The village of Bansin was first mentioned in 1256. At that time it bore the Wendish name Banzino.
Next to Mellenthin, Gothen was the main estate of the Pomeranian noble family von Neuenkirchen, Low German Nienkerken, who lived on Usedom. In 1342 it was owned by the knight Rudolf von Nienkerken, the first representative of the family to be mentioned in Pomerania.
The village "Ahlbeck noble" was created by building a water mill on the Beek. The newly created village, in which a miller, a tar distiller and a fisherman lived with their families, initially belonged to the Mellenthins lordship. The water mill was destroyed in a fire in 1752. Between 1818 and 1820, 11 more houses were built here, the plots of which were sold by the chief forester von Bülow to fishermen.
From 1776 onwards, "Old Fritz", King Friedrich of Prussia, gave former soldiers lands in the swamp not far from the "Ahlbeck noble" settlement for draining and farming. "Ahlbeck royal" is now added to "Ahlbeck noble".
Chief Forester Georg Bernhard von Bülow and his brother Ernst Gottfried Bülow-Cummerow - ancestors of the famous Loriot - acquire, after a series of changes of ownership, the Gothen manor with surrounding forests, the associated farming village of Neuhof, the fishing colony of Neukrug and the fishing village of Ahlbeck noble for 45.000 thalers. A nameless fishing colony was created east of Neukrug as a result of the clearing of individual forest areas from 1818 and the subsequent sale of the plots to fishermen and Büdner.
Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. is with his sons, among them the later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, as a guest of Chief Forester von Bülow. On a trip to the fishermen who are picking and salting herrings on the beach, the crown prince gives the small settlement below the Kulm the name Heringsdorf.
Following the example of the seaside resort of Swinemünde, the head forester von Bülow built three lodging houses, a community house and a ladies' and a men's bath. The first lodging house, today's "White Castle", is built on top of Heringsdorf's local mountain, the Kulm. In 1828 von Bülow had further lodging houses built for his private guests. In 1845, one of the oldest surviving resort architecture villas, today's "Villa Achterkerke", was built on the Kulm. Three years later, the first evangelical church was inaugurated in Heringsdorf, whose building site was donated by Bülow.
The first bathers are the children of the tenant farmer Holz from Stolpe with the governess. In 1853, Heringsdorf had 134 residents and already 400 guests.
The Deutsche Baugesellschaft buys Heringsdorf with all bathing establishments, buildings and part of the forest from Countess Stollberg-Wernigerode for 115.000 thalers. The Delbrück brothers, Hugo and Adelbert, found the "Aktiengesellschaft Seebad Heringsdorf" with other Berlin bankers. Now the place is rapidly rising to become a posh seaside resort, hosting nobles and artists who can't resist the salty breeze and nautical charm.
In 1921 the public limited company Seebad Heringsdorf was bought by the municipality.
In 1875 the lifting bridge in Karnin was put into operation, the predecessor was a hand-operated swing bridge. Thanks to the Berlin-Ducherow-Heringsdorf railway line, which was open to traffic from 1876, the journey from the capital took just four hours.
Also in 1875 the businessman Albert Wendicke built the first hotel in Ahlbeck, the spa house "Wendicke's Hotel", known today as "Hotel Meereswelle".
The award of the title "Seebad" is documented in an imperial decree dated June 4.6.1879, XNUMX and signed by the King of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I at Babelsberg Castle. This title is of enormous importance for the up-and-coming seaside resort. The districts of Heringsdorf and Neukrug become the seaside resort of Heringsdorf. The towns of Neuhof and Gothen will remain independent.
From "Ahlbeck royal" and "Ahlbeck aristocratic" the municipality of Ahlbeck is formed.
The Berlin banker Benoit Oppenheim has one of the most beautiful spa villas in Heringsdorf built in the style of the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, embedded in a park landscape directly on the promenade. The villa became a favorite motif of the German-American painter Lyonel Feininger, to whom the view of the Heringsdorf pier from the viewing platform at the Heringsdorf rose garden is also dedicated.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge in Heringsdorf is christened in 1891 by "imperial cabinet order". First, the 500-meter-long pier was built, before two years later the land-side pier with its turreted superstructures, colonnades, shops and restaurants followed. In 1902/03, the expansion followed with the addition of the so-called Odin Bridge. At the top of the pier is a viewing platform with a restaurant. Steamboats depart from here for Swinoujscie/Stettin, Rügen and Bornholm.
The Świnoujście–Heringsdorf railway line is inaugurated on July 1st. The direct connection from Heringsdorf to the capital Berlin shortens the travel time considerably and brings the seaside resort an enormous increase in holiday guests. Heringsdorf becomes the “Bathtub of the Berliners”.
In the same year, what is probably the most fashionable house in Ahlbeck, the Ahlbecker Hof, is built. To this day it is home to many crowned heads: from the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph to the Swedish Queen Silvia and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
In 1894 Ahlbeck also got its first evangelical church. For more than three decades, the cantor Johann Koch collected from locals and holidaymakers for his own church in Ahlbeck. The foundation stone was laid on July 22, 1894. The neo-Gothic church was consecrated on August 29, 1895. Cantor Koch died on June 1, 1894, seven weeks before the foundation stone of the church was laid, but with the certainty that the people of Ahlbeck would get their church.
