Bad Aibling

Bad Aibling ( ; German pronunciation: [ˈba:t ˌʔaɪ̯blɪŋ]) is a spa town and former district seat in Bavaria on the river Mangfall, located some 56 km (35 mi) southeast of Munich. It features a luxury health resort with a peat pulp bath and mineral spa.

Bad Aibling
The former Prantshausen castle

Coat of arms
Location of Bad Aibling within Rosenheim district
Bad Aibling
Bad Aibling
Coordinates: 47°52′N 12°01′E
Admin. regionUpper Bavaria
Subdivisions28 Stadtteile
  MayorFelix Schwaller (CSU)
  Total41.55 km2 (16.04 sq mi)
492 m (1,614 ft)
  Density460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes08061
Vehicle registrationRO, AIB
WebsiteOfficial website


Bad Aibling and its surroundings were settled by Celtic tribes from about 500 BC until 15 BC. After Roman occupation, it was finally settled by Bavarii tribes in the 5th century AD. In 804 Bad Aibling was mentioned for the first time as "Epininga". In mediaeval times, it was an administrative centre in the lordship of the Counts of Falkenstein. After the obliteration of the Neuburg-Falkenstein dynasty, it became part of the realm of the Wittelsbach family.

In 1845 the first treatments with peat pulp were offered by the physician Desiderius Beck. Bad Aibling received the title "Bad" (spa or springs) in 1895.

In the year 1933, Bad Aibling officially became a town. After the Second World War, Bad Aibling was the site of POW Discharge Center #26, where German POWs were released from captivity to civilian status. In 1946, a DP camp housing former members of the Royal Yugoslav Army was set up on the grounds of the town's airbase. The camp was first operated by UNRRA, and later by the IRO. From 1948 onwards, the area was home to the IRO Children's Village, a DP camp for unaccompanied children and youth belonging to more than 20 nationalities. Over 2,300 inhabitants passed through this facility (the largest of its kind in the US Zone) before it was closed in late 1951.[2] Later, the area evolved into a major centre for intelligence organizations and secret services.

In 2005 the American Bad Aibling ECHELON station (Field Station 81) closed after several decades of operation. After the departure of the NSA, parts of the station have been used by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), with NSA employees moving to the Mangfall barracks.[3] The radomes are still used intensively.[4] The station is used in cooperation with the NSA, which provides the BND with search terms (such as email addresses), which then forwards the results back to the NSA.[5][6][7][8]

The Thermae opened in 2007, complementing the traditional peat pulp baths with mineral water (Desiderius-Quelle). In the same year, the historical Ludwigsbad spa hotel, the nucleus of Bad Aibling's health resort business, burned down due to arson.

On 9 February 2016, a serious railway accident occurred near the town when two passenger trains collided, causing 11 fatalities.

Geography and demographics

The town of Bad Aibling, with about 18,000 inhabitants, is at 498 m (1,634 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 41.55 km2 (16 sq mi).

Bad Aibling consists of the neighborhoods (Stadtteile) of Abel, Adlfurt, Bad Aibling Mitte, Berbling, Ellmosen, Fachendorf, Gröben, Harthausen, Haslach, Heimathsberg, Heinrichsdorf, Holzhausen, Köckbrunn, Markfeld, Mietraching, Mitterham, Moos, Natternberg, Thalacker, Thürham, Unterheufeld, Weg, Westen, Westerham, Willing, and Zell.

Economy and infrastructure

In Bad Aibling there are several large spa hotels and rehabilitation hospitals that rely on peat pulp as a basic treatment. Additionally, in 2007 the new thermae were opened.

Companies based in Bad Aibling

Several companies in the pharmaceutical industry, textile manufacturing, electrical engineering, plastics manufacturing, and dairy processing are located in Bad Aibling.

Administration and public institutions


Period of office 1. Mayor 2. Mayor 3. Mayor
1947–1948Wunnibald Sedlmeier (CSU)Michael Scherer (CSU)-
1948–1952Josef Matheis (CSU)-
1952–1956Josef Matheis (CSU)Michael Scherer (CSU)-
1956–1960Max Falter (SPD)Dr. Wolfgang Kessler (CSU)-
1960–1966Ferdinand Arnold (CSU)-
1966–1968Michael Scherer (CSU)-
1968Michael Scherer (CSU)--
1968–1974Hans Falter (SPD)Michael Scherer (CSU)-
1974–1984Josef Riedl (CSU)Konrad Gartmeier (CSU)-
1984–1985Anton Müller (CSU)-
1985–1986Felix Schwaller (CSU)-
1986–1990Werner Keitz (SPD)Felix Schwaller (CSU)-
1990–2002Meinrad Egger (ÜWG)
2002–2008Felix Schwaller (CSU)Roland Fortner (CSU)Rudi Gebhart (ÜWG)
2008–2014Heidi Benda (Grüne)Otto Steffl (CSU)
2014-2016 Otto Steffl (CSU) Kristin Sauter (SPD)
2016-- Kristin Sauter (SPD)


  • German football boarding school (Deutsches Fußballinternat Bad Aibling)
  • Gymnasium Bad Aibling (high school for secondary education)
  • Wilhelm-Leibl-Realschule (secondary school)
  • Wirtschaftsschule Alpenland (secondary school for economics)
  • Grund- und Hauptschulen (primary and secondary education)
  • Sonderschule (primary and secondary education for children with special needs)
  • Volkshochschule Bad Aibling (adult evening classes)

Number of inhabitants

  • 1840: 2.597
  • 1871: 3.479
  • 1900: 5.181
  • 1925: 6.218
  • 1939: 7.764
  • 1950: 10.908
  • 1961: 9.991
  • 1970: 10.860
  • 1987: 12.583 (census)
  • 2000: 16.437
  • 2010: 18.272
  • 2015: 18.407

Culture and attractions

Echelon festival

The Echelon Open Air & Indoor Festival is an electro-, techno and house-festival that has taken place in Bad Aibling annually in August since 2009. With about 25.000 visitors in 2015 it is the largest festival of its kind in Bavaria.[9] It is located on the abandoned Bad Aibling Station which was used for the festival's eponymous global surveillance network ECHELON.[10]

Twin town

Bad Aibling has been twinned with

People affiliated with Bad Aibling


  1. "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). July 2019.
  2. Höschler, Christian (2017). Home(less). The IRO Children's Village Bad Aibling, 1948-1951. Berlin: epubli. ISBN 9783745059816. OCLC 986223243.
  3. "NSA-Standorte in Deutschland: Bad Aibling". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. Mascolo, Georg; Goetz, John (1 May 2015). "Die Überwachungsfabrik". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  5. "Der Vertrauensbruch - 3/4 In Bad Aibling gründeten BND und NSA eine Kooperation". Die Zeit. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  6. Biermann, Kai. "Bad Aibling, rechtsfreier Abhörraum des BND". Die Zeit. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  7. "BND spioniert wieder mit der NSA". Tagesschau. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  8. "BND und NSA kooperieren wieder in Bad Aibling". Die Zeit. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  9. "ECHELON: Marihuana, Ecstasy und Amphetamin". 23 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  10. Info – Echelon Open Air & Indoor Festival Archived 31 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. In: Abgerufen am 6. August 2012.
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