffic on the canal.
The harbour at the centre of the town is fed by the water of the Diemel. As it is surrounded by green areas it is a great attraction for visitors.
The town was built to an ideal plan in classical baroque. It was originally named Sieburg after a castle ruin in the Reinhardswald. In 1717 it was renamed Carlshafen in honour of the landgrave.
The first inhabitants of the town were Huguenots, Protestants who had fled from France to escape religious persecution. Invited to settle in Hesse by the Protestant landgrave, they were offered refuge in the new town of Carls-hafen. They brought with them their know-how in crafts that were new to Germany. Among the refugees there were highly-skilled stocking-makers, hat-makers and glove-makers. The German Huguenot Museum, which is situated in a former tobacco factory opposite the town hall, traces the history of the Huguenots and shows their contribution to the economy and culture of Germany.
It was a Huguenot doctor, Jacques Galland, who discovered the first salt-water spring in 1730.
The brine was led over three graduation houses whereby the water evaporated in the sun and the wind. The brine was then heated in the salt works to obtain salt.
In 1835 the salt works were closed when Hesse joined the Prussian Customs Union.
In 1838 the first saline bath was built. Patients with asthma, rheumatism, sciatica and bronchitis benefited from the therapeutic properties of the salt-water
In 1903 new salt works were set up on the right bank of the Weser. In 1945 they were destroyed during military combat.
When the town was officially recognized as a “Sole-Heilbad” (saline health resort) in 1955, the number of visitors rose, and a new health clinic was built in 1973. On 27th May 1977, the town was awarded the title of “Bad” (spa).
The re-opening of the saline spring with a salt content of nearly 30 % and the opening of the Weser- Therme in Dec. 2004 constituted a major stride towards a modern up-to-the-minute health resort.
|History & Sightseeing
34385 Bad Karlshafen
Tel. 05672 9226140