Supplementary Appendix: Bocklet


See also the gallery on Bocklet and the supplementary appendix on Auguste and the cemetery in Bocklet.

Bocklet (from 1937 “Bad Bocklet”) is situated in the Rhön Mountains, a group of low mountains in central Germany, located around the border area where the states of Hesse, Bavaria and Thuringia come together; Bocklet itself is located in a bend in the Saale River in Franconia about 10 km north of Bad Kissingen; it had long been (and still is) a popular spa with several healing springs, its treatments consisting of drinking the mineral waters and bathing in the springs.

Caroline, Schelling, and Auguste journeyed first to Bamberg (ca. 125 km south-southwest of Jena), where Schelling was to give private lectures on the philosophy of nature and wanted to study the Brunonian method (see also Thomas Beddoes’s explanation “Of the Brunonian Doctrine”), and where Caroline wanted to consult the (Brunonian) physician Andreas Röschlaub.

In Bamberg as well, the three would wait for spa accommodations in Bocklet to be finished. Otherwise — here in a broader view — Bocklet is located just over 70 km northwest of Bamberg, ca. 32 km north-northwest of Schweinfurt, 7 km west of Münnerstadt (the nearest postal station), and ca. 50 km north-northeast of Würzburg (Karte des deutschen Reichs, ed. C. Vogel [Gotha 1907], no. 18):


For a mid-nineteenth-century introduction to Bocklet for travelers and tourists, See S. Hänle and Dr. von Spruner, Guide of the Bathing Places of Franconia: Kissingen, Bocklet, Brückenau and their Enviorns, trans. S. Louis (Würzburg, London 1845), 58–65:

We travel for another quarter of an hour [from neighboring Aschach], pass over the Saale [River] across another massive stone bridge, and then we reach Bocklet. After having scarcely ascended the eminence of Aschach, the eye perceives the sweet bath standing in quiet silence, in the middle of the luxuriant valley, surrounded by lofty avenues, and girded by romantic grove-covered hills. The inconsiderable village, as in awful timidity, lies hidden behind its celebrated neighbour, and only the spire of its church dares to appear to render thanks, as it were, to heaven for having bestowed on the petty village the blessings of its springs. —

Little is known of its history. It is first mentioned in the 13th century as being in the possession of the Hennebergs and belonging to Aschach, the fate of which it afterwards shared. The excellent spring with which Nature has favoured it, was discovered by accident, in 1720. George Schöppner, the clergyman of Aschach, one day, when taking a walk and carefully pursuing the trace of some game, observed the spring which formed a yellowish marsh covered with a sort of variegated film. Its vicinity to Kissingen suggested to him the idea that a similar spring might exist here, and his supposition was strengthened by the singular taste and colour of the water, which he, by his knowledge of natural objects, could well appreciate.

Schoppner being himself of a sickly constitution, took care to have the spring enclosed, though insufficiently, and was the first who made use of the water which had the most beneficial effect. His example being soon followed by many persons in the neighbourhood, the rising reputation of the recently discovered medicinal spring soon reached the ears of the Prince-Bishop Christoph von Hutten, who, five years after its discovery, caused it to be examined by his physician Behringer and then properly enclosed.

It is remarkable, that on this occasion they found that there had been an enclosure before, of which the remnants were some poles surrounding the spring at a depth of several feet. Some ancient weapons also were found near the spot. The former led to the supposition that this spring, as well as those of Kissingeu, had been used in olden times.

As early as 1754, a bathing-house was erected there under Philipp Charles von Greifenklau, who gave the spring a new enclosure. Under Adam Frederic von Seinsheim the spring was again enclosed, the bathinghouse enlarged, not being sufficiently spacious for receiving the increasing number of bathers, and besides, two new buildings were erected — the “Färstenbau” and the “alte Bau,” which are still in existence.

At length, Franz Ludwig, whose penetrating eye never overlooked whatever could contribute to the welfare of his country, ordered a pit of 20 feet in circumference to be dug, in order to obtain firm ground for the spring, and after reaching a depth of 27 feet, they found its source on solid gravel.

It was now seen that there were three chief springs, which broke forth very near to each other. They were examined by Dr. Pickel, and were each separately enclosed. Whilst the workmen were occupied, they were surprised and terrified by the explosion of a gas-spring, to which they then gave a separate enclosure, as well as to the sulphuric spring at the south of it. But these separate enclosures soon produced an injurious influence; another attempt was afterwards mode, but failed also, and therefore, in 1835, they reunited the three chief springs and the gas-spring.

