In the beginning there was water – the healing water. Bad Antogast is home to the oldest of the five Kniebis-baths. More than 760 years ago, the Antonius spring in Bad Antogast was discovered in the mid-1250s. By virtue of the healing properties of the water, a chapel was built in the early 1300s by a hermit, who dedicated the same to the holy Antonius. Antonius is known as the patron-saint for hospitals, and also believed to have cured incurable diseases.
The healing spring water facilitated the convalescence of many ill persons, who had stumbled upon a restaurant that was running at that time in the Bad Antogast hostel. The water was mixed with carbonic acid and that is why it has a fizz. The first mention of Bad Antogast can be traced back to Konrad von Schauenberg, which reported the yearly visits of his wife to Bad Antogast for purchasing “18 Schilling, 3 harvest chickens, 30 eggs and 2 quarters of Haber”. Bad Antogast started to witness an increase in the number of visitors because deep in the northern part of Black Forest there were always more visitors, who incinerated the healing water or took a bath to accelerate their convalescence in more favourable manner. In 1581, a second acidulous mineral water spring is mentioned and “which was provided with a wheel that drives the pumps”.
Bad Antogast lived through its first phase of blossoming and became more well-known with time. The healing water of Antonius spring helped not only people suffering from heart problems, circulation and blood supply, inflammation of liver, stomach, bile, and intestine and discharging urinary tracts to recover, but those having kidney stones and the likes.
The healing water contains a lot of carbonic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium. Even today, the Antonius spring has the same healing properties as in the archaic times. However, the water is not sold anymore but is rather still being consumed by the visitors and guests of Bad Antogast.