The “modern” town of Bad Vilbel was founded all the way back in 774, but its origins go back even further than that. In the 1840s, Roman relics were discovered during the railroad construction, including a villa and a spa, an essential part of a Roman bath!
The Romans may have been the first to discover the healing properties and therapy of Bad Vilbel’s mineral waters. But spa town tourism has continued to this day. The relaxation and rejuvenation offered by the healing mineral water treatment is a main draw, making it a perfect stop for the weary traveler.
But what would a German town be without a castle? :-) Bad Vilbel has one of those too, and it’s a “water castle,” (i.e., it used to have a moat). The moat was filled with water until 2006. Unfortunately, it was realized too late that the water was damaging the brick work of the castle and so it was emptied.
Castle Vilbel plays an important part in this town’s annual festival, as a scenic backdrop to the fun activities. Despite its over thousand-year history, the festival has only been going on since 1987. It’s a mix of the traditional and modern with such offerings ranging from Shakespeare’s plays to a musical version of When Harry Met Sally.
A huge open-air theater is another outdoor highlight. With over 900 comfy seats, it may play host to a Jazz Festival or a late-night movie showing. Popcorn and crepes are available for hungry moviegoers.
There’s even more alfresco enjoyment with the Bad Vilbel Market. It is the largest folk festival in the southern part of Wetterau, with over 250,000 guests. One of the highlights include a cattle market and other livestock like chickens, goats, sheep and rabbits. The market takes place every August for eight days.