Karl Baedeker (not Baedecker) (3 November 1801 - 4 October 1859) was a publisher whose company set the standard for authoritative guidebooks for tourists. Such a book is often referred to as "a Baedeker", and sometimes the term is used about similar works from other publishers. They contain important introductions, descriptions of buildings, of museum collections, etc., written by the best specialists, and are frequently revised in order to be up to date. For the convenience of travellers, they are in a handy format and in small print.
Baedeker was born in Essen, the son of a book printer, and started his publishing company in 1827 in Koblenz. Baedeker's company in 1832 bought another Koblenz publisher (Friedrich Röhling) which had in 1828 published a handbook for travellers by J.A. Klein, under the title Rheinreise von Mainz bis Köln (travelling the Rhine from Mainz to Köln). This provided the basis for the first of the Baedeker travel guides.
The Baedeker Company
The Baedeker company relocated in 1872 to Leipzig under his third son Fritz, who took over control of the company following the death and disablement of his older brothers. With the widespread advent of mechanical transportation, it was Fritz who managed an explosive growth in the line of travel guides, also producing international guides.
In World War II, Germany launched a series of revenge attacks against English cities featured in the Baedeker Guide to Britain, known as the Baedeker raids.
The Baedeker company's premises and files perished in a December 1943 air raid, but Baedeker's great grandson revived it, restarting, in 1948, publication of tourist guides.
- Baedeker (http://www.baedeker.com)
- Der Verlag Karl Baedeker feiert 175. Geburtstag (http://www.riders-guide.de/News/Medien/m_020715.htm)