Saturday, August 31, 2013

2nd Annual Challenge of Travel :: Wiesbaden, Germany

I KNOW quite a few jewelry makers who like to join Blog Hops and Challenges because, as they say, it forces them to get creative, to get them out of a slump and DO something. I don’t know how they are doing this, as obviously that doesn’t work for me. Last year I spectacularly failed not one, not two, not three, but four Hops/Challenges, so I was very hesitant to pick up any this year.

However, when I saw the announcement for this year’s Challenge of Travel by Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasures Found :: Inspiration Is Everywhere pop up on my reader (which was one of the four I failed last year), there was no way I could resist at least trying – the theme was simply too intriguing to pass up: Staycation. Or, as we Germans say: Urlaub auf Balkonien (vacation in balconia).

While last year’s theme was a trip around the world, this year’s idea was to explore your own hometown and draw inspiration from this.

SO, herzlich willkommen to Wiesbaden, the capital of the federal state of Hesse, Germany. It is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe, going all the way back to Ancient Roman times, known for it’s numerous hot springs. Their waters are supposed to help with various ailments, such as rheumatism. 

The Kochbrunnen 

The Kochbrunnen Pavillon

The Kochbrunnenspringer, fed from the same spring 

Built up minerals – the Romans actually used them as red hair dye!

THE springs were even mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia. The town’s name actually translates to “meadow baths”, but by the Romans it was referred to as Aquae Mattiacorum, “Waters of the Mattiaci”. At one point Wiesbaden sported as many as impressive 26 springs – most of them are out of order now, or fed into a network which supplies thermal baths or is used to heat the town hall. The ones accessible by the public are certainly among Wiesbaden’s most famous tourist attractions. I even learned about one I totally didn’t know about!

The "Bäckerbrunnen", the bakers' spring  
Housing of the Bäckerbrunnen

The Schützenhofquelle – in ancient times, it was dedicated to the Goddess Sirona

Detail of the Schützenhofquelle

My "secret" spring, the Drei-Lilien-Quelle, the three lilies spring – I pass by there almost every day, yet I had no idea it was hidden there. It's at the back of one of Wiesbaden's most renowned hotels, the Schwarzer Bock. You actually have to ring and have reception open the door for you, but they'll do so without fuss.

Inside of my "secret spring" – and, boy, it was HOT inside that little room! Unlike the other hot springs accessible by the public, the water of this one is not safe for drinking, as there are no filters installed.
ACTUALLY, there’s so much more to see in this town, but I’m already late with this post, so I'll save it for another one … Plus, I remembered about this challenge two days ago? Woops, I (almost) did it again. So, without further ado, my creation “Aquae Mattiacorum”, inspired by Wiesbaden’s hot springs: 

IT HAD to be a fringe necklace. The colors were inspired by the springs and their minerals. Hammered copper wire, bits of "coin" chain I received in a Muse Box from, TOHO beads with a picasso finish from, and coin shaped Czech beads which reminded me of water as well as ancient coins. 

THANK you for visiting. If you want to know more about Wiesbaden, stick around and add this blog to your newsfeed/blogger. If you want to hop along and see what everyone else created for this year's Annual Challenge of Travel, please visit: and scroll to the very bottom to the link list. 


  1. And I am so glad you did it! Your necklace is lovely! I so enjoyed your blog as my dad was in the service, my brother was born in your lovely country and we spent a couple of years there when I was a preteen! LOVED seeing your part of beautiful Germany.

  2. Thank you for taking us on a tour of Wiesbaden. I lived in Germany from 1981 to 1985 and I remember we use to go for visits but it is great to see it again through pictures! I love your piece - the copper and the turquoise is perfect with each other! Love the copper fringe! Fantastic piece!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about your city. I love the history and all your beautiful photos. And I love how your necklace and earrings mimic the beautiful fountains.

  4. That is a beautiful necklace, the colours match your story of Wiesbaden. I enjoyed discovering your city and the jewelry it inspired you.

  5. Just looking at your wonderful pictures brings back memories about the time I spent there. I never managed to visit your city but I lived 30 klicks from Koln and spent a lot of time there. Your necklace summed up the feelings of antiquity brought to me living there.

  6. Dramatic piece which would be wonderful to wear I think! I love the colours and your tales of your home. Thank you.

  7. That is a fabulous set! I love the copper dangles on the focal and the addition of the blue is fantastic.

  8. What an incredible stop along this tour of blog posts! An amazing place rich in history - love your design! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Your photos are lovely and your designs are elegant and edgy, Sandra! I hope I can visit your city if I ever make it back to the region (I was born to Canadian military parents in the neighbor state of Rheinland-Pfalz).

  10. SO enjoyed the tour of your beautiful, historic city, and what a lovely way you've translated its story into metal and glass!

  11. When I was a teenager, my brother was stationed in your hometown and wrote home frequently about the beauty of it. Thank you for sharing it again with everyone, including me. Your necklace is a perfect tribute to it's greatness.

  12. Love your necklace and it is easy to see the inspiration! I love the sound of Wiesbaden and would love to visit someday.

  13. Thank you for sharing the photos of the variety of hot springs spas. I was fascinated that the history can be traced so far back. Sounds just wonderful to try a few. Your necklace is beautiful - I love the blue with the copper. Andrea

  14. Hello Miss Sandra! I am so glad that you broke your streak of missed hop-portunities and did this one! I have always wanted to travel to Europe (I will have to get that passport someday!) and Germany is on my list of must-see places. My late father-in-law was in Germany in WWII and he brought back a little nut dish with a quaint little scene painted on it. I eventually got it but it was broken by a careless office mate of mine. Seeing the buildings reminds me of that! I didn't know about the hot springs! That is such great attraction! Amazing that they have been in existence so long. Your necklace is perfect. The colors of the mineral deposits, the dripping water, the natural patina over time is all represented here. Lovely! I am sorry that it took me so long to get around to all the great hometowns! I wanted to be sure that I could spend uninterrupted time enjoying them all! Thank you for joining me on the journey (and do come back and do more!). Enjoy the day! Erin

  15. Hallo, ich mag Deinen Blog mit den detailreichen Bildern und den kulturellen Ansichten. Sehr schön!
    Ich habe Deinen Blog übrigens für den LIEBSTER award nominert. Dieser kann dazu verhelfen, Deinen Blog noch bekannter zu machen. Schau mal bitte hier nach:
    Ich würde mich freuen, wenn Du auch mitmachst.

    Liebe Grüße