A bit of history…
“Where the Kirnitzsch stream joins the majestically flowing River Elbe, where rock faces get even bigger and more fissured, here is where the little town of Bad Schandau nestles along the Elbe valley and the surrounding hills. Right at the heart of Saxon Switzerland.”
Johann Christian Häntzschel from Bad Schandau bought the Kirnitzsch meadows back in 1730 and redirected the little stream called ‘Rote Floessgen’ in order to dry out a marsh land. He noticed the smell and taste of the spring water and called for a local physics expert from Pirna. He discovered the healthy benefits of the spring water, prescribed it immediately to his patients. People have been bathing in the waters here since 1750. They attracted ever greater numbers to the Elbe sandstone mountains, which triggered local salesman Samuel Gottfried Hering to erect a ‘public bath’ in 1799. The water was heated in the kitchen and pumped into the pool via wooden pipes. Back then, Bad Schandau advertised for guests and many answered the call. The development of the paddle steamer flotilla and the extension of the train line from Dresden to Bad Schandau served to increase the numbers flowing into the area.
The public bath was renovated and since 1803 has changed hands several times. From 1920 to 1922, the lobby and pump room were entirely reconstructed and renovated. At the time, painter Prof. Sascha Schneider from Dresden created a monumental painting from glass mosaics, which you can still admire today. In 1922 Bad Schandau also was awarded the title “spa town”. From 1936 the town has also been entitled to call itself “Kneippkurort”. A Saxonian newspaper wrote on Saturday, May 2nd 1936: Die sächsische Elbzeitung schrieb dazu am Sonnabend, den 2.Mai 1936: “The idyllic spot between two river valleys gives our spa town the reassurance through experts that we meet all requirement of the Kneipp movement in Germany.“
During and after the Second World War the public bath house was used for various purposes, amongst them a hospital, reception camp for resettlers or teaching rooms for judges. From 1962 until the fall of the Berlin wall, the bath house belonged to the state health department of the GDR. After reunification, the council of Bad Schandau took it on.
On April 24th, 1993, The Kirnitzschtal Clinic, specialised in Orthopaedics and Internal Medicine, was opened in Bad Schandau and has since helped a lot of people to recuperate from illness and operations.