Civil Society Cultural Heritage Natural Heritage Volunteering

Welcome to the Glamorous Hotel Waldlust

The glamorous Hotel Waldlust

Long trip? Please come in and take a seat. Would you like to have a drink? You are now guests of the Hotel Waldlust, in Freudenstadt!

Before showing your room, let me introduce you to this glamorous place. Taking a step back in time, this Hotel was founded in 1899. With an elegant architecture, in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature, this Hotel was a famous spa destination in Freudenstadt.

The Luz family was the manager of this Hotel and some others, namely in Austria. They invited Kings and Queens, poets and artists, so many famous people… Soon, this place became a landmark of the golden era.

The Queen of Holland was a guests of the Waldlust

The Queen of Holland was a guest at the Waldlust

From dancing to playing cards while having a couple of drinks, there are numerous activities to please even the most refined taste! And the beautiful furniture and decoration is so precious that will make you feel as if you were living in a palace.

         

 But the magic is on the outside!

Based on the concept created on the first decade of the 20th century, this “parkwald” (park forest) allows you to live the ideal of healthy mind, healthy body.

Breathe in, breathe out. Good air quality and a wonderful scenario are the main features of this place.

Now, take off your shoes and follow the paths. Do not go straight to a destination and let the nature connect with you. Forest bathing is the name of this immersive experience.

While taking this walk, please notice that the benches are made out of wood, the water system was constructed with stone and how the dry stone walls are in perfect harmony with the nature.

        

While millions of years ago this was sea and desert, nowadays it is the heart of the Black Forest. And did you know that the secret capital of the Black Forest was Freudenstadt?

Founded in 1599 by the Duke Frederick of Württemberg, this poor city had a difficult history with epidemics, fires and destruction. In 1914, when the First World War started, six hospitals were established here. But even the title of “Heilklimatischer Kurort” (Climatic Health Resort) was not resistant enough to prevent its devastation in 1945. The French Army destroyed the water supply, making it impossible to extinguish the fire that was consuming the city. Some years later, Freudenstadt was reconstructed following its original plan.

The city of Freudenstadt

The city of Freudenstadt

Nowadays, Freudenstadt is an attractive and open city. The main sight is the Marktplatz (Marketplace) with a square shape, surrounded by galleries with shops of historic importance. The city’s church occupies one of the angles of the square. Yes, the church has the shape of a right angle! Most of all, it also keeps some rare objects that deserve your special attention.

An important stop is the casino where you can see the figures on the wall. Dancing, singing, playing instruments, taking a thermal bath, chatting… They represent all the activities that characterize a happy lifestyle.

It is even possible to find here some ruins of buildings previously related with this thermal purpose. Among them, the Hotel Waldlust is a survivor that still stands. However, the Second World War, some financial struggles and a much more modern lifestyle lead the Hotel into oblivion. Consequently, the garden and historical park became abandoned and the Hotel suffered a loss of its own heritage due to negligence and careless.

The Denkmalverein Freudenstadt (Freudenstadt Association for Heritage) is determined to save this place. Founded in the ’90s, they are very active in the field of cultural heritage conservation by engaging the local community. As the Hotel is part of Freudenstadt’s historical legacy, the Association tries to preserve this hotel and opens regularly the space for guided tours, special events like concerts and photo shoots. Especially relevant, they provided some of the pictures to enrich this article.

A postcard of the Waldlust

A postcard of the Waldlust

Restoring the historical park to enhance the Hotel is one of their strategies. This goal motivated the volunteering project “Restoration of a Historical Hotel Park”, in 2017. European Heritage Volunteers and Denkmalverein Freudenstadt promoted the project and a similar one will take place from 14th to 28th July, 2018. You can discover more here.

The Hotel, the park, the city, all combines into a cosy space!

For now, I wish you a pleasant stay. Have a good night and… please, be aware of the ghosts!

1 Comment

  1. inna starkova

    Thank you a ton for your article, dear Mariana! It’s an interesting read 🙂 Honestly, the movie Grand Budapest Hotel, which I love, is right on mind after reading this article 🙂

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