Thermal springs and a picturesque natural setting are the reason this site, known by the Romans, has maintained a high profile throughout history. The rise of Bad Ems to a prosperous spa town can be seen in individual, well preserved buildings from the late 17th century, the time when the spa industry experienced a substantial boom. The most notable buildings from this period are the Kurhaus, the two grand guest houses Mainzer Haus and Zu den vier Türmen, as well as the Kapelle Maria Königin. The town is dominated by a number of buildings dating back to the 19th century when Bad Ems was one of the most significant spas in Germany. In Römerstraße, running parallel to the right bank, a number of buildings have survived from the times of the Duchy of Nassau, including the prominent Kursaalgebäude and Kurmittelhaus.
The present-day townscape of Bad Ems is characterized by the grand villas located in Wilhelmsallee and the promenade on the left bank of the river such as Schloss Balmoral and Villa Monrepos. The structures that have survived to this day include not only the actual spa buildings, but also other facilities that had been of great importance to the spa industry. The Malbergbahn funicular, for example, a typical 19th century facility for leisure and recreation.
Through the centuries, this romantic site, embedded in a harmonic bend of the river Lahn, seduced scores of artists, regularly hosted kings and tsars, and was the backdrop to the famous Emser Depesche (Ems Dispatch), which sparked the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.https://www.bad-ems.info