Rappenwört on the Rhine is Karlsruhe's finest open air swimming pool, founded in the 1920s. The original pool was a branch of the river. Nowadays this isn't in use any more, there are 3 or 4 modern pools instead, among them one with artificial waves. The area is huge so that one always finds a quiet spot on the vast lawns underneath old trees, no matter how crowded the pool is. For children, there is a separate pool and play area on the opposite side.
The bath is situated right on the bank of the Rhine, so between swims you can promenade along the river. The pools are open from May to the end of the summer holidays.
The modern pool area, off-season and closed
This branch of the river used to be the original pool.
Outside the season the bath area is open for walkers. The gate is open during the day, entry to the grounds is free. Shops, eateries, facilities etc. are closed, though.
No dogs please! No one wants to find droppings, not even old ones, on the lawns when the pool reopens for the summer. Bikes cannot be taken inside either (although there are people who ignore this rule, as the photos prove).
It is a popular destination for a walk on the Rhine bank, ship-watching and enjoying sun and fresh air among Karlsruhers, in particular elderly people without car who would otherwise have difficulties to reach the river. The Rhine is quite far from the city centre – which saves the city from the Rhine’s frequent floodings, so this was clever planning in former times. But there is no real river promenade to enjoy for nowadays’ citizens. Rappenwört is the best option for a little riverside walk since it is easy to reach by tram, and the distances are short: The tram stop is literally outside the entrance gate.
The original 1920s entrance gate
How to get there? Tram #6 to “Rappenwört” stops in front of the entrance.
Attention, not all #6 trams go as far as Rappenwört, the ones to “Daxlanden” won't take you there - it's quite a walk from the final station in Daxlanden.
Even better: go by bike. Rappenwört is on the bike trail through the floodplain forest that offers endless opportunities for bike tours.
From my home in the western quarters of Karlsruhe I need, depending which route I take, 25 to 35 minutes to reach Rappenwört. From the centre it will take 10 minutes longer. In other words, perfect for an afternoon on the bike with a little walk in between to stretch legs and back.
Ships passing on the Rhine
In autumn, when the forests of the floodlands turn golden and the grounds are covered in the rustling leaves of the poplar trees, this tour is particularly pleasant.
Often there is a haze or even drifting mist in the air, caused by the open water surfaces of the river and in the wetlands. When the sun breaks through, atmosphere and colours are at their best.
Russell the Wombat tries ship-surfing;-)