The warm baths in Ahlbeck, today the seat of the municipality of Ostseebad Heringsdorf, are built. Today the municipal administration is located in this house. Shower and sea baths are administered in large wash tubs in the warm baths.
Four visionaries - the corn surgeon Emil Wichmann from Berlin, the Sallenthin local writer Ernst Necker, the village innkeeper and the village school teacher - also want to attract guests with the construction of a bathing establishment west of Heringsdorf and found the seaside resort of Bansin. They acquire the plots of land from the public limited company Seebad Heringsdorf. At the beginning of the season, the first hotels, guesthouses and villas are ready. Bansin registers 380 guests in the first year of its existence.
The Ahlbeck pier - today the oldest surviving of its kind in Germany - is inaugurated. However, it initially consists of an open café flanked by four towers, followed by a pier.
In the same year, the Strandcasino, the official spa building, is built directly on the Heringsdorf Promenade. In addition to 18 elegant shops, it also houses a 500 m2 big dance hall. In front of the casino on the promenade is the concert place. This summer, Heringsdorf counts 13.430 spa guests.
In 1946 the beach casino burned down completely and was rebuilt in 1948 by the Russian occupying forces as their own officers' casino. After their departure, the Russians donate it to the community, which uses it as a cultural center, affectionately called "Kulti" by the locals. After the reunification it was the Baltic Sea Casino until it was closed in May 2014. Today it is the Maritim Hotel Kaiserhof, which houses the Imperial Baths Hall.
In 1905, the year in which Heringsdorf received its coat of arms, which showed three silver herrings on a blue background, the spa director Hermann Hans Valentin von Bismarck passed sent a letter to the public limited company Seebad Heringsdorf with the wish to build a Bismarck fire column in Heringsdorf. At a first donation festival, 515 marks are raised. The construction cost a total of 50.000 marks. The foundation stone is laid for the 42 meter high Bismarck lookout point on the President's Hill in today's Kur- und Heilwald. At the end of 1906 he was finished. A Bismarck memorial hall leads to a platform that can hold 60 visitors. Above it is a round fire bowl three meters in diameter. The inauguration took place on June 23.06.1907, 1946. In XNUMX, the Bismarck control room was blown up by a commando of the Soviet army for military reasons.
The spa complex is supplemented by the spa hotel “Atlantik”. The hotel is managed by the Hotel "Kaiserhof" Berlin, later by "Kempinski" Berlin. For a long time it was considered the most elegant and largest building on the Baltic Sea. The Free German Trade Union Confederation (FDGB) later turned the hotel into the “Solidarity” home, which was blown up in 1979. The cornerstone for the new FDGB home Solidarity is laid a year later. Today the spa clinic and the spa hotel Heringsdorf are located in the two high-rise buildings.
The spa director, Hermann Hans Valentin von Bismarck, and the director of the public limited company, Werner Delbrück, inaugurate the racetrack that was built on the way from Heringsdorf to Gothen.
In the courtyard of the Heringsdorfer Warmbades - today the right tower of the health clinic is there - a first brine source is drilled at a depth of 223 meters. The spring with 2-3% iodine brine will be silted up later. But in 1927, a new brine source was tapped with a 400 meter deep borehole next to the Heringsdorf pier. The four percent salt water solution contains iodine and trace elements and is used for medicinal baths. They are considered to be health-promoting for rheumatic diseases, respiratory and skin diseases.
Sensational and accompanied by all sorts of gossip: Kaiser Wilhelm II's tea visits with Elisabeth Staudt in "Haus Marimar" in Heringsdorf, to which Majesty always drives in the open convertible. They last until 1912.
In the same year, the concert site in Ahlbeck, located between the promenade and the Baltic Sea dunes, was built and a wooden music pavilion was built - one year after Ahlbeck was officially given the title of seaside resort.
While the section from Ducherow over the Karnin Bridge was a double-track main line, the extension to the Wolgast ferry was a single-track branch line. The railway line from Züssow to Wolgast Hafen was put into operation as early as 1863. At that time, travelers had to cross the Peenestrom on foot to connect, a road bridge led from one side of the bank to the other. The Peene Bridge in Wolgast, also known as the "Blue Wonder", which is equipped with a railway track, only went into operation in 2000.
Maxim Gorki recovers from tuberculosis in the Heringsdorf guesthouse "Villa Irmgard", built in 1906, and during his stay in Heringsdorf receives well-known artists and Russian exiles.
This means that the bathing establishments are no longer needed. The family pool in Heringsdorf, which was built in 1909/1910, becomes a beach café. This burns down in 1963.
The concert site in Heringsdorf with music pavilion and fountain is built.
Two years later, Bansin also received a music pavilion.
