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Why Bad Ems?

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Villenviertel mit Russischer KircheThe spa resorts chosen for the nomination are particularly good examples for the great fashionable spas of the 19th century. They all have got a history as a spa resort of international importance, as “Salon de l´Europe”, and still today their townscapes make that history come alive. Their entire conception makes them particularly good examples of highly fashionable spa resorts. In Bad Ems for example this becomes obvious if you stand on one of the bridges or the historic viewpoints of the Bäderlei. You can see the undestroyed ensemble of the historic spa quarter with its stately spa architecture along the banks of the river Lahn. This is adjoined by the conservation area with the historic former hotel buildings in the Römerstraße and the lower Lahnstraße. The elegant residential area, which is typical for spa resorts, stretches on the opposite side of the river, with churches in it, which owe their building solely to the health spa business. The station, Malbergbahn (inclined plane railway) and the  historic drinking fountains (Laufbrunnen) in the Römerstraße show in which way health resorts very early developed an infrastructure which you could usually only find in bigger towns and which made them forerunners of tourism. The whole townscape and its embedding in the scenic landscape appears today just as it was in 1914.

Besides these outstanding features each resort must have specific merits, with which it can make a contribution to the “extraordinarily universal value” of the whole series. Professor Dominique Jarrassé has brought out four attributes in his expert report on the importance of Bad Ems for the serial application “Great Spas of Europe”:

Promenade after Dinner um 1850

  1. The medical tradition by which Bad Ems has already acted as a venue since the 16th century.
  2. Quality and beauty of the landscape and the integration of the buildings in the perspectives of the surrounding area.
  3. The urban and architectural unity of the spa quarter, in which buildings from different epochs are integrated.
  4. The “Salon de l´Europe” with its social, diplomatic and cultural first-tier life.