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SILVER CITY COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL FOR BADEN-BADEN

Year: 1883

Obverse: Portraits of Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig von Baden (Friedrich I, Gro▀herzog von Baden) and his wife Princess Louise of Prussia

Reverse: The town of Baden-Baden - CIVITAS AURELIA AQUENSIS / MDCCC-LVIII / LXXXIII (1858/83)

This silver medal features two outstanding portraits of Friedrich I Grand Duke of Baden and his wife Princess Louise of Prussia, daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm I. On the reverse is pictured The the town of Baden-Baden identified by its ancient Roman name 'Civitas Aurelia Aquensis.' with 'MDCCC - LVIII / LXXXIII: (1858 / 83)' under the city relief.


Already serving as regent since 1852 in the place of his brother, Ludwig II who was 'mentally unfit' to serve, Friedrich formally became Grand Duke von Baden on January 22, 1858 upon his brother passing. 1883 would be the 25th anniversary of his tenure as Grand Duke of Baden, one that would last 51 years.

The long tenure of the Grand Duke of Baden could be considered the calm before the storm. Under Friedrich I, direct elections to the Parliament of Baden were held furthering the progression towards more democratic forms of government. His support for a constitutional monarchy would open the door to further reforms the type of which was blooming all over Europe pulling it away from feudal government. These reforms would eventually lead to the abolishment of the title of Grand Duke of Baden under his son and sucessor.

Friedrich I was the son in law of Kaiser Wilhelm I and was present at Versailles when Wilhelm became the German Emperor in 1871. Upon Friedrich's death at his summer residence on the island of Mainau in southern Germany, his son Friedrich II became the last Grand Duke of Baden in 1907. His son would abdicate 11 years later and the title would be abolished.

1883 was also a big year for the town of Baden-Baden. The Iffezheim Racecourse (shown in foreground) was holding its 25th Grosser Preis von Baden. The 25th year of Germany's most prestigious thoroughbred horse race held every year since the first races in 1858. This medal is to celebrate the races, the rule, and the hot baths.

The Reverse of this medal shows the city of Baden-Baden nestled in the eastern foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the river Oos. The medal identifies the town using the name it was given by the Romans who settled this remote and hostile area: Civitas Aurelia Aquensis. The natural hot springs of Civitas Aurelia Aquensis were known to the Romans, fragments of ancient roman sculptures as well as remains of Roman vapour baths have been found there. The town was renamed Baden when it became the residence of the Margraves of Baden but is known now as Baden-Baden meaning "Baden in Baden" or "Baden in the state of Baden." Baden-Baden continues to be a a popular destination for the hot springs and their reported curative properties.