Supplementary Appendix 380.1

The Mineral Springs of Cannstatt near Stuttgart

Cannstatt (Canstat, Cannstadt, Canstadt, Canstatt), which did not acquire the official name “Bad Cannstatt” until 1933, [1] is located but a short distance northeast of Stuttgart, as one of the contemporary authors below recounts: [2]


Caroline herself recounts in her letter to Luise Wiedemann on 19 June 1803 (letter 380) that “these springs are located only a short hour from Studtgard itself and are situated in a charming area of the Neckar River”; here the road from Stuttgart to Cannstatt in 1810: [3]


Here Cannstatt in 1812: [4]


Schelling remarks to Hegel in a letter from Cannstatt on 11 July 1803 (letter 380a) that he and Caroline were staying at the inn Drei Rosen (“three roses”), which changed its name early in the nineteenth century, as early as 1824 and consistently thereafter being called the Gasthof zur Rose; the hotel was located at the center of town at Marktstrasse 31 (here at the right on an early twentieth-century postcard):


What follows are accounts of Cannstatt and its mineral-springs offerings from two English and one German author who visited during the period in the mid-nineteenth century, when Cannstatt was still known primarily for its spa offerings rather then, as later that century, for its industrial development.

Augustus Bozzi Granville writes in 1838 (original edition 1837): [5]

I now proceed to give an account of my visit to the mineral sources and baths of Cannstadt; which I accomplished in company with Sir George Shee on one occasion, and with one of my sons, a young architect, on another.

On passing through the gardens and promenades connected with the royal palace [in Stuttgart], — which were laid out about twenty years ago by the father of the present king, and which brought strongly to my mind the delicious parterres and groves of Aranjuez, — we reached, after a ride of two miles, the neat and pretty little town of Cannstadt, situated on the Neckar, and surrounded by a very fertile plain, which, in former times, must have been the scene of great geological catastrophes; as the many specimens of extinct races of animals, which are often found here, seem to testify.

A short distance from the village, a handsome carriage-road, lined with trees, leads to the principal spring, inclosed in a well, over which the present king has lately erected a circular temple, with two lateral colonnaded porticoes of considerable extent. Other springs are found behind this building, some issuing through the ground, others emerging out of the rock; and although all of them are found on a space of ground of small area, and their number amounts to not less than thirty-seven, I may aver that scarcely two of them are perfectly alike in taste.

The principal spring, which is that called the Sulzrainquelle, contains, in sixteen ounces of water, nineteen grains and a half of common salt, seven grains and three-fourths of glauber, and nearly twice that quantity of Epsom salts, besides carbonate of lime, 7/50 of a grain of carbonate of iron, and one volume and 14/100 of carbonic acid gas. According to Morstatt, the temperature is from fifteen to sixteen degrees of Reaumur, (66° of Fahrenheit). The water tastes pleasantly acidulous at first; but it leaves behind a smack of rusty iron, with corrugation of the mouth and tongue, and a taste of common salt into the bargain, by no means agreeable.

These various sources of mineral water spring from a stratum of limestone tuffa containing iron, placed below an upper soil of chalk and marl. The water has been compared to that of Pyrmont and Seltzer; but the resemblance to either, in taste, is not striking. Its effect, owing to the presence of iron, as well as of three purgative salts, partakes, it is said, of that of the acidulous and the chalybeate waters. It is not merely stimulating, but also laxative and tonic.

Its first and chief power is exerted on the organs of digestion, and it has acquired much celebrity for the removal of obstructions of the bowels and mesenteric glands or vessels, as well as for the cure of every sort of dyspepsia. It has likewise been found very useful in combating obstinate cases of hypochondriasis — weakness of the stomach — deficient action in the glandular or lymphatic organs — gout and chronic rheumatism — and in such of the diseases of females as arise from debility in the uterine system.

The waters are drunk at their natural temperatures in general; although some prefer mixing them with warm milk, or with water of the same spring, previously warmed. From three to six glasses of an ordinary size are drunk very early in the morning.

Accommodations of every kind are to be found, both for such as drink, and such as prefer bathing in these waters. Cannstadt has many excellent hotels and lodging-houses, in some of which the mineral water is found naturally, while to others it is conveyed from the source.

The regulations for all these establishments are admirable, and the price of living is exceedingly moderate, — supposing, even, that the visiter should prefer lodging at one of the best hotels in Stuttgardt, and drive every morning, or walk, to Cannstadt, for his dose of mineral water or his bath.

John Murray writes almost twenty years later, in 1857: [6]

Cannstatt Station. (Inns: Hotel Herrmann, close to the station, best; Zum Ochsen, in the Neckar-Vorstadt, on the left bank of the river.) Cannstatt is a town of 5300 Inhab., prettily situated on both banks of the Neckar, which are joined by a good stone bridge built in 1838. The river here becomes navigable for barges of 2–300 lasten.

Cannstatt was founded by the Romans, many fragments of whose baths, buildings, and sculpture have been found here, and may be seen in the Cabinet of Medals at Stuttgart. Its site is much better chosen than that of the capital, and it is the seat of considerable trade and manufacturing industry, and has 4 annual fairs. It is, perhaps, chiefly remarkable to a traveller on account of its mineral springs, of which nearly 40 burst forth in and about the town, discharging nearly 800,000 cubic feet of water in the 24 hrs. Only a few of them are employed for medicinal purposes.

