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[ source: Wikipedia]
With a population of about 18,000, Bad Aibling (Bad Aibling vacation rentals | Bad Aibling travel guide) is a spa town and health resort about 35 miles southeast of Munich (Munich vacation rentals | Munich travel guide). The town and surrounding area were originally settled by Celtic tribes between 500 and 15 BC. After the Roman period, the Bavarii tribes settled in Bad Aibling in the 5th century. The first written reference to the town dates from 804. During the Middle Ages, Bad Aibling was an administrative center for the Counts of Falkenstein (Falkenstein vacation rentals | Falkenstein travel guide) and was later taken over by the Wittelsbach family.
In 1845, the first local spa treatments were provided by Dr. Desiderius Beck using peat pulp. As the town's popularity grew because of its spa treatments, the designation "Bad" was added to the town's name in 1895. Today, Bad Aibling has several large spa hotels and rehabilitation hospitals. In 2007, a traditional Thermae (resort using mineral water) was opened in the town. Besides the health and spa treatments in Bad Aibling, one can also participate in the cultural experiences offered there, including a guitar festival, a documentary film festival, various theaters, and a local history museum.
After World War II, Bad Aibling was not only a resort town but a major center for secret services and intelligence organizations. In 1936, a military airfield was constructed at Bad Aibling by the Nazi authorities. It was seized by U.S. troops at the end of World War II, and was initially used as a detention camp for prisoners of war and displaced persons. Supposedly Guenther Grass and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) met here as prisoners. In 1952, the U.S. Army took over the airfield, and converted it into the Bad Aibling Station (BAS), a monitoring station for American intelligence operations. BAS was transferred to the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense in 1971. During this period, BAS was involved in tracking various communication channels, such as wireless technologies, satellite communication, telephony, and internet traffic. The restructuring of the American intelligence community in the aftermath of the events on September 11, 2001, resulted in the closing of the station in 2004.
[ 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).
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