This new work by which the whole force of the spring-s is reestablished and made very effective, was executed by Mr. Schierlinger, now Superintendent, and then member of the Committee for buildings, and Mr. Donle, the Engineer to the district.

This chalybeate spring, which has an exciting, tonic, solvent, and alterative effect, is very advantageously employed in those diseases which arise from relaxation and weakness, whether the whole system be affected or only certain organs, whether the disease be innate or contracted in after time, or caused by suppressed eruptions of the skin. The chalybeate water is used internally, and, since 1825, it has been also exported. Prof. Osann ranges Bocklet between Pyrmont and Franzensbrunn, with respect both to the ingredients and effect of the water.

The sulphuric spring, very near the chief spring, is, on account of its small produce, only used for drinking; it operates, however, very beneficially on some maladies. There are arrangements for douche-baths, rain-, shower-, gas-, chalybeate, and liziviate baths.

Let us now take a view of the promenades of the hath. They extend from the springs to the village, and are formed by two rows of buildings, separating the Kurplatz from the Kurgarten. The former, the most southern point, surrounds one part of the buildings and the “Brunnentempel.” It is separated by a pretty enclosure from the Kurgarten, which is lined with avenues of majestic elms. It derives a lofty appearance and a particular charm from the tow’ring poplars, which are seen from a distance surrounding the whole of the fragrant green, and affording a cool retreat in the sombre shade. If we term Kissingen the palace of this region, we may, with propriety, call Bocklet its castle of pleasure.

The western of the three Kurbuildings is the “Fürstenbau,” erected 1766 by Adam Frederic. It is adjacent to the old building, and was used as a residence of the Prince-Bishops or other visitors of high rank. The middle building is the dining-saloon, to the east side of which the “neue Bau” is joined. The two latter owe their existence to George Charles von Fechenbach, the last Prince-Bishop of Würzburg.

The other buildings lower down, comprising the “Bade” and “Saal-Bau”, and between them the “Brunnentempel,” are works of Franz Ludwig and far superior to the rest. They are built in a very pleasing style, and the Brunnentempel being supported by two rows of Tuscan columns, which allow the eye to wander freely on the blooming valley beyond, a particularly sweet impression is produced.

The neighbouring-villages are places for excursions, some of which we have described, but intend to name others as we proceed in our journey, and amongst them particularly the “Guttenbergshäuschen,” the “Stellberg” with its pavilion, the “Kissinger Berg,” the “Haubenholz” etc.

The road conducts us now over the “Bockleter Leite”, as the eminence of the Heiligenberg is called, which rises immediately beyond Bocklet, and affords the most beautiful view over the whole tract. The whole valley with its meadows, woods and cornfields, villages, and hamlets, is displayed to our view, and in the background of the picturesque landscape, the summits of the Rhoen-mountains — the “Todtemans-Berg,” the “schwarzen Berge,” and the “Kreuzberg” are perceptible.


The following guide provides a bit more information about the springs themselves, the afflictions they address, the layout of the spa, and the daily routine of spa guests (Augustus Bozzi Granville, The Spas of Germany, vol. 2 [London 1837], 316–26):

There are four mineral springs at Bocklet. The Ludwigsquelle, the Fredericksquelle, the Karlsquelle, and the Schwefelquelle. They all rise very close together, out of the compact limestone subimposed to the sandstone, and are probably branches of one and the same source; although in their chemical composition they differ not a little. They are all enclosed in round shafts of considerable depth, and a square terrace is raised around them, covered over with a large square pavilion, which is terminated by a handsome cupola, supported by two ranges of columns. Two flights of steps on each side lead from the terrace down to the springs. On the front of the building is inscribed, in golden letters, “Erected in 1787 for the benefit of suffering humanity.”

[Here the Stahlquelle (“steel spring”) and staircase arrangement in Bocklet depicted on a postcard ca. 1910; the three springs Granville mentions above were originally separate, and only after 1835–36 were they united in this Stahlquelle; that is, this arrangement is not exactly the one Caroline would have encountered. That said, this Stahlquelle was recommended for, among other things, treating the symptoms of chronic nervous diseases such as general nervous weakness, habitual cramps, hysteria, and lameness by “stimulating and strengthening” the user (Eduard Röber, Die Heilquellen Deutschlands für Aerzte und gebildete Nichtärzte (Grimma n.d. [1845]), 83–84; Caroline seems to have suffered several of these ailments during her illness.]


