FDGB Erholungsheim Waldesruh


This abandoned hotel in Germany used to be a vacation home of the FDGB, named ‘Erholungsheim Waldesruh’. Once a vibrant vacation home, this architectural gem has weathered the passage of time, revealing layers of history that captivate urban explorers and history enthusiasts alike.

Erholungsheim Waldesruh was originally constructed in 1903, designed to provide respite for weary travelers seeking solace in nature. Its picturesque location, surrounded by lush greenery, made it an ideal retreat for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

The FDGB Era

In 1953, the property came under the ownership of the Free German Trade Union Federation (FDGB). This organization, active in East Germany from 1946 to 1990, played a significant role in the country’s social and political landscape. As part of the National Front, the FDGB had representatives in the Volkskammer (People’s Chamber), shaping policies and advocating for workers’ rights.

During the FDGB era, Erholungsheim Waldesruh likely buzzed with activity. Union members and their families would have enjoyed the tranquil surroundings, perhaps engaging in outdoor sports, communal meals, and cultural events. The building itself, with its distinctive architecture, would have been a focal point for social gatherings and shared experiences.

Post-Reunification Ownership

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent reunification of Germany, Erholungsheim Waldesruh faced a new chapter. Ownership shifted from the FDGB to the Handwerkskammer Halle (Chamber of Crafts), an organization representing skilled craftsmen and artisans. However, the changing political and economic landscape took its toll on the once-thriving vacation home.

In 1990, the property was sold to a hotelier, who aimed to breathe new life into Erholungsheim Waldesruh. For a brief period, the building operated as a hotel, welcoming guests seeking a unique blend of history and relaxation. The surrounding natural beauty remained a draw, but challenges persisted.

Abandonment and Closure

By 2005, the hotel had closed its doors, and Erholungsheim Waldesruh fell into disrepair. The echoes of laughter and conversations faded, replaced by the creaking of decaying floorboards and the encroachment of nature reclaiming its territory. Urban explorers, armed with cameras and curiosity, ventured inside to document the fading grandeur.

The photographs captured in 2016 serve as a time capsule, preserving the essence of Erholungsheim Waldesruh before it fades into obscurity. You can see my reports on other abandoned FDGB buildings here, here, and here.

Built 1903
Abandoned 2005
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