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Seasonal sophistication of Baden-Baden
October 2008 995

The great Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol, once wrote of Baden-Baden, “The town’s setting is wonderful. It’s entirely embedded in a garden”.
And Bill Clinton, former US president, said on a visit there that “Baden-Baden is so nice, that you have to name it twice”, (although in fact the double name is an abbreviation of ‘Baden in Baden’, or ‘Baden in the state of Baden’).
Located in the Oos valley of the south western German State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the famous spa town of Baden-Baden enjoys early spring and a long and sunny fall that contributes to its popularity as a health and vacation destination. Spa treatments take pride of place but there are also opportunities to visit parks (try jogging in the Lichtentaler Allee Park) and gardens, thermal baths, beauty treatments and of course shopping.
Visitors to Baden-Baden enjoy the sophistication and flair of a major city presented within a charming, small town setting. Among its attributes are top rated restaurants, an elegant casino, the Festspielhaus, Europe´s second largest opera and concert house, the Baden-Baden Theatre and the Kurhaus. Downtown the core is a traffic free pedestrian zone sporting belle epoque architecture and charming lanes with various boutiques offering international fashion brands, plus jewellery, toys, antiques and art.
Winter specials are available from November 1 to December 22 and from January 2 to March 31, 2009 from Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus GmbH. Three seasonal packages are available: the festive pre- Christmas Advent Time package; the  Fit through the Winter package, or the  Winter Gourmets package.
In addition to two nights in a single or double room each package features special benefits which are included in the price. As a bonus, travel agents booking any one of the three packages receive a 25 per cent discount on all the events listed in the brochure on the website.
Visitors taking a package can get a reduced admission fee in the new Frieder Burda Museum in the Lichtentaler Allee, famous for its unique architecture.
Christmas Market Baden-Baden takes place from November 24 to December 28 in the town’s famous garden and parkway Lichtentaler Allee. Here the small streets are filled with  aromas of roast chestnuts and gingerbread, about 90 festive stalls and shimmering Christmas lights. A programme of entertainment caters for all ages. The market stretches from the start of the Kurhaus Colonnade and weaves its way  to Baden-Baden’s impressive Kurhaus building.
The Christkindelsmarkt is open from 11 am to 9 pm (on November 24 from 5 pm to 9 pm and on the last day from 10 am to 3 pm.)
On Friday December 12 at 8 pm the Festspielhaus houses a Russian Christmas celebration. Spiritual music and folklore from Russia, in addition to popular international Christmas songs are performed by The Moscow Cathedral Choir, considered one of the best choirs of Eastern Europe, renowned primarily for its deep bass section.
According to the Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus GmbH visitors wishing to experience Russian church choirs in their original ambience must possess considerable stamina – the Russian Orthodox religious holiday services last for many hours, during which time the followers must remain standing. However, this strenuous tradition will be dispensed with in the Festspielhaus. For information e-mail: [email protected]




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