While our island naturally enjoys a home advantage when it comes to water sports, there is also a cultural boom on land, whether on the fine sandy beach, on the endless European promenade, in the lush green spa and medicinal forest or in the various halls, museums and churches. Regardless of whether it is in the shimmering summer or in the icy winter, in the imperial baths, one big event or another small event helps to create unique moments and happy faces.
When the soul needs space again... Warm sand trickling through fingers, thoughts that are carried out onto the blue with every wave. The moment when all stress is far away and freedom is in every breath. Here on the beach, time is a concept from another, distant world.
The beach is the place of longing for all sun worshipers, air mattress pirates, Kleckerburg architects and professional bathing beauties, for everyone who needs the sea again and wants to experience the sea. The beach at the Imperial Baths is not only perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Anyone who just likes to stretch out on all fours will find their spot here as well as those who want to actively organize their Baltic Sea break. The beach of the Imperial Baths offers a variety of holiday moments. The selection ranges from family or dog-friendly beaches, to nudist and textile beaches, to quiet sections. Small events and big events such as the winter bathing spectacle, the beach chair world championship, barefoot concerts or kite festivals make the beach an experience in every season.
If lounging on the fine sand is not enough for you, you can work up a sweat on the sports beach. Anyone who wants to keep fit while on holiday or who enjoys playing games together can really step on the gas here. Regardless of whether you like chasing balls, want to start the day with a relaxed yoga session or stand-up paddling on the Baltic Sea - there are plenty of opportunities to be active in sports on the sports beach of the imperial baths.
The 43 square meter LED wall in the middle of the Baltic Sea next to the Heringsdorf pier offers what is probably the most unusual backdrop for cozy cinema evenings or thrilling football moments during public viewing. Make yourself comfortable on the fine beach sand and enjoy exciting film nights, international football matches or fascinating photo shows in the open air.
Past the chic villas with their bay windows, gables, turrets and columns, the promenade stretches dead straight from Bansin via Heringsdorf to Ahlbeck and further into Swinemünde in Poland. It is a total of twelve kilometers long, believe it or not. Long enough for long walks or leisurely bike rides. Nowhere else is there such a large number of resort architecture villas as here in the imperial baths. Your eyes wander in amazement from one longing domicile to the other.
While the crooked pines on the dune in Bansin repeatedly provide a view of the Baltic Sea, the promenade in Heringsdorf is transformed into a wide park. The art pavilion, a rose garden and wide lawns line the path here. In Ahlbeck you can stroll past old fishermen's huts while the chic hotels on the other side of the promenade shake hands.
On summer days, guests and locals alike enjoy strolling along the promenade. Especially in the warmer months, festivals such as the Ahlbeck Summer Festival, the International Cabaret Festival, the Heringsdorf Kaisertage or the Bansiner Seebrückenfest attract visitors with entertaining and many a high-profile event.
With a fish roll from one of the numerous restaurants in their hands, people listen to the music that sounds on the concert stages. Each of the three seaside resorts has its own small concert pavilion. The smallest but oldest concert stage is in Bansin. Together with the old bathing wagons and the view of the sea, it has a very special charm. The wooden concert shell in Ahlbeck is almost as old. It is a small work of art of resort architecture. The Heringsdorf concert shell, on the other hand, impresses with its modern steel construction.
Whether comedy, drama, cabaret or fairy tales – in the Chapeau Rouge, the bright red theater tent right on the Heringsdorfer Promenade, the curtain rises almost every day in summer and takes the audience into serious, cheerful, subtle and sometimes sharp-tongued fantasy worlds. In winter, this very place, as an ice arena, offers young and old balancing players fun on skates in the open air.
On the massive desk an open notebook, full of thoughts, ideas, visions, right next door there is a cozy sofa in an Art Nouveau alcove, soft piano cascades trickle down the old, crooked wooden staircase from the first floor - the two-storey Villa Irmgard kidnaps its visitors a journey through time into the life of one of the most famous Russian writers of the early 20th century. Maxim Gorki lived and worked here for several months in 1922 and recovered from a serious illness in the fresh Baltic Sea air. He loved the sound of the waves and the silence of the surrounding forests. Here, in the Villa Irmgard, he received Alexei Tolstoy and other famous friends and wrote his autobiography “My Universities”. And even today, the former living quarters look as if the passionate writer was about to enter through the glass patio door.
