There’s an old sarcastic phrase, “it must be the water” as an explanation when encountering things of a less-intelligent nature. This phrase, my friends, will never be uttered in this manner here in the town of Bad Buchau — because, in all sincerity, there seems to be something magical in the water.
As much as we’d like to delude ourselves into thinking we’re more sophisticated than our ancestors, they knew a good thing when they saw it. How else can you explain why our Neolithic and Bronze Age brothers and sisters stuck around?
How do I know? Umm, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Prehistoric Dwellings for starters. And the Federsee Museum is chocked full of artifacts from the time periods.
Beautiful as these prehistoric finds are, it was the Middle Ages that really put Bad Buchau on the map — mostly because of a lady named Adelindis, who founded the Buchau Abbey way back in the late 8th century. While this castle-looking structure ceased to be a religious order after eleven centuries (then belonging to the Thurn & Taxis family), it is still a gorgeous building.
FYI, the Stiftsmuseum is full of art from both the Gothic and Baroque periods; well worth the visit here, too.
And Frau Adelindis is so special around this area that both the water source and the local spa are named after her, as well as the Adelindis Festival that’s held every two years in August. Sadly I missed the one in 2016, but I’ll find time to come back around here in the future.
If you’ve managed to visit Bad Buchau on any other day but the Adelindisfest, don’t fret. There’s still so much more to see and do. You’ll find fourteen (14) marked hiking trails ranging from 3km to a more strenuous 39.8km with “themes” like the Federsesteg and Archaeological Moorland Trail.
Guided nature tours are available so you’re sure to appreciate much of the untouched countryside, if you’re interested. But, if you want something a bit more relaxing then it’d be off to the See-Moor-Therme for some rest & relaxation.
Back in the “Old Days,” folks went to the Badhaus (Bath House) for some rest, relaxation, and a bit of “healing.” This half-timbered building dates back to the year 1459, and it was used right up until the late 18th century.
These days people head to the Adelindis Therme, which not only offers sauna facilities, but also beer and whey spa treatments, massages and facials, thermal water soaks, and just about everything in between. I really like how on the last Friday of the month the spa is open until midnight — a great way to unwind after working hard all month.
It’s also a terrific way to relax after trekking along Bad Buchau’s scenic routes, like the Upper Swabian Baroque Route (Oberschwäbsche Barockstraße) and the Swabian Spa Route (Schwäbische Bäderstraße), too.
And as if that’s not enough to keep you busy, how about a visit to see Bad Buchau’s 15th century Rathaus — the picture perfect Town Hall with its window boxes and gabled roof. Plus, you’re not all that far from what was once the old Jewish section of town.
Bad Buchau once had a thriving Jewish community, dating back to the 1300s. In fact, Albert Einstein’s father was born here — and many of his relatives are buried in the Jewish cemetery. The old synagogue is gone, but a plaque marks where it once stood.
While there’s been many changes to Bad Buchau over the centuries, it’s a wonderful place to rejuvenate, as well as educate.
And there’s no harm in believing there’s something magical about the water — and after what I’ve seen, I truly do.