Petronella and the golden tub


What has Bad Bergzabern got to do with Petronella? Visitors to this spa resort in the south of the Palatinate come across her name on virtually every corner. She even comes to life at various festivals, accompanied by Sleeping Beauty and the Blueberry Princess. The people of the town are not really sure either, there are so many different stories. There is a convincing version about a beautiful Roman woman who occasionally climbed down from the Petronell mountain into the town.

The numerous Roman villas around Bad Bergzabern, the findings from Roman times to the east of the town and the proximity to a Roman road all suggest a Roman past. The town was established in the middle of the ninth century by Alsatian settlers from Zabern. You could say they came from right next door.

But as you sit enjoying a glass of Morio Muscat or a fruity Pinot Noir in one of the various cosy wine bars, one thing becomes clear: the Romans had their fingers in this particular pie a long time ago.

The people of Bergzarbern also have the famous Roman bath culture in their blood. This is apparent after a visit to the Südpfalz Therme. So it is only right and good that the town elects a Petronella from among its young womenfolk, in the same way as its neighbouring villages of Dörrenbach and Steinfeld have a Sleeping Beauty and a Blueberry Princess respectively.

Enjoy the sunshine in the outside area of the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

Enjoy the sunshine in the outside area of the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

Warm water at 23 degrees bubbles out from the rocks deep below in the Petronella spring. Heated to a pleasant 32 degrees, it gurgles underneath the legendary mirrored ceiling or in the large outdoor pool set in the beautiful spa gardens with scenic views all around. You can also pamper yourself in the modern wellness oasis. After a massage or a bit of time out in the sand and light bath, where the day passes in pictures from sunrise to dusk with gentle music playing, it is time for some relaxation in the quiet room under a starlit sky. With a bit of imagination, you can form constellations out of the countless lights that flash white, green, blue and purple in the ceiling above.

Steaming outside pools at the Südpfalz Therme in Bad Bergzabern, Palatinate

Steaming outside pools at the Südpfalz Therme in Bad Bergzabern, Palatinate

Relax in the Riesling sauna at the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

Relax in the Riesling sauna at the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

In the sauna complex, there is an excellent selection of sweat rooms with regional designs: The rose sauna, Riesling sauna or perhaps the meadow sauna with its panoramic views of the spa garden? You can also take a break to enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed kiwi juice, and it may even be that the kiwi was grown in the sunshine of the Palatinate. Forty-five minutes in the salt grotto gives you the same benefit as breathing in sea air for three days.

One of the most popular packages offered by the spa is a couple’s Caroline bath in a golden tub. The grand candlelit experience is named after Countess Caroline of Nassau‑Saarbrücken. She selected the castle in Bad Bergzabern as her widow’s residence and is remembered fondly for her 30 years of philanthropy.

The renaissance castle topped with baroque crests is now home to the municipality administration and the cosy inner courtyard is used for events throughout the year. The hemp palms on Marktstrasse underline the Mediterranean flair of the region, which gets enough sunshine to grow figs, chestnuts, kiwis and even lemons.

Invigorating salty air in the salt grotto at the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

Invigorating salty air in the salt grotto at the Südpfalz Therme, Palatinate

Stop for a moment to enjoy the scenery at the swan lake near Bad Bergzabern, Palatinate

Stop for a moment to enjoy the scenery at the swan lake near Bad Bergzabern, Palatinate

More leisure tips in and near Bad Bergzabern:


Bad Bergzabern

The spa resort of Bad Bergzabern is a climatic health resort and Kneipp spa set in the midst of seas of Palatinate vines. The healing power of water comes from an ancient mineral spring.

Dornröschen-Rundwanderweg

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9,3 km

2:58 h
The access path is either from the parking lot at the entrance to the village or the bus stop in…

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