In literary circles, it has been well-noted that in despair, very lonely, and already in trouble for gambling too much, Fyodor Dostoyevsky fled his many debts in Russia and came to Wiesbaden around 1865. To this day there are still many evident links to Dostoyevsky and the Russian love with/of the West (especially Germany) in 19th Century Wiesbaden.
The very street in WiesbadenCity which bares his name, i.e. Fiodor-Dostojewsk-Strasse, is exactly where the Hessen regional Finance Ministry offices are located. This is where German residents, employers, and employees of all nationalities pay their taxes or have their tax books investigated. Fittingly, Dostoyevsky wrote his famous work, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, while living on the run in Wiesbaden and in neighboring gambling towns, such as Bad Homburg. Dostoyevsky naturally continued to gamble away his own moneys week-after-week, making him quite familiar with the material for his second novel in Wiesbaden--THE GAMBLER.
Across town from the Finance Ministry and nearer to the Hessen Parliament, itself, is located the most famous gambling hall in the region: The Spielbank (Casino) Wiesbaden. Dostoyeski and other emigrants from all over Europe came to this hall to play.
It should be noted that at the beginning of the 19th Century, Wiesbaden was barely recognized as major town on the Rhine. Kilometers away--Nassovian Bieberich was where the royalty lived. It was not until Castle Bieberich and its surrounding township slowly became fully suburbs of Wiesbaden during the mid-to-late 19th Century, that Wiesbaden had clearly arrived as an entertainment town for Germany's wealthy elite,including the German Kaiser and his family. (The largest bank in the region is still called the Nassau Sparkasse-Bank.)
The original attraction for wealthy folks and schemers from all over Europe, and even North America, to Wiesbaden was not casinos.
The original attraction for coming to and visiting Wiesbaden had already been very well-known in Roman times. This attraction was Wiesbaden's famous hot springs. Therefore, the township, where Wiesbaden is located, had been called by the Roman Empire 2000 years ago "Aquae Mattiacorum" or the Waters of the Mattiaci. It was named after a German tribe that lived in the area named Mattiaci.Â In between the main train station and the street where I live in Wiesbaden is where an old gate to the Roman City Aquae Mattiacorum once stood.
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