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Bad Soden-Salmünster

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. It has a population of around 13,000.

Bad Soden-Salmünster
Salmünster with Saints Peter and Paul Church
Salmünster with Saints Peter and Paul Church
Coat of arms of Bad Soden-Salmünster
Coat of arms
Location of Bad Soden-Salmünster within Main-Kinzig-Kreis district
NiederdorfeldenSchöneckNidderauMaintalHanauGroßkrotzenburgRodenbachErlenseeBruchköbelHammersbachNeubergRonneburgLangenselboldHasselrothFreigerichtGründauGelnhausenLinsengerichtBiebergemündFlörsbachtalJossgrundBad OrbWächtersbachBrachttalSchlüchternBirsteinSinntalBad Soden-SalmünsterGutsbezirk SpessartSteinau an der StraßeSteinau an der StraßeBad Soden-SalmünsterBad Soden-SalmünsterGutsbezirk SpessartBavariaOffenbach (district)Offenbach am MainFrankfurtFulda (district)VogelsbergkreisGießen (district)WetteraukreisHochtaunuskreisBad Soden-Salmünster in MKK.svg
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Bad Soden-Salmünster is located in Germany
Bad Soden-Salmünster
Bad Soden-Salmünster
Bad Soden-Salmünster is located in Hesse
Bad Soden-Salmünster
Bad Soden-Salmünster
Coordinates: 50°16′N 09°22′E / 50.267°N 9.367°E / 50.267; 9.367Coordinates: 50°16′N 09°22′E / 50.267°N 9.367°E / 50.267; 9.367
Admin. regionDarmstadt
 • MayorDominik Brasch
 • Total58.62 km2 (22.63 sq mi)
157 - 450 m (−1,319 ft)
 • Total13,370
 • Density230/km2 (590/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes06056
Vehicle registrationMKK



The municipality is located on both sides of the Kinzig river in the Main-Kinzig district of Hesse. Its territory extends into the hills of the Vogelsberg to the north and into the Spessart to the south.

The two main population centres, Bad Soden and Salmünster, are both situated in the Kinzig valley.


The Stadt (town) Bad Soden-Salmünster today consists of the following 11 Stadtteile (boroughs): Ahl [de], Alsberg [de], Bad Soden, Hausen, Eckardroth [de], Katholisch-Willenroth, Kerbersdorf [de], Mernes [de], Romsthal [de], Salmünster and Wahlert [de].

Bad Soden and Salmünster are the two Kernstadtteile (core boroughs). The current municipality was created in the Gebietsreform [de] of 1970, 1972 and 1974.[2]

Neighbouring communitiesEdit

From the north, clockwise, the neighbouring municipalities are: Birstein, Steinau an der Straße, Gutsbezirk Spessart (an unincorporated area surrounding the Stadtteil of Alfeld), Bad Orb, Wächtersbach and Brachttal. The Stadtteil Mernes is separated from the rest of the municipal territory by the Gutsbezirk Spessart. It also borders on Forst Aura [de] (another unincorporated wooded area and part of the Main-Spessart district of Bavaria) and Jossgrund.


The Stadtteil Bad Soden from the southeast

Salmünster as a settlement likely dates to the 9th century, but is first mentioned in a document from around 1000, as Salchenmunster. Soden, probably created by Fulda Abbey ca. 909, appears in a document from ca. 1190, referred to as Sodin. Around 152, the abbot of Fulda Abbey had Burg Stolzenberg (see below) erected. Town rights were bestowed in 1296 (Soden, but called Stolzenthal) and 1320 (Salmünster), by King Adolf and Emperor Ludwig, respectively. In 1536, the Huttenschloss (see below) was built.[3]:71

