Germany: Wiesbaden

For the avoidance of doubt, tonight’s concert in Wiesbaden still starts at 20:00, as planned. However, please note: the concerts in Nîmes and Arc-et-Senans will start at 21:00, Tienen at 21:30.

Back to Germany, to the Hessian capital and green spa city of Wiesbaden. And it really is wonderfully green.

Its hot springs have been popular since pre-Roman times but Wiesbaden became something of a spa metropolis in the nineteenth century when it was transformed from small rural town with a population of around 2,500 inhabitants in 1800 to large international city of 100,000 within a century, attracting wealthy visitors from all over the world. The wealth can be seen in the architecture and decor of its historic buildings.

If you haven’t taken the virtual tour yet, now’s your chance. Look out for the little blue arrows.

You are standing on the Bowling Green, for so long a clover field, with its three-bowl cascade fountains, looking at the Kurhaus, or spa house, which is flanked on both sides by colonnades bordered by 160-year-old plane trees. The collonades are some 129 metres in length, making them the longest columned halls in Europe. Various events, such as fairs, exhibitions and charity lunches, are held here.

The Kurhaus, as you can easily imagine, remains a cultural hub as well as versatile convention centre. Have a good look at the painted ceilings, marble floors and huge portraits in its numerous parlours or salons. Concert, theatre and ballet performances continue to be held in and around this very fine building.

The Kurpark, or spa park, one of many generous green spaces nearby, is just behind the Kurhaus. With its boating lake and six-metre-high fountain, it looks like a beautiful place to unwind for a while.

So, if you’re stuck for ideas, you really shouldn’t be with bars, bistros, restaurants, galleries, even a grand casino (located in the Kurhaus’ former wine parlour, all cherry wood and crystal chandeliers, with another – The Petty Gamble – complete with slot machines should you have some time and loose change to spare after the concert, found in the Colonnades) – all within easy walking distance.

It looks like the weather in Wiesbaden is perfect for an evening on the Bowling Green. Hope you enjoy it.