Kurhaus Wiesbaden

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The Kurhaus in Wiesbaden

The Kurhaus in the Hessian state capital Wiesbaden is one of the most magnificent festival structures in Germany . It is the social center of the spa town of Wiesbaden and offers numerous events a representative setting. In addition to a large and a smaller ballroom, it houses the Kurhaus Gastronomie Gerd Käfer and Roland Kuffler GmbH & Co as well as the Wiesbaden casino .


Aerial photo of Wiesbaden (approx. 2008), view to the northwest with the Kurhaus (middle image height, right)

The Kurhaus Wiesbaden forms the center of the Wiesbadener Kureck at the end of Wilhelmstrasse .

In front of the main entrance (west side) is the so-called bowling green , a lawn with two fountains , which was named by the English spa guests at the time , framed by the theater and spa colonnades and previously a row of old plane trees . An underground car park was built under this area between 2004 and 2006. Before that, all plane trees, some of which were no longer stable, were felled. After completion of the construction work, they were replaced by a double row of newly planted plane trees. The southern theater colonnades are part of the Hessian State Theater , in the northern Kurhaus colonnades - with 129 m longest columned hall in Europe - the small game ( slot machine ) of the casino is housed. When viewed from Wilhelmstrasse, the Kurhaus forms the splendid conclusion of the bowling green .

Behind the Kurhaus (east side) the elongated Kurpark begins with the concert shell and the Kurpark-Weiher.


The old Kurhaus
Christian Zais, architect of the Old Kurhaus, around 1815
The Old Kurhaus, around 1900
The interior of the old Kursaal, colored steel engraving by Ernst Grünewald , around 1828
Kurpark behind the Kurhaus, around 1900

Wiesbaden's importance as a spa town looks back on a long history. The Romans were already familiar with Wiesbaden's thermal springs . The name 'Wiesbaden', which originated from Wisibada - the bath in the meadows - also shows that the Wiesbaden springs were well known in the Middle Ages .

When the spa became more and more popular as an entertainment establishment for the upper classes and the nobility at the beginning of the 19th century , the importance of Wiesbaden also grew.

In 1810 the first "Cursaal", the Old Kurhaus , was completed. The neo-classical building had a central portico and side porticos. The “Gesellschaftshaus” was designed and built by the architect Christian Zais . Johann Wolfgang Goethe praised the building during one of his numerous stays.

Wiesbaden gained increasing reputation as a spa town in the 19th century: the number of spa guests rose from 20,000 in 1840 to ten times in 1910. The number of residents rose from 10,000 to 100,000 in 1906 in the same period Title world spa town and soon overtook Baden-Baden as the most important spa town in Germany.

This ultimately required a larger, more modern and more representative spa house. In 1905 the old Kurhaus was torn down to make way for a successor. The architect Friedrich von Thiersch built a new, magnificent building in the style of neoclassicism with Art Nouveau motifs for six million gold marks . When it opened in 1907, Kaiser Wilhelm II , who came to visit every year in May and promoted the building, called it “the most beautiful spa in the world”.

Since then, the two large halls named after the master builders - the larger Friedrich von Thiersch Hall and the smaller Christian Zais Hall - have been used for numerous events.

Since 1949, which is in the former wine hall Great Game of Casino Wiesbaden housed.

In the 1980s, the building was extensively renovated and equipped with modern event technology. This is housed in the basement, which filled up with water in 1999 and caused a 5-week interruption of operations and 2 million Deutschmarks in damage. On July 11, 2014, the cellars were again full in a storm. The house was closed until the beginning of August, the damage will cost many times over because the digital technology had to be replaced.

The entablature above the pillars in the Friedrich-von-Thiersch-Saal bears the following Latin inscription all around:


“Under the government of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the council and the citizens of Wiesbaden rebuilt and decorated the Kurhaus, which was built a hundred years ago so that the sick could be healed, in a better condition and appearance. It is consecrated to the goddess Hygieia in the presence of the emperor in 1907 after the birth of Christ. It was thoroughly restored in 1987. "


Kurhaus Wiesbaden with bowling green

The Kurhaus Wiesbaden consists of two wings of the same size . In the south wing of the large centrally columnar-lined ballroom ( Friedrich von Thiersch room ) with its parquet and first rank housed. The concert and event hall has 1350 seats and measures 40 × 18 × 17 m.

At its head end, closing off the south wing, is the shell hall . The original “southern reading room” was frescoed by Art Nouveau painters Fritz Erler and Alexander von Salzmann and decorated with pebbles and shells as symbols for water and earth. Several smaller lounges , named after Carl Schuricht , Carl von Ibell , Fjodor Dostojewski , Ferdinand Hey'l and Kaiser Wilhelm, offer different space for events. A winter garden closes the south wing from the rear of the spa park.

The north wing houses the smaller ballroom ( Christian-Zai's Hall ), the restaurant Lambertus and the casino ( casino ) in the former wine salon with their Big Game ( roulette , blackjack , poker ).

The foyer is located between the north and south wings in the form of a large hall, surmounted by a 21 m high dome . This room is entered through the main entrance on the west side. On the opposite side is the exit to the Kurhauspark, which only differs from the inside by a different colored, semicircular glass window. The main entrance is formed by an Ionic columned portico, the entablature of which bears the inscription Aquis Mattiacis (Latin: " consecrated to the waters of the Mattiakers " ), which is reminiscent of the Roman name for the hot springs located at the site of today's Wiesbaden. The column portico is the highlight of the 128 m long west facade.