In medieval times, salt works were an important source of local income at Soden. Since the 12th century the water of the local wells, with a high salt and iron content, was used for salt production. The springs and the village were mortgaged by the abbot of Fulda to the lords of Hutten in 1330, who initially lived at Stolzenfels before moving to a new palace in the mid-16th century. When the Hutten family came into financial difficulties, they in turn mortgaged the area to the Archbishop of Mainz. However, the temporal organization of the Archbishopric, the Erzstift, was already running salt works at nearby (Bad) Orb. To avoid internal competition, salt production at Soden was ended in the later 16th century.[3]:70-1

The salt well (Barbarossaquelle) was rediscovered in 1837, and in 1838 Robert Bunsen conducted an analysis of the well's water. In 1872, Soden was granted permission to use the wells for a spa. The first Kurhaus (spa building) was erected in 1889, by which time the region had become a part of the Kingdom of Prussia. Soden has been a Heilbad (spa) and therefore called "Bad Soden" since 1928.[4][3]:70-1

Creation of the current townEdit

The current town was created only on 1 July 1974 when the towns of Salmünster and Bad Soden bei Salmünster merged. During earlier Gebietsreformen, as of 1 December 1970 Wahlert had become a part of Bad Soden. Ahl and Eckardroth followed on 1 April 1972. Alsberg and Hausen were merged with Salmünster on 1 January 1970 followed by Kerbersdorf and Romsthal on 1 December 1970 and Katholisch-Willenroth on 1 July 1972.[5]

Since 1974, the town has been part of the Main-Kinzig district, it was previously part of the Schlüchtern district.[5]


The mayor is Dominik Brasch.

Notable buildingsEdit

The Stadtteil of Alsberg, a hill village (Höhendorf) from the northwest; the Wallfahrtskirche Heilig Kreuz on the right



The town has direct access to the Autobahn 66 from Frankfurt to Fulda. It is linked to the rail network by the Bad Soden-Salmünster station (located in the Stadtteil of Salmünster).


At Ahl, the Kinzig is dammed by the Kinzigtalsperre [de], which serves both to control floods and to generate hydroelectric power.

A view of Salmünster with the wind farms located in the neighbouring Wächtersbach municipality

Like in other communities in the area, such as Biebergemünd, Flörsbachtal, Bad Orb and Jossgrund, there is currently controversy over plans to build additional towering wind farms on the wooded peaks. A number of these have already been built in the neighbouring town of Wächtersbach very close to the municipal boundary. Environmentalists and many locals reject these plans due to the destruction of forests and animal habitats, possible health risks to residents, as well as threats to local property values and, in particular, to the tourism business as a result of a declining attractiveness of the region to visitors. It is also questioned whether local winds are strong and constant enough to allow economical operation of the wind farms.[10]

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand am 31.12.2018". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^ Statistisches Bundesamt (1983). Historisches Gemeindeverzeichnis für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Namens-, Grenz- und Schlüsselnummernänderungen bei Gemeinden, Kreisen und Regierungsbezirken vom 27. 5. 1970 bis 31. 12. 1982. W. Kohlhammer GmbH, Stuttgart und Mainz. pp. 376–7. ISBN 3-17-003263-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Schumacher, Karin; Schumacher, Hans-Jürgen (2003). Zeitreise durch den Spessart (German). Wartberg Verlag. ISBN 3-8313-1075-0.
  4. ^ "Bad Soden bei Salmünster, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in: Historisches Ortslexikon (German)". Hessisches Landesamt für geschichtliche Landeskunde. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Historisches Ortslexikon: Bad Soden-Salmünster(German)". Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Historisches Ortslexikon: Burg Stolzenberg(German)". Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Sehenswürdigkeiten (German)". Gemeinde Bad Soden-Salmünster. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Hausen (German)". Gemeinde Bad Soden-Salmünster. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  9. ^ Seipel, Regine (21 January 2014). "Ungeliebter Schatz(German)". Frankfurter Rundschau. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Pressespiegel (List of various newspaper articles, German)". Bürgerinitiative Windkraft im Spessart e.V. Retrieved 28 August 2015.