Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History, Entertainment
[ source: Wikipedia]
Bad Orb (Bad Orb vacation rentals | Bad Orb travel guide) is a spa town in the state of Hesse, located near the Nature Park Spessart, one of the biggest forested areas in Germany. The first written reference to this charming town dates back to 1059. In 1244, the town received its municipal rights. At this time, Bad Orb also received the right to mint its own coin, called the Orber, which amounted to a half-penny. As the years passed, the major industry to emerge in this area was salt. The peak of the salt mining years came in the 17th and 18th centuries. As the selling of crystallized salt fell off, the products of saline and brine began to be used for medicinal purposes, which is how Bad Orb became associated with the health industry and its booming growth in the 1800s. A children's medical facility was opened here in 1884, and in 1909, the town became a nationally certified spa town.
Besides being a spa and medical destination, Bad Orb became the location of a notorious prisoner-of-war (POW) camp during World War II. According to eyewitness reports, Stalag IX-B may have been one of the worst POW camps in Germany to hold American prisoners. The Russians were treated particularly badly here, and those that died in the camp were buried in mass graves that can be visited today. The situation at the Bad Orb camp was bad enough that the U.S. Army planned a separate mission to liberate the camp, which was accomplished on April 2, 1945. The camp held 3,000-4,500 American soldiers and an undetermined number of Russian, Italian, French, and Yugoslavian prisoners. Most of the Americans were captured during the Battle of the Bulge. With their arrival in December 1944, Stalag IX-B became severely overcrowded. In January 1945, during the daily prisoner line-up, the camp's commandant ordered all Jewish prisoners to step forward. No one did so immediately, but after being kept standing for several hours, 130 men stepped out of the line. The commandant had been ordered to provide 350 prisoners for transfer to the Berga (Berga vacation rentals | Berga travel guide) labor camp, so to supplement this number he picked out other American prisoners who were troublemakers or who "looked" Jewish. This lot of 350 American prisoners was then sent to Berga, a camp located in Thuringia near Gera (Gera vacation rentals | Gera travel guide). This was a slave labor camp, and the use of POWs here was a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Along with inmates from Buchenwald concentration camp, the POWs were forced to dig tunnels 150 feet underground for an ammunition plant. The inhumane conditions, the cold, and malnutrition resulted in the deaths of 47 POWs, an event that was never acknowledged by the U.S. military authorities. On April 4, 1945, Berga was evacuated, and the prisoners were forced on a 2 1/2 week march to evade the advancing U.S. Army. During this march, another 36 POWs died. Despite this dark period in Bad Orb's history, the town is definitely worth a visit.
Cultural events, such as musical performances, exhibits, and wine festivals, supplement the health and fitness aspects to the town's offerings.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
Find and book quality Germany Vacation Rentals and Holiday Apartments ...
By State: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Baden-Wurttemberg, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bavaria, Berlin (region), Bern (Canton), Brandenburg, Bremen (region), Burgenland (Austria), Canton of Jura, Canton of Uri, Carinthia (Austria), Fribourg (Canton), Geneva (Canton), Glarus, Graubünden, Hamburg (region), Hesse, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Lucerne (Canton), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Obwalden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Salzburger Land (Austria), Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schaffhausen (Canton), Schleswig-Holstein, Schwyz (Canton), Solothurn, St. Gallen (Canton), Styria (Austria), Thurgau, Thuringia, Ticino, Tyrol (Austria), Upper Austria, Valais, Vaud, Vienna (Austria), Voralberg (Austria), Zug (Canton), Zürich (Canton), [ + ] more ...
Location, Map, and Driving Directions
[ view larger map ]
More Germany Travel Related Articles
- Trail along the Regnitz River Trail in Bamberg
- The Aalto in Essen – Enjoy Inspiring Performances in Stunning Surroundings
- Visiting Linderhof
- Hamburg Travel Guide
- Helpful hints for visiting and surviving Oktoberfest
- British Couple Win German National Eco-Tourism Award
- Myths And Nature Pads
- Lindau Lighthouse
- Trip Ideas for Herrsching in the Starnberger Fünfseenland
- Frankfurt's Top Ten Attractions
Nearby Destinations Where You Can Find Nice Germany Vacation Rentals
Büdingen is a town on the eastern edge of the Wetterau region, in the state of Hesse. It is known for its largely intact medieval stronghold and its beautiful preserved timber-framed houses. The town of Büdingen and its originally moated castle are… [ + ] More Details
Related: Büdingen Vacation Rentals
Gelnhausen is a town and the capital of the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is located approx. 40 kilometers east of Frankfurt am Main, between the Vogelsberg mountains and the Spessart range at the river Kinzig. According to the Institut Géographique… [ + ] More Details
Related: Gelnhausen Vacation Rentals
Bad Orb is a spa town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated 32km east of Hanau, and about 60km east of Frankfurt am Main. Bad Orb is between forested lush green hills in the Nature Park Spessart, one of the largest forested areas… [ + ] More Details
Related: Bad Orb Vacation Rentals
Bad Soden-Salmünster is a town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated on the river Kinzig, between Fulda and Hanau. [ + ] More Details
Schlüchtern is a town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is located on the river Kinzig at the southwest of a hill called Landrücken, approx. 30 km southwest of Fulda. [ + ] More Details
Related: Schlüchtern Vacation Rentals
Feedback, comments, questions?
If you have visited here please share your experiences with our readers on Facebook. Or, if you have other cool trip suggestions and would like to contribute a travel guide here, please drop me an email. We also are encouraging free-lancers, travel guide writers or publishers who have great Germany related content to send us an email and get in touch with us.
Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!
We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.
Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!
Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details
Add the "Best of Live Like a German" to your web site or blog!
Get the Best of Live Like a German badge, which shows the latest Germany travel tips, popular vacation packages, special trip plans, and a selection of travel guides. It can be integrated easily into your web site or blog.
[ + ] More Details