Bad Homburg’s enchanted Christmas
TEXT: BAD HOMBURG
You may have been to Frankfurt am Main. But have you heard of its charming neighbour Bad Homburg? Well, you should! Just minutes away from downtown Frankfurt lies a multifaceted jewel with a great deal to offer.
Bad Homburg may not be as big as Frankfurt am Main, but nestled within the beautiful countryside of the Taunus Mountains, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site LIMES and its Saalburg Castle right at its backyard, Bad Homburg not only is a historic gem but also a modern spa town that beautifully links old tradition and modernity.
Celebrities in Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg’s charm has never eluded the rich, famous and beautiful. Many years ago, Bad Homburg was visited regularly by European gentry and crowned heads in search of divertissement and respite from their busy lives. The German emperors paid regular visits to the spa town they had elected as summer residence. Famous poets like Hölderlin, Goethe, Gogol, Eliot, Stephenson or Oscar Wilde were regular visitors and the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky even used a game of roulette played in Bad Homburg’s famous casino as material for his opus The Gambler.
Things to do
Climb the top of Bad Homburg castle’s White Tower and overlook the old town, the Taunus hills and get a glimpse of Frankfurt’s impressive skyline. Soak in the spirit of former times when kings and landgraves strolled down the paths at the well-kept gardens. Take a museum tour and enjoy a hot chilli-chocolate in the charming castle café or chocolate store close by.
Tasty chilli-chocolate. Photo: © Nina Gerlach
The sweeping Kurpark, laid out in 1854 by the grand landscape gardener Peter Joseph Lenné, and its mineral springs invite for pleasant and relaxing strolls through historic Bad Homburg. The impressive Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad, built in 1890, had already been visited by the Prince of Wales and former Reichskanzler (Chancellor) Otto von Bismarck. Today it is home to the luxury Kur-Royal Day Spa, an ideal place to spend an idle spa day in perfect relaxation. As a guest of the modern spa you can discover the Sand Light Bath or the Hay Steam Bath, for example.
Quaint cafés and restaurants satisfy the tastes of even the most critical gourmets. Small and charming little specialist shops as well as big brands like Boss, Baldessarini or Michael Kors are sure to grant shopaholics fabulous catches. Culture enthusiasts can expect a diverse programme from fine art galleries and exhibitions to theatre or vibrant concerts at unique settings. Classical or jazzy tunes, swing, pop or rock music? Bad Homburgs cultural calendar is bursting with musical events of all genres. Within ‘Bad Homburg’s summer’ special there is a magical highlight taking place each year. At the Klassiknacht in Weiß (White Night of Classic), people all clad in white gather in the candle-lit Kurpark and celebrate the warm, mellow nights of summer with champagne, canapés, nibbles and classical music in front of the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad.
Highlights of 2018
In 2018, numerous very special attractions are awaiting Bad Homburg’s visitors. The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is one of the most famous Oldtimer Rallyes and, at the end of January, Bad Homburg’s city centre will be the starting point for numerous Oldtimer-Racing Cars. The Bad Homburg festivals are loved by visitors and Homburgers alike. There is the Boom! Design Festival at the end of April that is serving all kinds of self-made products and music. The Poesie & Literaturfestival (Festival for Poetry and Literature) invites visitors to a variety of readings held by some of the most prestigious players of German theatre, film and writer’s scene. There is the much loved Bad Homburger Sommer that provides outdoor festival fans with theatre, opera and musical events for every taste taking place in the lovely parks and public places all over Bad Homburg.
Christmas market. Photo: © Bad Homburg
The Christmas town Bad Homburg
While the spa town is vibrant in the warm months from April until October, the rather chilly season lets you experience the cosy charm of winter in Bad Homburg. The pre-Christmas period starts at the beginning of November with the so-called Stadl, a rustic wooden chalet set up in front of the Kurhaus, where you may enjoy a hearty meal, pretzels as well as one (or two) pints of tasty beer.
Test your skating or Bavarian curling skills in one of the regions’ most romantic ice rinks, which is set up right in the centre of the Kurpark between the impressive Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad and the Casino. The traditionalists will be glad to hear of the Romantic Christmas Market, which is located around Bad Homburg’s castle and the White Tower. At lovingly decorated, Christmas-themed stalls you may buy beautiful presents for your loved ones at home or enjoy the famous German Glühwein (mulled wine) in an enchanted Christmassy surrounding. A path of lights and stars leads you from one attraction to the other. Feel the spirit of Christmas while wandering through the town of Bad Homburg. If you would rather spend those crispy winter nights indoors, Bad Homburg invites you to a variety of literary readings, Christmas-themed concerts, ballet performances of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as performances of a Christmas Fairytale.
Can you think of a better way to celebrate the festive season?