The principal Quelle, occupies the centre of this pavilion. The water in it is 28 feet deep, and the diameter of the shaft is three feet. From recent analysis, not yet published, made by Kastner, the professor of chemistry in the University of Erlangen, it appears that not less than 39 cubic inches of free carbonic acid gas are found in a pint of the water. This quantity of gas imparts a sort of perpetual motion to the surface of the water in the shaft, over which a vase has been placed to receive it.

I found on plunging my thermometer into the water that the temperature marked was 52°. The water received in a glass is clear and sparkling; and the same remark applies to all the springs. The taste of the Ludwigsquelle is pungent, sub-acid, and inky. That of the Fredericksquelle is less so. The Karlsquelle is much more agreeable to the palate; the iron being but little perceptible, and the taste of carbonic acid prevailing. These three springs flow together into a square basin or reservoir, in the Brunnentempel, whence the water is conveyed by a leaden pipe to the bath-house.

The fourth spring, or Schwefelquelle, is distinguished from the rest by a remarkable sulphurous smell, from which circumstance it has received its name. In its composition it is much more simple than the rest; containing only five grains of solid ingredients in the pint, instead of nearly 46 grains, which the others hold in solution.

The temperature of all the springs is the same, and it never varies under any circumstances. Yet the weather has an extraordinary influence over the springs. If there has been a thunderstorm, or one be threatening, the springs throw out an unusual quantity of carbonic gas, and often with such force that the water will rise from one to two feet higher in the shafts in consequence. The afflux of water, also, is liable to atmospheric influence; for when the mercury in the barometer is low, the quantity of water which springs up is greater, and its motion more violent.

This fact places the springs of Bocklet in the class of those called “Sources barometriques.” But to speak openly, these springs partake somewhat of the singular physical property of the saline springs near Kissingen; for they ebb and flow very sensibly; a phenomenon which seems to be co-ordinate with the phases of the moon.

These facts I give on the authority of Dr. Maas, of Dr. Haus, who has written an able treatise on the mineral waters of Bocklet, and of Signor Bolzano. My own testimony may be added, as far as the action of the gas is concerned, and the oscillatory motion in the water, particularly in that of the Fredericksquelle.

An idea may be formed of the violence with which carbonic acid will force its way out of these springs, from this circumstance — that on enclosing one of them, the free escape of that gas having been accidentally prevented, a tremendous explosion took place, which hurled into the air the brickwork impeding the escape; and in the place where the shaft had been built, a conical cavity was seen, out of which the carbonic gas rushed with such vehemence, that the water was tossed about in waves, and seemed as if it were boiling.

The mineral waters of Bocklet (the 4th spring always excepted) are specifically chalybeates, but they are said to be distinct from most of the other chalybeates or steel waters, for two reasons: — first, because they contain, at the same time, such a proportion of the salts of soda as serve to diminish the heating power of the iron and carbonic acid; in which particular they resemble the water of the Franzensquelle at Egra. Secondly, because the iron is combined in a remarkable manner, and acts differently in consequence, from what it does in other steel waters.

For these two reasons, the Bocklet waters may be used safely in many cases of disease and constitutional peculiarity, in which ordinary chalybeates cannot be employed. Dr. Maas assured me that these waters are more tractable than any other steel water he is acquainted with, and may be used with advantage even where there are symptoms of pectoral disease; in which case, however, he holds that Bruckenau is much superior.

The faculty seem to agree in this, that after a course of the depurative Kissingen, a course of the Bocklet waters, or of Bruckenau, will fortify the system, and complete the cure; just as the doctors of Ems or Wiesbaden are in the habit of recommending Schwalbach to those invalids who are about to leave their Spas.

The patients assemble around the spring early in the morning, and take from five to eight glasses of the water fasting; pacing, between each dose, the great avenue of poplars, or loitering in the public buildings, which are placed in a semicircular form around the pavilion.

Among these buildings the Conversation-saal, fitted up in the Italian style, with billiards and gambling-rooms, all well arranged and neat, deserve especial mention. Six lodging-houses, resembling little villas, stand by the side of the centre building. In the latter building, there is a handsome and well-proportioned banqueting-room, loftier than that at Kissingen, and of a superior style of architecture. A suite of apartments around this, simply furnished, and much in the style of an Italian country-house, is the one which the good and venerable Archbishop of Würzburg, lord of the domain, inhabits during the season.

