Baden im 15. Jahrhundert, Historisches Museum Baden, Grafiksammlung Q.02.8213

Poggio Bracciolini in Baden

Baden (Aquae Helveticae) had five large bathing houses (thermae) on the banks of the Limmat in the second century. The surface area was about 800 m2.

There were also several small springs for bathing. Temples for offerings to the gods and houses for bathers were next to the baths. Today, this district is called the Römerquartier.

The Freibad and the St. Verenabad on Kurplatz were Roman baths until 1844. More bathing houses and residential complexes were built under Habsburg rule in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Baden was even the most important bathing resort in Central Europe. The Italian humanist Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459) even described the baths as paradise on earth, an oasis of pleasure (un’oasi di ricreazione in questi bagni deliziosi), where scantily clad men and women bathed together.

He came back from the Council in Constance (1414-1418). He was secretary to the Pope and wrote this in a letter to his friend Niccolò Nicole (1365-1437).

Six hundred and five years later, Bracciolini would write with the same enthusiasm about Baden and the recently opened bathing complex Fortyseven.