Ostseebad Binz as in the old days

Strolling bathers

The spa architecture of Binz experience as once

We wanted to know more about the stories in the Baltic Sea resort of Binz and the human fate that took place behind the scenes in these villas. Its facades demand to find out more about the people who once lived there and spent their holidays by the sea. When we found out about the month of spa architecture and that the time of the seaside resort was represented in sketches, it was clear to us: we have to see it. So it went without saying that Binz landed again on the itinerary of our trip to the Baltic Sea.


Villa Quisisana
Villa Quisisana in the Baltic resort of Binz
View from the Villa Quisisana in Binz
View from the Villa Quisisana in the Baltic Sea Binz


The month of the resort architecture in the Baltic resort of Binz

In the month of resort architecture, villas open their doors to visitors who can either visit them on a guided tour or individually. The owners tell anecdotes from history and show the guests the special features of their house. We learn that Wilhelm Klünder, who once owned the village inn in the fishing village of Binz, was the first to build a hotel on the shores of the Baltic Sea. He did this under the gaze of the people of Binz, who did not understand how a hotel could be built right by the sea. The fishing village of Binz was on the hill that rises behind the villas.

The Binzers were suspicious of the bathers anyway. What prompted sensible people to travel for kilometers to walk up and down the sandy beach and - even more incomprehensible - to dive into the sea water and "bathe"? The "sandpipers" and "air snappers", but also the "dippers", as they called the visitors from the big city, were not entirely at ease. But they kept a keen eye on how Klünder's hotel construction and business developed.


That must be in the suitcase for the Binz vacation on Rügen



Villa Klünder
Villa Klünder in Ostseebad Binz


The first hotel in Ostseebad Binz

As a village innkeeper in Binz, he had noticed that his visitors, who were arriving from Putbus, were always wondering why there was no place to stay on the beach in Binz and why they always had to walk from the village down to the sea. As a businessman, Klünder did not take long to ask, and built the “beach hotel”, which was the first to offer accommodation on the beach. Under the eyes of the villagers, his hotel was already a success in its first year that could be seen.

After that there was no holding back, and more and more villas and hotels were built Baltic sea beach along the beach promenade, which was built for the "air snappers". To this day it is the main attraction in Binz. The "air snappers" still exist. They stroll up and down along the sandy beach as they always have. However, Klünders Strand-Hotel no longer exists today. In its place stands the Grand Hotel Binz, a five-star hotel that offers views of the Baltic Sea and the pier on one side and the tranquility of the forest that stretches along the hillside all the way up to the top of the cliff clinging to the slope.


Hall beach
Beach Hall in the Baltic Sea Binz


The beach hall

Only a few steps away, away from the hustle and bustle of the pier, is the beach hall that Wilhelm Klünder had built for his first bathers. We don't shy away from going there, and it's worth it, because the beach hall with its furnishings offers a place for a break while strolling along the promenade. But the villas that are lined up towards the pier are also worth seeing. The name "Klünder" appears again on one of them. Alwine Klünder, Wilhelm Klünder's widow, had the pension with twelve rooms built. Like most other villas, their best time was in the twenties and thirties, when Binz developed into one of the Baltic seaside resorts. Towards the end of World War II, many of the houses were repurposed and used as emergency shelters. Villa Klünder was a maternity home for refugee women.


Staircase in the villa niXe
Stairway in the villa niXe in the Baltic resort of Binz


The Baltic Sea Binz during GDR times

The fate of the villa owners during the GDR was even sadder. Most of them were expropriated during Aktion Rose in 1953. Many of them fled west. After the fall of the Wall, some of the owners came back and took over their family property again. Most of the villas in Binz are now owned by hotel operators from the west, who have restored them (mostly) true to the original with attention to detail or rebuilt them according to old plans.


Willy Fritsch and Lillian Harvey in the Baltic resort of Binz
Willy Fritsch and Lillian Harvey - that's what it was like in the Baltic resort of Binz


UFA stars in the Baltic resort of Binz

On the day of the “Open Villas”, the people of Binz bring the time of the big UFA stars back to life with a sketch on the terrace of the dune house. There is evidence that Willy Fritsch stayed there several times. As a movie star, he was the only one who was even allowed to drive his car on the promenade. Once he brought his colleague Lillian Harvey with him on his visit, whose arrival is shown in a game scene.


Bathers in the Baltic Sea Binz
Bathers in the Baltic Sea Binz


Spa guests in the Baltic resort of Binz

Later in the day we can watch how the spa guests of Binz were once driven to cold water treatments. The poor guy who has to undergo this procedure is given cold water sprays in the air, if he doesn't want to, even with force. Finally, he is even given sea water, which is said to have healing properties. Who believes it? In any case, a number of strollers stop and look, together with us, at the scene in front of Villa Haiderose.


Guest reception in the dune house in the Baltic resort of Binz
Guest reception in the dune house in the Baltic resort of Binz


The bath villas of Binz

The history of the bath villas of Binz and their owners is melancholy. It is not a story that makes you happy. But somehow it comes to a happy end, because after all, the city shines again in its old splendor, albeit often among other owners than those who created this wonderful architecture.




Guided tours of the resort architecture in Binz are currently taking place from mid-March to mid-May. Information is available from the tourism authority.


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Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Ostseebad Binz as in the old days

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.