These springs contain carbonic acid, sulphur, salts, and a small quantity of iron, the latter being here called sulzen. They are efficacious in curing disorders of the digestion. The country about Cannstatt is volcanic, and was much disturbed at the time of the earthquake of Lisbon in 1775. One spring is tepid, the rest are cold. The principal springs are, 1. The Wilhelmsbrunnen, at what is called the Sulzerrain, about 1/4 m. beyond the town under the hill, from which two other springs, the Carls and the Wiesenquelle, rise.

A large Kursaal has been erected here, to which an avenue of trees leads. The interior is covered with frescoes, as washy and trashy as ever adorned a hairdresser’s room: those on the walls are meant for views of the principal German wateringplaces. The Wilhelms-spring rises into a basin placed in a covered walk behind the Kursaal.

Agreeable walks are laid out behind the Kursaal, and on the side of the hill which rises behind it, from the summit of which are beautitiful views of Stuttgart and the valley of the Neckar. In these gardens visitors are requested not to salute each other by pulling off their hats: see the notice, “Man bittet sich nicht durch Hut-Abnehmen zu grüssen.”

[Caroline was taking the waters in Cannstadt (Cannstatt) and otherwise participating in the customary social events common at such mineral-springs spas at the time (frontispiece to Wilhelm August Rehmann, Die Leopoldsquelle zu Rippoldsau [Heidelberg 1833]; anonymous lithographs ca. 1850, Theresienbrunnen, Der Sprudel [the latter two in Karlsbad] [Dresden: Lehmann & Opitz, 1858]):]




Other springs and baths are to be found at — 2. The Hotel Herrmann, or Badgarten. 3. The Wilhelmsbad; and 4. The Bath establishment, Zum Ochsen. 5. The Inselquelle, the richest in carbonic acid and iron, is in the island formed by the Neckar between Cannstatt and Berg, a village on the carriage-road going to Stuttgart. 6. The Koch’sche Sprudel is in Berg, and near the last-mentioned spring. Hotels, lodgings, and restaurations are connected with almost all these springs.

Cannstatt is much frequented in summer, especially by the inhabitants of Stuttgart, who often drive over in the morning, drink their allotted number of glasses, or take their bath, perhaps dine at the table-d’hôte, and then return. The number of such visitors on Sundays is particularly large. The stone-quarries near Cannstatt disclose some singular fresh-water fossils, plants, &c. In September there are horseraces at Cannstatt, and a pretty theatre.

J. C. S. Tritschler writes in 1841, shortly after Augustus Bozzi Granville above, and also provides a bit of background to the development of the mineral springs in Cannstatt; he speaks initially abougt the Sulzerrain Spring mentioned above: [7]

The Sulzerrain Spring, Kur Fountain at the Sulzerrain

After the salt content of the Cannstatt springs had repeatedly but unsuccessfully raised the prospect of acquiring salt from the spring waters, the salt being too expensive and yet still not entirely pure, in 1772 a drilling attempt was made at the territorial lord’s expense, or as the records at the time express it, “an attempt to dig and drill for salt springs” was undertaken.

The initial shaft was 50 feet deep, and the boring then continued even deeper. At 106 feet, a terrible, suffocating vapor emerged that put the workers at severe risk, and then suddenly an extraordinarily strong spring of foaming mineral water broke through. In the hope of finding even more concentrated (pure) salt water at a greater depth, the boring was continued to a depth of almost three hundred feet. Although the results of this rather expensive boring did not at all fulfill the original purpose, it being abandoned in 1773, it did put at Cannstatt’s disposal a new, extremely rich acidulous spring.

This spring resulting from the boring of 1773, a procedure quite commensurate with that used in connection with what is known as artesian springs, draws its water first of all from a pipe at a depth of approximately 90 feet that was installed anew during last spring and firmly secured to the rock base, having become in part rather worn over the years and yielding less water. But it is now operating again at full capacity and yielding an extraordinary quantity of water. . . .

The water from this spring has a temperature of +15 1/2 Réaumur, is crystal clear, and has a piquant, acidic, and salty flavor; it foams quite vehemently because it contains so much carbonated gas, and, drunk too quickly, causes temporary intoxication. Although it contains more carbonated gas than all the other springs, that gas is less firmly bound to the water itself than is the case in several other springs. Hence great caution is required when bottling water from this spring, and quick, complete corking and sealing of filled bottles is indispensable to keeping the water in acceptable condition.

Here Cannstatt ca. 1847 (Gustav Schwab, Romantische Wanderung durch die Sächsische Schweiz, Das malerische und romantische Deutschland: In zehn Sektionen, 1 Schwaben [Leipzig 1847], plate following p. 8)


Of the many ailments that Tritschler discusses in connection with use of the springs and baths in Cannstatt, one may be of some interest with respect to Caroline, who, it may be remembered, began suffering from severe nervous fever in March 1800 and seems to have had chronic recurrences of some form of this illness since then; over time, moreover, Caroline exhibited several of the symptoms associated with the following case. Tritschler continues: [8]

Cramps, Hysteria, Hypochondria, etc.

