Thank you, tourists. You’re the number 1 hot commodity in the Hessian town of Bad Orb, beating out salt production that’s been going on since 650 B.C.
What are all these tourists doing in Bad Orb? So nice of you to ask. Take your pick. You’ve got everything from the medieval to 20th century history, hot springs to historic hotels. Throw in some theater and a museum and you’ve got yourself a rippin’ good time.
Bad Orb’s medieval history comes in the form of a 13th century defense wall called a Stadtmauer. Not all visitors to Bad Orb are (were) happy tourists — the Stadtmauer kept out “up to no good” naughty marauders. The wall’s Military Tower and Upper Gate are all that remain of its entrance gates and lookout towers.
For Bad Orb’s 20th century history, a POW camp Stalag IX-B from World War II once housed over 3,000 soldiers. Within the area is a monument to Russian soldiers who were buried in a mass grave on the site.
There’s got to be more to Bad Orb between the Middle Ages and today, right? Of course!
Many had come in droves for the curative properties of the hot springs. They still do, as a matter of fact, just now it’s at the modern facility Toskana. I’m a sucker for a good spa experience and soaking in brine water (that’s a good way of saying SALTY) with music pumped in underwater is a good start.
It’s hard to pull yourself away from hot springs and all that jazz. But, you’re going to have to do see all the fairytale half timbered houses near the Kurpark or what is known around here as Kleinstes Haus Hessens, the Smallest House in Hesse. It belonged to Helmut (such a fine German name) Jahn and measures 7×32 meters. That’s it. I’m betting clean-up is a snap compared to a huge castle.
Finish up a trip to Bad Orb at the Sudpfanne, a historic hotel from around 1550; catch an art exhibit, concert, or play; and hike over in the Spessart nature park, that’s located nearby. It is a good idea since Bad Orb is found in one of the largest forested areas in the country.
Yikes! I almost forgot about Bad Orb’s Local History Museum (Heimatmuseum) and the Music Celebration that falls on the 2nd weekend of September every year.
I’m guessing that’s another reason that tourists are Bad Orb’s #1 commodity.