The bath-rooms, which are better arranged than those at Kissingen, form a part of this cluster of public edifices; between which and the pavilion there is a promenade resembling more a real forest than an artificial plantation. These various parts of the Spa are grouped in a picturesque manner, in the centre of a round and smiling prairie, which, seen with its gentle hillocks around, across, and on each side of the colonnade, presents a succession of very pretty landscapes.

[Here the illustration Granville includes in his text on p. 322:]


The peculiar mode of action of these valuable steel-waters, renders them highly beneficial in a variety of disorders in which safe stimulation, and a bracing of the system, are required. I collect from Dr. Haus, that the use of the Bocklet waters is proper in all cases of weakness, either of the whole body, or of any particular organ, whether from considerable loss of blood, acute mental affections, previous and severe illness, or frequent and difficult childbed; in all which cases the loss of power is such, that it cannot be restored again by the mere assistance of medicine and nourishment.

The Bocklet waters do not, like most chalybeates, produce that degree of excitement in the circulation which would lead to dangerous fulness, congestion, and other equally perilous symptoms. Dr. Haus considers that all the good effects of the Bocklet waters are secondary to the specific and primary influence, of a most beneficial kind, which it exerts upon the principal organs of digestion. Professor Spindler, and Hufeland, used to say, “Let him who does not believe in the virtues of mineral waters come and behold the effects of the springs of Bocklet.”

What is here said of the virtues of the Bocklet waters taken internally, applies equally to the baths in which these waters are used, at a temperature of 96 or 97 degrees — much in the same manner as the Pandur is employed at Kissingen. There is a douche-bath also; and Bolzano has lately devised a simple apparatus for employing the carbonic gas, which escapes so largely from the centre spring, as a gas bath in some of the upper rooms of the pavilion.

I think I have stated enough to show the character of these waters in a medical point of view. It would require a larger space than I can devote to this single Spa, were I to dilate further on that subject; although, through the unceasing kindness and patience of my cicerone, Dr. Maas, I collected a number of facts and important cases in my note-book, which would enable me to give a more extended medical history of the springs.

The season begins in June, and lasts only six or eight weeks. The usual price of a comfortable room is three-fourths of a florin a day. All the rooms enjoy a view of the beautiful valley, or of the public garden. There is an excellent table d ‘hôte. This I must take on the credit of Signor Bolzano, who comes from the very country for good eating, and who looks as if he liked it himself. The price for a dinner, at one o’clock, is 40 kreutzers a head (1s. 1 1/2d.), but one which costs only eightpence (24 kreutzers) may be had at twelve o’clock.

The tone of society at Bocklet is said to be exceedingly pleasant and friendly. The guests live, as it were, en famille, or near together — dine together — drive or walk out in company — and assemble together again in the evening. Every one endeavours, therefore, to live in friendship and harmony with the rest, and to banish the useless and burdensome rules of a strict etiquette. Often the societies of Kissingen and Bocklet meet together, and certain days are set apart for that purpose.

Besides this patriarchal and simple mode of killing time in this retired spot, the visiters have several interesting environs to explore, as a variety in their occupations. A hill called the Stellberg, not far off, offers, from its summit, an exceedingly beautiful prospect. Three romantic valleys present themselves to the eyes. The one of them, on the left, surrounded by a belt of hills, has the rustic village of Grosbrach in its centre. That on the right is the one in which Bocklet itself stands; and straight forward is a still lovelier valley, with the market-town of Aschach, whose ancient castle is a great ornament to the surrounding country.

There is another pleasing excursion which the visiters make by walking to the village of Hohn, up the river, and thence to that of Windheim, to which the path leads over the Heilengeberg, through a romantic wood. But a still more beautiful promenade is that from Bocklet to Steinach, three English miles distant. Two paths lead to it. Those who prefer, to the one through the valley, the more fatiguing yet interesting path across the mountain, will be amply repaid for their trouble by the delightful prospects which present themselves in various points of this mountain scenery.

Two high roads conduct to Booklet, the one from the south, through Kissingen, the other from the north, through Neustadt, on the Saale, not far from Meiningen. There is no inn at Booklet, and scarcely any body lives in it or near it during the winter.

Here a map from 1811 showing several of the locales surrounding Bocklet just discussed (the Kurhaus, or central spa building, is listed just below the name “Bocklet”), including Grosbrach (Grosenbrach), Aschach, Hohn, Windheim, Steinach, Kissingen, and Neustadt (C. F. Hammer, Charte von Fränken… nach ihrer jezigen neuerlichen Eintheilung [1811]):


© 2014 Doug Stott