The public baths „Inselbad bei Paderborn“ (1842 -1856)

Trade & Transport & Services

Badehaus, Ansichtskarte um 1903 (StA Paderborn, M 1 Ansichtskartensam mlung,
Klassifikationsgruppe 5, Inselbad)

On 13 May 1842, just in time for the start of the warm season, Franz Anton Evers opened the baths for the people of Paderborn. During the season from May to September, 2000 to 3000 baths were administered exclusively to men.

Even though Evers had recognised the healing power of the springs early on and used the open spa for the treatment of lung diseases, he lacked the necessary capital to set up a proper, i.e. regionally competitive spa business. This is the only explanation for his informative advertisement for sale of 15 December 1847, which described the advantages of the property.[1] According to this advertisement, the „Benediktiner Bade Insel“ (Benedictine Bathing Island) had a mineral well, a bathing establishment, several commercial buildings, a covered bowling alley and other commercial and livestock inventory. The entire property comprised about 7 acres[2], including 4 acres[3] of garden soil of the most exquisite quality with about 400 fruit trees as well as 2 acres[4] of meadows. The garden vegetables could be profitably sold at the easily accessible Paderborn weekly market. Several fish ponds surrounded the whole ensemble. Their water levels could be regulated and were ideally suited for leech farming, which was of medical importance at the time.

There are no documents about a successful sale. In general, the economic situation for the operator must have become considerably worse when a fire destroyed the bathhouse on 6 October 1849. Obviously, Evers had the building quickly rebuilt and in 1851 also had a swimming pool excavated, which at 24×10 m was quite a considerable size. Paderborn now had the first outdoor swimming pool in its history. The financing of 2,500 Taler was provided by a society of Paderborn notables.

[1] „Gemeinnütziges Wochenblatt für Kreis und Stadt Paderborn“ of 15 December 1847.

[2] Approx. 1,75 ha.

[3] Approx. 1 ha.

[4] Approx 0,5 ha.

Learn more about history of the "Ottilienquelle"

Download essay

This is an excerpt from an essay by the historian Jana Völkel and the historian Prof. Dr. Peter Fäßler. The original title of the essay is: „Die Ottilienquelle, das Inselbad und die 'Curanstalt Inselbad bei Paderborn'. Eine Dokumentation“. Should you have further interest in the economic history of the Pader, we recommend downloading the complete essay (PDF file).

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