Richly decorated with Art Nouveau elements, not only the exterior of the villa has been preserved in its original form. The interior also breathes the spirit of bygone times. The inventory is contemporary history you can touch. But the small museum not only houses Wilhelminian and Art Nouveau antiques. It is also a very modern place that invites you to special events, concerts, readings, lectures, film screenings and small theater performances. Changing exhibitions always attract art lovers to the first floor. In summer, the villa's garden is filled with music. When it gets uncomfortable and stormy outside, the cozy candlelight concerts are very popular.
Maxim Gorky Street 13
May until October:
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday: 12 p.m. to 18 p.m
Thursday: 12 p.m. to 18 p.m
Friday: 12 p.m. to 18 p.m
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 18 p.m
Sunday: by appointment
November to April:
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday: 12 p.m. to 16 p.m
Thursday: 12 p.m. to 16 p.m
Friday: 12 p.m. to 16 p.m
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 16 p.m
Sunday: by appointment
The guest house is located directly on the pier in Bansin. It not only houses one of the three tourist information offices in the imperial baths, but also offers a platform for artists from the fields of painting, graphics and sculpture in a small but fine gallery. The exhibition concept is diverse, as are the topics in the lectures and readings, which can be enjoyed regularly in the in-house hall.
From the history of the pearls of the spa villas and the uniqueness of the piers to the nature of the Pomeranian Bay and the phenomena of the island weather, various contents and themes of the Baltic Sea and the island find their place in the guest house. In addition to the popular tree readings with Hugo, whose stories young and old love to listen to, the Haus des Gastes also puts cabaret and satire in the form of chansons, parodies and sketches of political conditions and current events at the center of events.
The small building with the red double doors is more than 100 years old. Once a fire station, today a literature house for Bansin's famous son: Hans Werner Richter. Author, writer and initiator of the writers' association "Group 47".
Born in Neu Sallenthin in 1908 as the son of a fisherman, Hans Werner Richter spent his youth in Bansin, a stone's throw from the former fire station, before moving to the cities of Berlin and Munich. In his works "Tracks in the Sand" or "Stories from Bansin" he not only describes his place of birth, but also gives an insight into his life. The exhibits in his study are originals that come from his office in Munich.
Other items from the Richter family's estate are on display in a small gallery, including his hat and walking stick. But other artists are also mentioned here, such as Lotte Halfeld, who portrayed Richter in 1947; Erich Jaeckel, who painted the Sellin boat dock; and Günter Grass with his drawing "The Pike on May 1st".
An exhibition area in the former fire brigade building is also dedicated to Carola Stern, who was born in Ahlbeck in 1925. Various works and pieces from her estate are reminiscent of her life and work.
Günter Grass and Hans Werner Richter were not only connected by a deep friendship, but also by their membership in “Group 47”, which Richter invited from 1947 to 1967. A small part of his great works can be found in the Günter Grass room. This room is also used to walk in the footsteps of history - among other things, film screenings and readings are held here, which give you an insight into the history of the imperial baths.
Even the well-known and influential literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki once said about Richter and the "Group 47": "One thing is certain: as long as one is interested in German literature after 1945, one will call the Group 47 and its founder Hans Werner Richter that long commemorate.”
Even if the island became too small for Richter in the course of his life, he always remained connected to it. In his works, he not only describes the places of his childhood, but also had himself buried here at his own request.
17429 Bansin seaside resort
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 13 p.m. to 16 p.m
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 13 p.m. to 16 p.m
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 13 p.m. to 16 p.m
Friday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 13 p.m. to 16 p.m
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 16 p.m
Stars have given concerts here, Germany's best word acrobats have slammed in competition and Nobel Prize winners have made many an listener think - the Imperial Baths Hall on the Heringsdorf Promenade always invites you to top-class events. Whether it's a concert, variety show, musical or reading - the Imperial Baths Hall is the place where the music plays and occasionally also the really big theatre. Because the hall offers plenty of space. Up to 600 people can indulge in small and large art pleasures on the parquet floor and in the boxes.
Red velvet chairs, boxes supported by white pillars and a high coffered ceiling give it a historic ambience. Despite its size (11×12 meters), the stage is height-adjustable. The orchestra pit can be sunk.