Anyone even faintly familiar with the constitution of the human body knows how important is the influence of the nervous system, which unites all the systems and organs into a whole, and how necessary for maintenance of natural harmony among all these elements is a harmonious relationship among the various branches of this obscure system.

Such is especially the case with respect to the relationship between its two primary components, namely, the brain system and the system of the lower abdomen, whose natural relationship with the other bodily systems is so important. And yet anyone who has cast even a fleeting glance at the grand book of maladies affecting cultivated human beings also knows how innumerable are the disruptions of the harmony of the nervous system and its principle, and how such disruptions are indeed all the more numerous the more a person distances himself through refined culture from his natural condition.

This book is not the place to discuss all the elements that might contribute to disrupting this harmony. It suffices to recall that such disruption can derive just as easily from the psychic disposition as from the bodily; excessive intellectual exertion, an excessively stimulated imagination, enduring passions, grief, etc. are just as suitable for undermining the unity of the nervous system and its normal relationship with the other systems as is excessive bodily exertion or weakness that has lost its natural relationship with the strength of the body itself and individual systems, that is, an exertion or weakening of individual organic systems. A person’s disposition, moreover, is often already predisposed to such rather than being acquired only later in life.

This disruption of the nervous system can manifest itself in the the most varied pathological forms, such as cramps, hysteria, hypochondria (without physical cause), etc., and the disruptions even the psyche suffers as a result can be quite terrible. One element such disruptions have in common is always that an overly sensitive disposition has lost its proper relationship with a meager capacity for action, with weakened muscular strength.

A distancing of oneself from the home, from distasteful domestic, professional circumstances, exertions, or perhaps a stay at a mineral-springs spa, amid the beauty of nature, the beneficent enjoyment of the social life at such a spa, the company of new people with a free, cheerful sensibility, etc. can be of the most decisive benefit in cases of such disruptions of the nervous system, especially those deriving from a person’s psyche. In countless instances, however, our water and baths quite in and for themselves have been shown to provide their beneficent efficacy against such maladies.

Instead of enumerating individually all the various forms of illnesses falling under this rubric, it may suffice to characterize more closely the particular character of such maladies that are especially wont to be treated successfully by our water and baths.

Where genuine weakness or asthenia of the nervous systems provides the more specific cause of such malady, or where such cause is found less in simple weakness than in an uneven distribution or local accumulation of the nervous principle, and thereby does not exhibit the character of enduring or chronic excessive tension, — in such instances, our water is quite in its element, and our baths have brought about the most striking improvements in countless instances by means of its balancing and strengthening effects on the nervous system, whereas in cases in which a malady is of a chronically tense character, these waters and baths are less effective, or are so only when this tension causally derives from repressed secretions and excretions (which the waters can, however, solicit forth), and where the tension can and thus must be brought to yield before a more active life in the secretional organs.


. . . A delicately built young lady whose intellectual cultivation was, however, excessively pursued from the very earliest years of her youth, and who quite dearly developed a stronger inclination for books than for children’s games, and who already began having her period in her twelfth year but who thenceforth struggled with anemia and whose face later acquired an increasingly pale color, suffered frequently from severe nervous cramps, cramping headaches, etc. beginning when she was eighteen years old, though especially during menstruation (which as a rule appeared again in the third week), from nervous headaches, pains in her lower abdomen, trembling, etc., and was later often quite peevish and chronically weak — this young lady recovered after using the baths here and after a lengthy stay in our splendid air and surroundings such that she thenceforth menstruated quite without pain and always at the proper time, and only rarely had slight headaches, and suffered not at all from stomachaches, and in general felt better and stronger than she had since the onset of menstruation. Her processes of assimilation were no longer disrupted by stomachaches, and she soon acquired a healthy, strong appearance.


[1] See the similar case of Bocklet. Back.

[2] Stutgart, mit dero Gegend auf 2 Stund. 81 G. Bodenehr fecit et excudit; Recens emendavit, auxit atque divisit R. H. Stuttgardiae (1716–50); source: Mollova mapová sbírka. Back.

[3] Wilhelm Johann Esaias Nilson, Ansichten von Stuttgart. Retraite auf dem Weg von Stuttgart nach Canstadt (1810); source: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and Europeana. This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. Back.

[4] Frontispiece to Johann Daniel Georg von Memminger, Canstatt und seine Umgebung. Ein Beytrag zur Geschichts- und Länderkunde (Stuttgart 1812). Back.

[5] The spas of Germany, by the author of ‘St. Petersburgh’, 2. vols., 2nd ed. (London 1838), 1:82–84. Back.

[6] A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Germany: Being a Guide to Würtemberg, Bavaria, Austria, Tyrol, Salzburg, Styria &c., the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, and the Danube from Ulm to the Black Sea (London 1857), 18. Back.

[7] Cannstatt’s Mineralquellen und Bäder, 3rd ed. (Cannstatt 1841), 24–25. Back.

[8] Ibid., 104–7. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott