The Gateway

The Gateway.

The Entrance

The Entrance.

The Banquet Hall In The Old Castle

The Banquet Hall In The Old Castle.

Ruined Walls

Ruined Walls.

It is, of course, for the interest of the people of Baden to make the place as beautiful and inviting as possible. Accordingly, the authorities leave nothing undone to render it attractive. In addition to its magnificent bathing establishment, and the Casino Park with its frequent concerts, illuminations, and select entertainments, the town itself resembles a lovely garden, in which a long avenue called the Lichten-thal Allee forms a delightful promenade, adorned with fountains, flowers, and shade trees, among which flows the little river Oos, spanned by a multitude of pretty bridges, and bordered by superb hotels and charming villas. An attempt was once made on this promenade to assassinate old Emperor William. One day, when he was walking here, a miserable wretch sprang from behind a tree, aimed a pistol at him and fired. Instead of hitting him, however, the bullet entered one of the adjoining elms. The tree, in consequence, came very near suffering the fate of the famous willow which overhung Napoleon's grave at St. Helena, - that of being carried away piecemeal by relic hunters. Accordingly, the town authorities encased its trunk in a stout coat of canvas, painted black. But even this did not suffice. The tourists' knives cut through the canvas and attacked the tree. Herr Messmer then suggested the idea of covering the two adjoining trees also with canvas. This plan proved perfectly successful, for strangers, being at a loss to know which tree was the historic elm, gave up all hope of relics, and retired in confusion.

A Corridor In The Castle

A Corridor In The Castle.

The Bathing Establishment

The Bathing Establishment.

The Lichtenthal Allee

The Lichtenthal Allee.

One of the charms of Baden-Baden, which has drawn me thither summer after summer, has been the great variety of forest drives and walks in its vicinity. Thus, within a few hundred feet of the Casino Park, you can enter the Black Forest and stroll for miles beneath imposing trees on paths which, for a considerable distance from the town, are carefully swept every day by old women.

Waterfall In The Black Fokest

Waterfall In The Black Fokest.

It is necessary to see a German forest to comprehend its beauty. Before I went to Germany I had little idea of what a well-kept forest was; but after spending a few delightful days in the Thuringian and Black Forests, the many German songs and poems which describe them were readily understood and heartily appreciated.

The Black Forest, for example, on the edge of which Baden-Baden is situated, is ninety miles in length and twenty-five in breadth, and tourists can drive through it on finely graded, macadamized roads, amid thousands of majestic trees, which foresters keep free from underbrush and useless limbs; while, here and there, a ruined monastery or romantic castle cuts its profile sharply on the sombre background. Moreover, trailing in and out, like silver threads among the stately pines, are little streams which fill the air with freshness and the cadence of a song. What wonder, then, that no part of Europe is richer in poetic legends than the Schwarzwald ? Books have been written merely to describe them; a hundred castle walls preserve them still in fresco, or in tapestry; and the quaint dwarfs and giants, princesses and fairies, of whom we read with bated breath in childhood, were all of German origin, and usually played their parts for good or ill within the limits of this forest.

It is not long ago that the good, simple-minded people of this region firmly believed that these dark-hued pines were once inhabited by golden-haired sirens, so fair and white that they seemed born of the water-lilies, and that, when the moonbeams turned by their caress the surface of the rivers to a silver pavement, those fair nymphs danced thereon the whole night long, until the first pale streak of day came glimmering in the east, when they would vanish like a dream. Absurd, of course, these legends seem to-day; yet who will deny that, in a poetic sense at least, the world is poorer by their loss ?