The entrance is something very special. A staircase leads directly from the promenade to the glass foyer. Ten meter high, slender columns that bathe in a colorful sea of lights every evening flank and support the light and open entrance area.
The Baltic Sea wind rushes through the crowns of the beeches. The leaves rustle underfoot. It smells wonderfully of wood and damp moss. The spa and healing forest in Heringsdorf is probably the greenest fitness and health studio on the island. It invites you to experience the Usedom nature with all your senses. Some of the “green” fitness trainers are almost 150 years old. The good thing about them? They are calm and that rubs off on everyone who comes to them.
During a walk through the spa and healing forest, the first of its kind in Europe, walkers and those who enjoy exercise can experience the healing powers of the forest for themselves. Because the unique combination of a mild bracing climate, fresh Baltic Sea air and the essential oils of the trees has a positive effect on body and soul. Stress is reduced, the cardiovascular system is promoted, blood pressure is lowered and the respiratory tract is freed. Anyone who spends a day in the forest has 40 percent more immune cells in their blood afterwards.
A marked route network with three different levels of difficulty leads through the 187-hectare area. The paths are barrier-free and designed for the disabled. Specially created places invite you to physical and meditative exercises. The experience concept was developed together with doctors and foresters. A specially created motor and sensory path with outdoor fitness equipment promotes the musculoskeletal system and muscle building, trains the sense of balance and lets you experience the forest as a whole. Therapy boards at the individual stations provide information about the use and benefits of the respective exercise. Those who like to walk barefoot can safely take off their shoes here.
In addition to exploring on your own, guided or therapeutic forest hikes with specially trained forest therapists or the district forester are also possible. Even small forest hikers can experience exciting adventures in the program of the spa and healing forest.
With its vaulted wooden ceiling, it looks like a large inverted boat. This is exactly what the interior of the Ahlbeck church wants to remind visitors of. Because it still serves the Baltic Sea holidaymakers, but above all the fishermen of the place every Sunday and holiday as a place of worship. For three decades, the cantor Johann Koch collected donations for its construction, until the church was finally consecrated in 1895. So says a memorial stone on the side of the brick building.
But it's no longer just church services that the small church of the seaside resort invites people to.
Just like the Heringsdorf church, which was built up on the Kulm in 1848 by Schinkel's student Ludwig Persius, and the modern hall church in Bansin from 1939, the program of events in the three evangelical imperial spa churches also includes readings, concerts and plays. Whether gospel choir, jazz band or baroque ensemble - during the church summer, the congregations always welcome numerous guests from near and far to the concerts.
Members of other religious communities also have various opportunities to celebrate church services in the imperial baths. In Ahlbeck there is an Evangelical Free Church community. The Stella Maris Catholic Church is at home in Heringsdorf and the New Apostolic Church and the regional church community offer prayer services in their rooms in Bansin.
The light goes out. The music blasts loudly from the speakers at full blast as the players run onto the fenced field. The adrenaline in athletes and spectators conjures up joy and glitter in mouths and eyes. All around, blue and white scarves waved. The Imperial Baths not only have salt water in their blood, but also a lot of passion for handball.
Because at the weekend, the fans of the Ahlbeck hometown club HSV Insel Usedom are always out of control. In the Pommernhalle, which was opened in 1997 with the game against the Reinickendorfer Füchse, it is not the Baltic Sea that bubbles over the games, but the atmosphere. It is not for nothing that the Pommernhalle is also called Pommernhell at home games. The heart club of the Ahlbeckers has made it into the Oberliga.
However, in addition to handball games, the multi-purpose hall also invites to other events such as multimedia lectures. The soccer games of FC Insel Usedom on the sports field in Bansin are also sporty.
On the other hand, if you prefer to work up a sweat yourself, you can let yourself be heated up in very different ways in the midnight sauna at the Ostseetherme. At night, in the sauna nights, she takes you from the Caribbean to the Arctic Ocean, pampering not only the body but also the palate.
The evening hours sometimes lure you not only into the sauna. There is always something going on on the streets of the imperial baths. Festivals, live music, midnight shopping - especially on the promenades and in the Heringsdorfer Friedensstrasse, small, fine events in summer and between Christmas and New Year invite you to stroll, feast and booze.