A special piece of industrial history

The impressive water wheel has been turning in Schwalheim for more than 250 years.

Schwalheim Wheel

With a diameter of 9.80 m it is one of the largest water wheels in Europe. It has undergone four renovations since it was built by the salt works director Sigismund Waitz von Eschen from 1745 to 1748. The last one took place in 2014.

The waterwheel built on the Wetter river still fascinates its viewers today. Its size is impressive and one can almost imagine how it used to work incessantly as part of the salt production facilities. The waterwheel used to drive a pumping station with a 1.3 km long wooden pole, which transported brine to the graduation works of the Bad Nauheim salt works. The energy can still be felt today with every rotation of the wheel. It still has 84 blades, which are 1.25 m wide.

The water wheel with the number "Seven" was the largest of the original seven water wheels of the Nauheim salt works - and is locally affectionately called the "Big Wheel". The water wheel, as it is known, was formerly used to drive seven water pumps and six printing works. The water wheel was ahead of its time, as it supplied 100 percent renewable energy and did not cause any pollution.

From the very beginning, the wheel and the artistic rods were looked after by a so-called art guard, for whom the house on the water wheel was also built. It still stands there today and transports the visitor into another time. Meanwhile this care is done on a voluntary basis.

Contact persons

Schwalheimer Arbeitskreis Geschichte

Alexander Jung
Schwalheimer Hauptstraße 44
61231 Bad Nauheim

Wind- und Wasserkunst Bad Nauheim e.V.

Dr. Thomas Schwab
Gustav-Kayser-Straße 23
61231 Bad Nauheim