There's probably a hundred cities and village throughout Germany....who have built themselves into some business related to the "Kur". It's not a recent thing....this goes back for years and years.
The Kur is simply a therapy of sorts.....where you admit you have issues (physical, emotional or imagined). The key thing to the Kur....is that there's money involved. Somebody....a rich guy....a person with cash flow.....a person of wealth....or the government itself...is standing there and prepared to pay for the Kur.
Germans will debate you on this....that the Kur is for both the body and the soul. You.....as the apprehensive American....will ask stupid questions. Couldn't you just get the Kur by going off to Vegas for a weekend? Oh no. Couldn't you get the Kur by camping out in some mountain park? Oh no. Couldn't you get the Kur by eating nutritional foods, dumping your booze, and focusing on God? Oh no. This is best left for the experts.
There are a number of things that the Kur can encompass....rest, relaxation, discussion over prevention of issues, rehabilitation of your physical elements or your emotional loss, surveying your stress and anxiety and talking you through different tricks to adjust your mind, and just plain changing your eating habits.
Wiesbaden kinda discovered after the Roman era.....that they had two interesting things related to the Kur business.....the warm spa waters, and great wine. As things advanced in the 1700s.....there's a new view by the early 1800s.....of travel, and tourism.
If you got money.....especially if you were upper-class type folks....then you had special issues, and you needed the Kur.
Wiesbaden by the mid-1800s.....had put up the hotels....the business district....turned the spa gimmick into big-money....and eventually brought in a casino which was a world-class bar and nightclub. Between entertainment, talkative Kur experts and doctors, fine dining, an abundance of four-star wines and liquors, and real culture.....Wiesbaden grew at a fairly good pace.
For the Kur business.....there's only three or four cities in Germany that might qualify as a four-star location by 1900...and Wiesbaden is one of those. The Kaiser himself is one of the people that run through the city and enjoy the Kur business.
A gimmick? Well....it's unfair for an American to sit and view this. To say that the waters, fine wine, long walks in the Kurpark don't have a changing effect....would be unfair for me to say. I'm guessing everyone who came for the Kur.....got it. Maybe they spent a great deal of money....but they got what they needed. Could they have done it for ten percent of that amount? Yeah. Seven days at a two-star Orange Beach resort motel, with $7 meals at some buffet restaurant, and a case of cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon per day.....would likely do the same thing.
I know.....I'm not thinking like a German. I'm not integrating like I should. But the blunt truth is....I've been on the Kur myself for fifty-five years.....and probably never realized the impact of it.