WIESBADEN, capital of the former duchy of Nassau and now the chief town of a district in the province of Hesse-Nassau in Prussia, disputes with Baden-Baden the title to be considered the most frequented and most fashionable watering-place in Germany. It is situated in a small and fertile valley on the south-west slopes of
Mount Taunus, 5 miles to the north of Mainz and 3 miles from the Rhine (see the subjoined plan). The town is neat and well-built, with broad and regular streets. Its prosperity is entirely owing to its hot springs ; and the general character and appearance of the place, with its numerous hotels, lodging-houses, villas, bath-houses, promenades, and places of entertainment, are dictated by the
requiremeiits of the visitors, who number annually about 60,000. The principal buildings are the palace, built in 1837-42 and restored in 1882 ; the Cursaal, a large and handsomely fitted up establishment, built in 1810, and adjoined by a beautiful and shady park ; the Protestant church, built of polished bricks in 1852-60, with five tall towers, in the Gothic style ; the Roman Catholic church ; the new
synagogue in the Moorish style ; the museum, with a picture gallery,. a collection of antiquities, and a library of 70,000 volumes ; the theatre; the Berg church; and the Russian chapel, erected on the Neroberg in 1855. Wiesbaden contains numerous scientific societies and educational institutions, including a well-known chemical laboratory. The thermal springs contain only per cent. of salt, and
very little carbonic acid ; and a good deal of their efficacy is due to their high temperature, which varies from 156° to 142° Fahr. The water is generally cooled to 93° Fahr. for bathing. The principal spring is the Kochbrunnen (156° Fahr.), the water of which is drunk by sufferers from gout, chronic dyspepsia, obesity, Arc. There are
twenty-eight other springs used for bath.
ing, and efficacious in cases of rheumatism, gout, scrofula, and nervous ailments. The town lies 320 feet above the sea-level. Its climate is mild and warm, so that even in winter it is fre quented by from 5000 to 6000 visiters. The population in 1885 was 55,457 ; in 1816 it was 4608; in 1867,
Wiesbaden is one of the oldest watering- places in Germany, and may be regarded as the capital of the Taunus spas. The springs, mentioned by Pliny as Fontes MattUcei, were known to the Romans, who appear to have fortified the place. tinder the Carolingian monarchs it was the site of a palace. Otho I. made it a town. The name
\Visibada appears in 830. Though the springs never passed out of knowledge, they did not attain their greatest repute until the close of the 18th century. From 1771 till 1873 Wiesbaden was a notorious gambling resort ; but in the latter year public gambling was suppressed by the Prussian Government.
See Gesehichte and historiche Topographic der Stadt Wiesbaden, by F. W. C. Roth, and Sal neobwische Studien 'fiber TViesbaden, ed. by Dr Pfeiffer, both published at Wiesbaden in 1883, and both containing copious bibliographical lists.