You never know where a fine German spa town is going to pop up. This time (luckily for me) it’s the town of Bad Bellingen in the wide-opened Upper Rhine Valley bordering France in the myth-enshrouded Margraves’ Land, attached to the mystic Black Forest area.
Ok, with all that emotionally descriptive geography out of the way it’s time to concentrate on the splendors of Bad Bellingen — starting with the Balinea Thermal Baths. It’s a spa where the water is a balmy 35/40 degrees Celsius (95/104°F), has both an indoor and two outdoor pools, and there’s even a hot-water grotto.
Maybe I shouldn’t have started with the spa, because you can use the spa to relax achy muscles after a day (or two) of sightseeing. What? How else are you going to see the 18th century Church of Saints Peter & Paul (the original dates back to the Middle Ages), or the Kirche St. Leodegar?
For me it’s all about Schloss Bürgeln. I fell in love with its graceful double staircase, not to mention the original castle has been here almost 900 years. Guided tours are available from March to October, and the castle is also the venue for a number of concerts.
Besides old churches and a castle (or two, because Schloss Rheinweiler is nearby), Bad Bellingen is a treat for those who love the outdoors. You’re right on the Römerradweg (Roman Cycle Path), and there are a number of marked hiking trails, and even Segway tours are available.
Plus it seems there’s always some kind of cultural event taking place here (besides those castle concerts), as there are community hikes, a Spring Festival, Spring Market, and both an Autumn and Christmas Market. Ooh, and let’s not forget about the Markgräfler Rotweinnacht (Margraves Red Wine Night) sometime in October, or the wine tasting events between April and October.
No wonder millions of visitors have flocked to Bad Bellingen over the last four decades — and with any luck they’ll have millions more. Some of those flock to the annual Lichterfest (Light Festival) on July’s last Saturday.
Others are eager to attend the Grasbahnrennen in the hamlet of Hertingen, an international cross motorcycle event in August with supporting family-friendly program and parties.
The only things I have yet to mention would be the Bäder- und Heimatmuseum, a museum dedicated to local and spa history; and there’s a nature conservation area, too.
Of course there’s more to see within the area as Bad Bellingen is part of the Verwaltungsgeimschaft Schliengen, but those spa waters keep calling me back. It would be rude not to answer, don’t you think? ;-)