1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baden (Switzerland)

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BADEN, a town in the Swiss canton of Aargau, on the left bank of the river Limmat, 14 m. by rail N.W. of Zürich. It is now chiefly visited by reason of its hot sulphur springs, which are mentioned by Tacitus (Hist. i. cap. 67) and were very fashionable in the 15th and 16th centuries. They are especially efficacious in cases of gouty and rheumatic affections, and are much frequented by Swiss invalids, foreign visitors being but few in number. They lie a little north of the old town, with which they are now connected by a fine boulevard. Many Roman remains have been found in the gardens of the Kursaal. The town is very picturesque, with its steep and narrow streets, and its one surviving gateway, while it is dominated on the west by the ruined castle of Stein, formerly a stronghold of the Habsburgs, but destroyed in 1415 and again in 1712. In 1415 Baden (with the Aargau) was conquered by the Eight Swiss Confederates, whose bailiff inhabited the other castle, on the right bank of the Limmat, which defends the ancient bridge across that river. As the conquest of the Aargau was the first made by the Confederates, their delegates (or the federal diet) naturally met at Baden, from 1426 to about 1712, to settle matters relating to these subject lands, so that during that period Baden was really the capital of Switzerland. The diet sat in the old town-hall or Rathaus, where was also signed in 1714 the treaty of Baden which put an end to the war between France and the Empire, and thus completed the treaty of Utrecht (1713). Baden was the capital of the canton of Baden, from 1798 to 1803, when the canton of Aargau was created. To the N.W. of the baths a new industrial quarter has sprung up of late years, the largest works being for electric engineering. In 1900 the permanent population of Baden was 6050 (German-speaking, mainly Romanists, with many Jews), but it is greatly swelled in summer by the influx of visitors.

One mile S. of Baden, on the Limmat, is the famous Cistercian monastery of Wettingen (1227-1841—the monks are now at Mehrerau near Bregenz), with splendid old painted glass in the cloisters and magnificent early 17th-century carved stalls in the choir of the church. Six miles W. of Baden is the small town of Brugg (2345 inhabitants) in a fine position on the Aar, and close to the remains of the Roman colony of Vindonissa (Windisch), as well as to the monastery (founded 1310) of Königsfelden, formerly the burial-place of the early Habsburgs (the castle of Habsburg is but a short way off), still retaining much fine painted glass.

See Barth. Fricker, Geschichte der Stadt und Bäder zu Baden (Aarau, 1880). (W. A. B. C.)