Elvis in Bad Nauheim
Many famous guests have visited this spa, including Otto von Bismarck (1859) and Richard Strauss (1927). Franklin D. Roosevelt spent about 2 years here with his family when he was a small child. Locals believe that Bad Nauheim was spared destruction during World War II, even though a Nazi radio transmitter was installed here, because President Roosevelt had fond memories of the place.
Real fame came to the spa when a private named Elvis Presley arrived and found a home off base, right next to the Kurhaus. The singer was stationed in nearby Friedberg/Hessen at Ray Barracks Kaserne from October 1958 to March 1960, and his presence had an electrifying effect on the German youth scene. It was here that Elvis fell in love with Priscilla. She was 14 at the time, and when she first arrived at the plain, old-fashioned villa where he lived, the street was full of German girls, waiting by the sign AUTOGRAPHS BETWEEN 7 AND 8PM ONLY. After that first meeting, she saw him once more, and when he returned to the States, he vowed to send for her.
Elvis wasn't the only famous American to visit. Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was in the habit of coming here every year with his mistress, Marion Davies, and a dozen or so of her women friends -- Hearst would have the women chauffeured around the countryside in style. He firmly believed Bad Nauheim's physicians were the answer to his minor heart problem. Here he had his notorious meeting with Mussolini in 1931 ("a marvelous man"), and from here he flew to Berlin to meet Hitler in 1934. He claimed that he had done "much good" in advising Hitler to drop his persecution of the Jews, but afterward he spent most of his life trying to live down his image as a supporter of the Nazi cause.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.