In the 12th/13Th Century monks build a wooden bridge which connected the inns of the monasteries on both sides of the river Saale. The monks of the Monastery “Pforte” erected a weir, a mill and a vineyard. In 1404 the wooden bridge was replaced by a stone bridge, which was destroyed in a flood.
An increase in prosperity came from rafting timber on the Saale. Fishermen and raftsmen started to settle. In 1259 Kösen became the main rafting station. Until the 16th Century only long timber was rafted, later short timber and fire wood was added. Twice a year wood fairs were held. Up to the middle of the19th Century Kösen was the main wood trading place along the Saale and until then river toll had to be paid. With the beginning of the industrialisation the importance of timber rafting decreased, in 1910 the last rafts landed in Kösen.
The further development of the town was influenced by saltsprings. In 1730 the mining engineer Johann Gottfried Borlach found a strong salt spring. As a result salt making started and extensive salines were erected. After the water from the salt spring had been discovered as a cure in 1818, kösen became a fashionable spa starting. Famous people came to Bad Kösen, e.g. Franz Liszt, Theodor Fontane and Ch. W. Hufeland. They made Bad Kösen well known.
The salt production had to be stopped in 1859, because rich salt mining facilities were discovered in Staßfurt. So Kösen concentrated even more on their wells, and in the same year Kösen was awarded the title “Solebad” and in 1888 the first inhalatorium was opened in the spa gardens. The thorn houses which were used to increase the salt content of the brine by means of evaporation were ideal places for outdoor inhalation. The quality of the saline air exceeded the one of any seaside resort. In 1868 Kösen was granted town privileges, 6,200 people lived in Kösen at that time.
After the town had received its town charter the spa facilities did not quite fit the standard, so at the beginning of the 20th Century new facilities were erected. Between 1990 and 1992 the
facilities were modernised, new rehab clinics were built, and a thermal bath was constructed. The well known graduation houses and the Old Town have been spruced up.
Here you can find further information about the town: