Bad Saeckingen: Travel Information and Photos


Photos of Bad Säckingen follow the travel and tourism information, so please see below.
‘Bad’ in front of German town names means ‘spa’ (literally ‘bath’) and Bad Säckingen (also spelt ‘Saeckingen’) is a small spa town in the rural area of Waldshut in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. At the last count (2008) there were 16,859 inhabitants of this town on the Rhine, close to the Swiss border and the south of the Black Forest – just about as far south as you can get and still be in Germany. Most of the old town that you see today was built after1200, for around that time the town was destroyed by a huge fire.

Getting there
The nearest airport is EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, and Bad Säckingen has a train station in Bahnhofplatz on a railway line from Basel (30 mins), or you can drive in a similar time via the A3 toll road and the B34. An alternative is to fly to Zurich Airport and take the train (1 hour). There are direct flights to Zurich from a large number of European cities, and many European airlines like BA, SWISS, Lufthansa and Air France fly there, as well as budget airlines such as Easyjet, Flybe and Germanwings.

What to see in and around Bad Saekingen
A first priority for most visitors will be exploring the city on foot to get your bearings. You will soon see that the town is dominated by the cathedral, dedicated to St Fridolin, whose relics are in a shrine inside the gothic church dating from 1360. (If you are there on the first Sunday after March 6th you will witness the parade marking the anniversary of the saint’s death.) The 56m tall twin towers and onion domes of St Fridolinsmuenster, close to the Rhine, will be your landmark in finding your way around (as shown in the photos), so you might as well visit it first. Don’t miss the crypt, which is the oldest part of the cathedral. Next most popular with visitors is surely the old covered-in wooden bridge over the river (see photos below): cross it on foot and you are in Switzerland (for the Rhine forms the border here), from where you get excellent views of the old town. The bridge is claimed to be the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe.

You won’t be long in Bad Saekingen before you hear of the Trumpeter, because this town was the setting for the famous 19th century romantic German novel by the popular author Joseph Victor von Scheffel. Evidence of his story is all around in the form of signs to places linked to the story, the main one being the Trumpeter’s Palace (Schloss Schoenau), now a museum of, yes, trumpets! But even if you are not interested in them, as the photos below show, Castle Schoenau has some beautiful buildings and nice open spaces. Two 13th century towers in Bad Säckingen which are also worth a look are the Gallusturm, built as part of the town’s flood defences, and the Diebsturm, part of the old town walls and once used as a prison (see photos). Rather more modern in concept and more high-tech than either of these structures is the hydroelectric facility on the Rhine near the town. This barrage, a seen in the photo with the single rower in the foreground, is operated by Rheinkraftwerk Säckingen and has been producing power for Germany since 2010.

The Bergsee is a small lake near Bad Säckingen at an elevation of 382 metres (ft), and there are some beautiful photos of this peaceful spot at the end of the pictures below. There is a café-restaurant there, but for those who come to Bad Saeckingen for its spa waters, the Aqualon Therme ‘thermal bath and spa relax’ on Bergseestrassse (open 09.00 – 22.00) is the place to go. There are indoor and outdoor thermal pools, and different types of saunas and steam rooms, where you are expected to be naked.

Sightseeing by train
Rather than a Rhine Cruise, which can be frustrating because you pause briefly in charming south German towns that you don’t have time to explore (some stops are for as little as 5 minutes) you might consider exploring the River Rhine by train: you can travel along one side of the Rhine and back on the other, visiting villages which typically have another train an hour later on which to continue your trip, watching vineyards and castles pass by from the train.

In the 4-star hotel category, there is the Ringhotel Goldener Knopf in the old town, with views over the Rhine and the wooden bridge. Their VinoGusta restaurant serves high end cuisine, and the breakfast includes Black Forest specialities. All the rooms are elegantly furnished and offer views either of the river or of the old town. There are more 3-star hotels to choose from in the town, such as the Hotel Zum Hirsch or the Hotel St. Fridolin. The former is right by the B34 motorway and offers a free shuttle to and from the railway station – otherwise it’s a 20 minute walk to town. The St. Fridolin has a playroom for children and can arrange horse riding and provide picnic baskets; there is a laundry and drying room. If you are prepared to stay 5 miles (8kms) out of Bad Säckingen, you could choose the Brutsches Rebstock hotel in Laufenburg, whose rooms, most of which have a view over the River Rhine, all offer an ensuite bathroom and are elegantly furnished. This hotel has its own traditional restaurant, and you can choose half board or full board. This small town on the German-Swiss border is popular with couples who want to go walking or cycling in the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Tourist, travel and sightseeing information
The Tourism and Culture Office is at 220 Waldshuter Strasse; it opens 09.00 to 17.00 for tourist information, bookings for various events, accommodation in and around the town, and advice on sightseeing and travel arrangements.

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Castle Schoenau      
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