Bad Kissingen is a spa town in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia and is the capital of the district Bad Kissingen. Situated to the south of the Rhön Mountains on the Franconian Saale river, it is a world-famous health resort.
(Number of inhabitants in brackets)
One of the most important buildings in the town is the old town hall, a renaissance design from 1577. Between 1838 and 1913, the arcade was built around the spa garden by Friedrich von Gärtner, as well as the pump rooms, following a design by Max Littmann. The Regency building was constructed by Balthasar Neumann. Max Littmann also designed the Art Nouveau spa theatre, completed in 1905. The oft-forgotten train station building, with its classical neo-renaissance façade, was built in 1874 under supervision by Friedrich Bürklein. The ruins of castle Bodenlaube from 1180 looks over the town from above Reiterswiesen. The KissSalis Therme, opened in 2004, gives the town a modern feel. It is one of the largest wellness baths in Europe, and the largest building project in the town since the Second World War.
Another point of interest is the casino in the spa park.
Bad Kissingen boasts a large number of sports clubs and types of sports:
During the World Cup 2006, Bad Kissingen was home to the Ecuadorian national football team (the Croatian team was in Bad Brückenau). In honour of this unique event, a street was renamed from Grabengasse to Avenida Amazonas. Sport facilities and infrastructure were also upgraded to ensure optimal training conditions for the team.
The town itself was first documented in the year 801 as “chizzicha” and was renowned above all for its medicinal springs, which are recorded from as early as 823. Kissingen was first mentioned as a town in 1279, and the first official spa guest was recorded in 1520, the same century that the town established itself as a spa. Kissingen grew to be a chic resort in the 19th century, and was rebuilt as such during the reign of Ludwig I of Bavaria. Crowned heads of state such as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Tsar Alexander II of Russia and King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who bestowed the 'Bad' on Kissingen in 1883, were among the guests to the spa at this time. On July 10, 1866 in Mainfeldzug, Kissingen was the site of fierce battle between Bavarian and Prussian troops. Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck visited Kissingen's spas many times, and in 1874 narrowly avoided an assassination attempt by Eduard Franz Ludwig Kullmann there. Bismarck’s former home in Kissingen is now the Bismarck museum. Other visitors to the resort included author Leo Tolstoy and artists Adolph von Menzel.
The resort’s clientele changed in the 20th century, with more normal citizens visiting than noblemen and women. 1945 is the only year that the spa resort remained closed. After that, the department of Social Security built clinics in the town, but a change in health legislation in the 1990s led to job losses. As a result, efforts were made to attract a new kind of clientele, and were helped in no small part by the EMNID survey which named Bad Kissingen Germany’s most well-known spa town. In 2003, 1.5 million people stayed in the town. With the opening of the KissSalis Therme in February 2004, Bad Kissingen now also had a spa leisure centre, and in December 2004, the German-Chinese Football Academy was opened in the town, where the Chinese "08 star team" both train and live in preparation for the Olympic Games in China in 2008.
At the Eastern edge of the Bad Kissingen town center is what was once a military post established by the German military as part of Hitler's growth of the new German "Wehrmacht" (Army) program. This post was then called Manteuffel Kaserne. In 1945, the American military entered Bad Kissingen peacefully, and occupied the kaserne (the name changed to Daley Barracks in 1953) until about 1993, when Daley Barracks was closed and returned to the German government.
Henry Kissinger's great great grandfather, Meyer Löb, derived his name from Bad Kissingen in 1817.