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Bad Kissingen viewed from Bodenlaube ruins
|• Lord Mayor||Kay Blankenburg (SPD)|
|• Total||69.42 km2 (26.80 sq mi)|
|• Density||310/km2 (810/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Bad Kissingen is a spa town in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia and seat 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.
The town 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 name in 1279. The town established itself as a spa in the 1500s and recorded its first official spa guest in 1520.
Kissingen grew to be a fashionable 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.
Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck visited Kissingen's spas many times, and in 1874 narrowly avoided assassination by Eduard Franz Ludwig Kullmann there. Bismarck’s former home in Kissingen is now the Bismarck Museum. Other well-known visitors to the resort included author Leo Tolstoy and artist Adolph von Menzel.
The resort's clientele changed in the 20th century, with ordinary people increasingly replacing nobility as guests. The spa suffered a one-year interruption in 1945, the only closure in its history.
Shortly prior to World War II Manteuffel Kaserne (Manteuffel barracks) was established at the eastern edge of the Bad Kissingen town center by the German military as part of Hitler's program to expand the German Wehrmacht. In 1945, the American military entered the town peacefully, and took over the Kaserne, which was renamed Daley Barracks in 1953.
After the war, the Department of Social Security built clinics in the town. A change in health legislation in the 1990s reduced the opportunities for German health insurance contracts to fund spa visits, which led to job losses. As a result, efforts were made to attract a new kind of clientele, helped in no small part by the EMNID survey which named Bad Kissingen Germany’s best-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 gained a spa leisure centre, and in December 2004, the German-Chinese Football Academy was opened in the town, where the Chinese "08 Star Team" lived and trained in preparation for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
In addition to the main town of Bad Kissingen, its districts include (with population numbers given in brackets, as of 1 January 2011):
- Albertshausen (624)
- Arnshausen (1,244)
- Bad Kissingen (11,003)
- Garitz (4,557)
- Hausen (1,704)
- Kleinbrach (375)
- Poppenroth (876)
- Reiterswiesen (2,103)
- Winkels (1,378)
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The Council of Bad Kissingen (2008–2014) consists of:
- The mayor Kay Blankenburg (SPD)
- 11 members of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU),
- 9 members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD),
- 4 members of the DBK,
- 3 members of the Freie Wähler party,
- 2 members of the BfU/Alliance '90/The Greens
- 1 member of the Free Democrats (FDP).
- In addition there is one representative for Albertshausen, one for Kleinbrach and one for Arnshausen who have no right to vote in the council.
- Eisenstadt (Austria), around 700 km away
- Massa (Italy), around 900 km away
- Vernon (France), around 800 km away
Arts and culture
- Bismarck museum in the upper saltworks
- Permanent exhibition: Jewish life in the former Jewish school
- Cardinal Döpfner museum in Hausen
The classical music festival 'Kissinger Sommer' with participation by internationally recognised orchestras and soloists is a highlight of the cultural calendar. A similar event called the ‘Kissinger Winterzauber’ takes place each winter. Other annual events include the ‘Rakoczy Fest’ on the last weekend of July, which is held to honour all historical figures whose lives were connected with Bad Kissingen. The high point is a procession on the Sunday afternoon. Historical figures are represented by citizens of the town for the entire weekend, and take part in town life.
The national German brass band contest has been hosted in Bad Kissingen in 2014 and 2016.
Other regular events
- Bad Kissingen Theatre Days (August)
- Kissinger Piano Olympics (September)
The old town hall is 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. Littmann also designed the Art Nouveau spa theatre, completed in 1905. The train station building, with its Renaissance revival façade, was built in 1874 under the supervision of Friedrich Bürklein. The ruins of castle Bodenlaube from 1180 overlooks the town from above Reiterswiesen. The KissSalis Therme was opened in 2004. It is one of the largest wellness baths in Europe, and the largest building project in the town since World War II. Another point of interest is the casino in the spa park.
Other architectural sites in Bad Kissingen include:
- Bismarck Monument (Bad Kissingen)
- Bismarck Tower (Bad Kissingen)
- Ludwig Tower (Bad Kissingen)
- Wittelsbacher Tower (Bad Kissingen)
Bad Kissingen boasts a large number of sports clubs and types of sports:
- 1. FC 06 Bad Kissingen
- TSV Reiterswiesen
- TV “Vater Jahn” Bad Kissingen-Winkels
- Post SV Bad Kissingen
- TSV gg Kissingen-Hausen
- SV Bad Kissingen-Garitz
- SV Bad Kissingen-Arnshausen
- FC Viktoria Bad Kissingen-Poppenroth
- TC Rot Weiss Bad Kissingen
- TSV Bad Kissingen
- Ice hockey
- Shooting club “Edelweiss” Reitersweisen (Bavarian league air pistol 2005/2006)
World Cup 2006
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 event, a street was renamed from Grabengasse to Avenida Amazonas. Sports facilities and infrastructure were also upgraded for the team.
- "Anton-Kliegel-Mittelschule" elementary and secondary school
- State secondary school, Bad Kissingen
- "Jack-Steinberger-Gymnasium" grammar school, named after Jack Steinberger (a German-American physicist and Nobel Prize Winner)
- Berufschule Bad Kissingen, vocational school
- Franz-von-Prümmer-Schule, special school
- Trong Hieu, (born 4 July 1992), Vietnam Idol winner 2015
- Jeff Baker (born 29 June 1981), MLB Infielder on the Miami Marlins
- Claus-Frenz Claussen (born 28 May 1939), otolaryngologist
- Julius Döpfner (1913–1976), cardinal and archbishop of München and Freising
- Cyrill Kistler (1848–1907), composer, music educator and music publisher
- Anton Kliegl (1872–1927), inventor of the Klieg light
- Oskar Panizza (1853–1921), physician and writer
- Hanna Ralph (1888–1978), stage and film actress
- Jack Steinberger (born 25 May 1921), physicist and Nobel Prize winner
- Henry Kissinger's great great grandfather, Meyer Löb, derived his name from Bad Kissingen in 1817.
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). June 2016.
- Edward Austin Sheldon (1875). "Battle of Kissingen". The first[-fifth] reader. Scribner, Armstrong & company.
- Arnold, Michael. "Zero to Hero". Oi Vietnam. Metro Advertising.
- "Die Kissingers in Bad Kissingen" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. 2 June 2005. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
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