Bad Reichenhall is a spa town, and administrative center of the Berchtesgadener Land district in Upper Bavaria, Germany. It is located near Salzburg in a basin encircled by the Chiemgauer Alps (including Mount Staufen (1,771 m) and Mount Zwiesel (1,781 m)). Together with other Alpine towns Bad Reichenhall engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention to achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Bad Reichenhall was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2001.
Bad Reichenhall is a traditional center of salt production, obtained by evaporating water saturated with salt from brine ponds.
The earliest known inhabitants of this area are the tribes of the Glockenbecher-Culture (a Bronze Age Culture, from about 2000 B.C.)
In the age of the La Tene culture (about 450 B.C.) organized salt production commenced utilizing the local brine pools. In the same period a Celtic place of worship is placed at the "Langacker"
From 15 B.C to 480 A.D, the city is part of a Roman province, Noricum
1136 A.D bought the founding of a monastery St. Zeno
In 1617-1619, a wooden pipeline for brine exportation to Traunstein was built, with a length of 31 km, and more than 200 m in altitude difference
In 1834, two thirds of the city's buildings were destroyed by a major fire
The early 19th century saw the beginning of tourism, with Reichenhall becoming a famous health resort
From 1890, Reichenhall is now called "Bad Reichenhall"
On 25 April 1945, the area was bombed by allied forces, 200 people were killed. The town centre with many hospitals and the train station was nearly totally destroyed, the barracks didn't suffer any damage. After World War II the area was under American military governance (1945–1948)
On 1 November 1999, 16-year-old Martin Peyerl shot at people in the streets from his bedroom window, killing three and wounding several others, among them actor Günter Lamprecht. He finally committed suicide after fatally shooting his sister and the family cat.
Fifteen people, twelve of them children, died in the collapse of the Bad Reichenhall Ice Rink on 2 January 2006. Thirty-four people were injured in the accident.
Notable people from Bad Reichenhall
Anni Friesinger-Postma, speed skater (born in Bad Reichenhall, lived in Inzell ~10 km away and now lives in Salzburg)
Lore Frisch, well known German actress in the 1940s and 1950s. Moved from Traunstein to Bad Reichenhall in the mid-1930s and got her start in acting in Bad Reichenhall before becoming famous in Munich and Berlin.