Opened in 1983, the state-owned baths’ spa visitor centre is ‘an outstanding piece of modern architecture’ designed by the internationally renowned architect Günther Behnisch (Behnisch & Partner in Stuttgart). Behnisch also designed Munich’s Olympic stadium. The spa visitor centre is a key source of information for anyone who visits the town. It is home to the tourist information centre and the administrative offices of Staatsbad Salzuflen GmbH. The town of Bad Salzuflen now has sole ownership of the limited liability company after the Landesverband Lippe association ceased to be involved in ‘its’ baths in 2003.
A third thermal spring (Therme III) was tapped on the old bleaching green in 1958, when Bad Salzuflen attracted more spa visitors than any other German spa town for the first time. With its superstructure – a domed inspection glass – the spring is at the symbolic heart of the spa visitor centre. This is highlighted above all by paving stones laid in concentric circles.
At the north-east edge of the plaza is the new ErlebnisGradierwerk graduation tower, which was officially opened in summer 2007. It is well worth visiting ‘Europe’s most modern graduation tower’. Visitors can go inside the tower, which also has a brine steam room. The viewing platform at the ErlebnisGradierwerk enables visitors to look out over the spa park, which was designed over a hundred years ago and merges almost seamlessly with a 120-hectare landscape garden.
The lower part of the spa park near the town is framed by the historic assembly rooms (built in 1899/1900) with the associated spa and town theatre (1908), the 1,100-capacity concert hall (opened in 1963 and thoroughly renovated in 2010) and the pump room (1961/62).
The more recent buildings on the right at the end of Bleichstrasse were constructed on former parking spaces. Before that, the millpond fed by the River Salze could be found here. A note on the name of the street: there used to be a bleaching green (Bleiche) by a river or pond in every town and village. In most places these were used for drying laundry in the sun, but Salzuflen’s bleaching green had more to do with linen weaving. In both cases, those days are long gone, in Bad Salzuflen and elsewhere.