Department of Defense Education Activity

Wiesbaden MS: Our Community

Wiesbaden is a beautiful city and is the capital city in the German state of Hessen. Though Wiesbaden is relatively young when compared to some other cities in Europe, it is still almost 2,000 years old. It is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Its name translates to "meadow baths," making reference to the hot springs. At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 26 hot springs, fourteen of the springs are still flowing today.

Its history begins around 40 AD when a Roman outpost was built here, later to become incorporated into the great Roman border wall, the Limes (a portion of which can still be seen in Wiesbaden today). Thanks to its many mineral springs, the fort grew into a civil settlement and was given the name Aquis Mattiacus, which means Springs of the Mattiaci (the Mattiaci were the native Germanic people of the area).

Wiesbaden finally got the first mention of its modern name in 829 AD as "Wisibada." (Wiesbaden, by the way, means "meadow baths" in German). In the 13th century the town earned the status of an imperial city of Nassau. In 1806 Wiesbaden became the home of the duke of Nassau, and with that it became the trendy place for European nobility to vacation to. In 1866, the dukes lost power however and Prussia took control of Wiesbaden, along with most of present day Germany. During this time, the city of Wiesbaden experienced its heyday as a world famous spa town where nobility from across Europe, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Richard Wagner, and future German unifier Otto von Bismarck, came to visit and relax. Much of the architecture of the city also dates from this era.

On March 28, 1945, the Americans marched into Wiesbaden. From that date, the American presence only grew, and in 1954 construction of Hainerberg housing began. The US Army Airfield now known as the Lucius D. Clay Kaserne is located adjacent to Wiesbaden-Erbenheim and is home of the 66th Military Brigade and USAEUR Headquarters.

The Wiesbaden Military Community