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Bad Schwartau is situated at an elevation of 8 m on the river Schwartau in the district Ostholstein, immediately northwest of the city of Lübeck. The municipality has a population of about 20,000 (2018).
Rensefeld, today part of the municipality, was first mentioned in 1177, the mill szwartowe was first mentioned in 1215. The adimnistration of the district Kaltenhof, part of the domains of the bishops of Lübeck, was transfered to to Schwartau around 1640. At that time the place already was a market place. The privileges of a market town were granted to Schwartau by the bishop as secular head of the prince bishopric of Lübeck, in 1742. In 1842 the districts Kaltenhof and Großvogtai were merged into the district Schwartau of the principality of Lübeck, which did not include the city of Lübeck and at that time was already part of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Prior to 1900 Schwartau became a popular climaatic resort place. At the same time it also became popular as a residential town. The first saline spring supplying iodine-containing waters was discovered in 1895. The first spa opened in 1901. Schwartau obtained the the status of a town 1912. In 1913, the predicate Bad (spa) was added to the official name of the town. The neighbouring communities of Rensefeld, Groß Parin and Cleverbrück (parts of the former municipality of Rensefeld, were incorporated into Bad Schwartau in 1934. In 1937 the former district principality Lübeck was incorporated into the new district Eutin, now part of the the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein.
The Waldhalle ('Forest Hall') [left, no. 0000]
was the social centre of Bad Schwartau of the 19th century. The establishment was closed in 1971.