Station: [12] Apartments 6 & 7

Holiday apartments numbers 6 and 7 provide a real contemporary insight into regional industrial history. Adolf Friedrich Bader, who bought the property in 1847, had the existing east wing demolished and replaced it with the current building: a single, long, hall-type structure, though the original was shorter by two windows because the bathhouse was single-storey.

In other words, Bader's east wing was a factory building on the ground and first floors, with storage space in the loft for his tobacco. The small windows in the loft were only closed with slats, so it was well ventilated. The cigar factory not only processed local Geudertheim tobacco, but also imported from other growing regions, such as the Palatinate and Franconia regions as well as Porto Rico, Kentucky and Maryland.

How do we know that? Take a look at your screen.

The rough, full-length beams in the east wing’s loft still bear legends from the early Bader period that read: "Kentucky", "Maryland", "Nürnberg" and "Portorico". Slender vertical lines separate the geographical designations. Those lines apparently mark the locations of earlier partitions between tobacco bales from different sources. With such a variety of tobaccos from Europe and overseas, the firm of Bader would have been able to manufacture and sell a wide range of products to clients all over the world.

Part-finished cigars, consisting of filler and binder, were probably rolled by outworkers using regional Geudertheim tobacco, then placed in wooden forms, pressed and brought here to the factory. Imported tobaccos, on the other hand, were probably processed right here in Kaiserstrasse. This was also where the part-finished cigars were completed by adding the third ingredient, the outer leaf called the wrapper. After this was added, a paper ring was slipped on to the completed cigars, and they were packed into handsome little wooden boxes.

In the mid-19th century, central and southern Baden was lucky to have a flourishing regional tobacco industry. Poverty was rampant in other parts of the country, driving tens of thousands of people to emigrate. But the area around Lahr, with its many cigar factories, was able to maintain a level of prosperity and thus provide for people in the region.

The firm of Bader is said to have employed several hundred people in those days, producing more than 100,000 cigars a week! You only have to look at the size of the tobacco warehouse in the east wing to get an idea of the enormous quantities of tobacco processed by the Bader cigar factory alone. The former storage area for the imported tobacco now provides space for two holiday apartments on two floors that can accommodate up to 13 people!

All depictions: © Palais Wunderlich