The beach chair factory Harder, the oldest still producing beach chair factory in the world, which was moved from Wolgast to Heringsdorf in 1933, cannot make up for the sad story as a positive event. After the bathing permit was issued outside the bathing establishments, the need for beach chairs has grown continuously. But the elite of the empire were more drawn to Bansin, since the owners and guests in Heringsdorf were traditionally Jewish.
After all, the National Socialists' hatred of Jews did not stop at the imperial baths. The first Gauleiter of Pomerania, Peter von Heidebreck, declared Bansin the first German spa to be free of Jews. In the other two imperial baths, too, citizens of the Jewish faith were subsequently expropriated and deported to concentration camps.
The foundation stone for the Bansin church, also known as the forest church, is laid. The third youngest church on Usedom is built on the model of the Swinemünde Kreuzkirche. Unlike the other two evangelical imperial spa churches, it is not built of bricks, but is a plastered building. The church was inaugurated in 1939.
Due to the "Knobelbecher" action, which was initiated by the High Command of the Wehrmacht, the stationed soldiers and the local leadership fled Heringsdorf on May 4, 1945. Heringsdorf suffered no destruction or damage during the occupation of the Red Army, but the Bismarck control room on the President's Hill in today's Kur- und Heilwald was blown up in 1946 for military reasons. During the occupation, numerous villas and hotels were used as hospitals and sanatoriums.
The buildings, numbering around 40, will first be handed over to the municipality and then to the Free German Trade Union Confederation (FDGB).
In the Rose campaign, hotel and pension owners are expropriated. The buildings are handed over to the FDGB holiday service, which continues to operate them as trade union holiday homes. Only with the end of the Free German Trade Union Confederation in 1990 were the hotels, guesthouses and villas returned to their owners.
In 1954 the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge burned down on the water side, and in 1958 the entrance area and shopping street also burned down due to arson. It was not until 1995 that the current pier in Heringsdorf was built, 50 meters from its predecessor. At 508 meters, it is the longest pier in Germany.
The House of Recreation in Ahlbeck (HdE) is being built by the FDGB. The new building cost 1,5 million marks. The HdE was used as a cinema until the end of 2010. Since then it has been empty.
The observatory in Heringsdorf, also known as the "Manfred von Ardenne" public observatory, was created at the suggestion of the physicist, who equipped it with a reflecting telescope.
Next to the viewing platform with a view of the Heringsdorf pier, the so-called Feininger view, is the art pavilion, which was inaugurated in 1970 and is now a listed building.
After almost 40 years without a pier, a new, exclusively privately financed pier is inaugurated in Heringsdorf - about 50 meters from the previous building that burned down. With its 508 meter long pier, it is the longest pier in Germany. In the glass-roofed passage building in front of the pier there are small shops and restaurants, with holiday apartments on the upper floor. The bridgehead is crowned by a pyramidal building with a restaurant. In addition to excursion boats, sailing ships also dock here.
The Usedomer Bäderbahn (UBB) also begins operations in 1995, on June 1st to be exact. Threatened with closure after reunification, the UBB developed into one of the most successful regional railways in Germany with around 3,6 million passengers a year.
The OstseeTherme Usedom is opened at the entrance to Ahlbeck. The special feature of the spa is the four percent brine, which is contained in all six pools in the bathing world. The Ostseetherme also has a sauna and wellness area, a health studio and a spa center where physiotherapeutic and medical treatments and treatments prescribed by the spa doctor are administered.
Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin can call themselves seaside health resorts. Seaside spas are special health resorts with a direct connection to the sea, where the sea climate is used for therapeutic treatments. The local presence of a spa doctor for the prescription treatments is mandatory. The infrastructure of these places must offer sufficient opportunities for recreation. Seaside spas may levy tourist taxes. The “Seeheilbad” certificate is awarded by the German Health Baths Association.
The municipalities of Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf, Bansin and the towns of Gothen, Bansin-Dorf, Alt- and Neu-Sallenthin and Sellin merge to form the municipality of Ostseebad Heringsdorf.
Since Poland joined the Schenger Agreement in December 2007, pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars and buses have been allowed to pass through the Ahlbeck Swinemünde border crossing. A year later, the railway line from Ahlbeck to Swinemünde center was also opened.
The Europapromenade from Ahlbeck to Swinemünde with open border crossing is inaugurated. From now on, cyclists and pedestrians can cycle and walk on a paved path along the dune without border formalities from Germany to Poland or vice versa. The border has become a meeting place here, which is symbolized by the bracket sculpture installed there.
As early as 1900, the coastal forest in Heringsdorf was integrated into bathing life. In addition to a coffee house and the Bismarck Observatory on the President's Mountain, a racecourse, tennis courts and a network of hiking trails were also built. Since 2016, the coastal forest has been Europe's first spa and healing forest, whose 187 hectares are deliberately used as a unique, local natural remedy.
The modern and digital tourist information, which is equipped with media productions and interactive elements, opens in the former “Bade-Bureau” on Delbrückstraße in Heringsdorf. It also houses the library, which has more than 9.000 books.