In the dome of the foyer there are three doors to each of the two large halls. To the side of this, in front of the four wall massifs, there are larger-than-life copies of Greek statues of gods, above them round mosaic medallions with colored representations from the Roman world of gods.

Picture galleries


Ball of Wine - Foyer Decoration

The Kurhaus has already seen many important national and international events such as concerts , balls , congresses and party conferences . Every year, the Wine Ball and New Year's Eve party with musical fireworks take place on the bowling green. Various stock corporations based in Wiesbaden also hold their annual general meeting there.

In front of the Kurhaus - on the bowling green - there have also been many open-air concerts . The Kurhaus is used effectively as a backdrop .

The spa park behind the spa house with the concert shell is also used for larger events.


Organ pipes with the ornamental grilles open above the stage

In 1954, an organ from the Steinmeyer company ( Oettingen, Bavaria ) was installed in the Friedrich-von-Thiersch-Saal , which is installed behind the three decorative grilles that are usually closed on the stage front. The new organ replaces the Sauer organ from 1907 that was destroyed in World War II . The organ curator has been the architect Friedhelm Gerecke since 1985. After extensions in 1988 and 2010, the organ now has 51 stops and approx. 3500 pipes. From 1987 to 2004 Hans Uwe Hielscher was the Kurhaus organist. From 2004 to 2010 Thomas J. Frank worked as a Kurhaus organist. The instrument was re-voiced in 2004/2005 and has been playing regularly in evening and lunchtime concerts since then. In 2004 the Förderverein Kurhausorgel e. V. In March 2015 the Kurhaus organ was included in the Red List of Culture of the German Cultural Council and classified in Category 2 (= endangered ). This endangerment was lifted in February 2016.

Pedals C – f 1
1. Principal 16 ′
2. Sub-bass 16 ′
3. Fifth 10 23
4th Octave bass 8th'
5. Dumped 8th'
6th Chorale bass 4 ′
7th flute 4 ′
8th. Peasant pipe 4 ′
9. Large mix VI 2 23
10. trombone 16 ′
11. Trumpet 8th'
12. zinc 4 ′
I Hauptwerk C – g 3
17th Principal 16 ′
18th Principal 8th'
19th Baroque viol 8th'
20th Dumped 8th'
20.a flute 8th'
21st octave 8th'
22nd Night horn 4 ′
23. octave 4 ′
24. Cornet IV (from f 0 ) 4 ′
25th Rauschpfeife II 2 23
26th Mixture IV-VIII 1 13
27. Trumpet 16 ′
28. Trumpet 8th'
29 Trumpet 4 ′
II Positive C-g 3
33. Copula 8th'
34. Quintad 8th'
35. Reed flute 4 ′
36. Principal 2 ′
37. Fifth 1 13
38. Cymbel IV-V 45
39. Rankett 16 ′
40. Krummhorn 8th'
41. Tremulant

Bombardment plant C – g 3
44. Bombard 16 ′
45. Trumpet harm. 8th'
46. Clairon 4 ′
III Swell C – g 3
47. Quintadena 16 ′
48. Principal 8th'
49. Singing dumped 8th'
50. Willow pipe 8th'
51. String floating 8th'
52. Principal 4 ′
53. Gemshorn 4 ′
54. Fifth 2 23
55. Pointed flute 2 ′
56. third 1 35
57. Sif flute 1'
58. Scharff V 1'
59. Vox Humana 8th'
60. shelf 8th'
61. Tremulant
  • Coupling: II / I, III / I, III / II, Bomb / I, Bomb / II, Bomb / III, I / P, II / P, III / P, Bomb / P


  • Manfred Gerber: The Kurhaus Wiesbaden. Kaleidoscope of a century . Monuments publications of the German Foundation for Monument Protection. Bonn 2007. ISBN 978-3-936942-84-2 .
  • Friedhelm Gerecke: The organs in the great hall (Friedrich-von-Thiersch-Saal) of the Kurhaus Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden 1988, see also ARS ORGANI 1/1989.

Web links

Commons : Kurhaus Wiesbaden  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. * Long form: "Imperatore Guilelmo II Aedem ante hos centum annos constitutam ut recrearentur aegrotantes a solo in meliorem statum et aspectum refecerunt exornaveruntque ordo et cives Mattiaci Hygieiae consecrata est ipso praesente Imperatore anno post Christum restum MCMVuta II anno post Christum natum MCMVuta II."
    • The last sentence was added to the original from 1907.
    • Source: Manfred Gerber: The Kurhaus Wiesbaden. Kaleidoscope of a century . Monuments publications of the German Foundation for Monument Protection. Bonn, 2007. p. 140
  2. Bernd Fäthke, Decorative and Conservative, The frescos in the shell hall of the Wiesbaden Kurhaus by Fritz Erler, in: Wiesbaden International, 4/1975, p. 22 ff.
  3. Martin Hildebrand, Who was Alexander von Salzmann, A biography with riddles - trace also leads to Wiesbaden, Wiesbadener Leben, 10/1992, p. 14 ff.
  4. Politics & Culture No. 2 March / April 2015, Page 13 Cultural Life : The Red List ( Memento of the original from June 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 15, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kulturrat.de
  5. To the disposition
  6. Red List Culture. German Cultural Council, accessed on September 2, 2017 .

Coordinates: 50 ° 5 ′ 5 ″  N , 8 ° 14 ′ 51 ″  E