The (partially) abandoned Sanatorium Harzgerode was built between 1928 and 1931 according to a design by the architect Godehard Schwethelm and was a lung sanatorium, in which initially tuberculosis and later other lung diseases in children were treated from 1931 to 1998 .
The building ensemble includes the main building, a nursery for plants, two medical residences, the chief physician's villa, an isolation ward, a school building and a gatehouse.
The ensemble, designed in the style of "Neues Bauen" (Bauhaus), is a listed building.
The sanatorium is located north of the town of Harzgerode on a 21 hectare park-like plot of land, which is enclosed as a clearing by coniferous and deciduous forest. Several hiking trails lead along the site.
The architect tried to bring a childlike lightness into a functional building using playful shapes, such as round windows and rooms, artistically etched window panes and curved lines. Characteristic of the sanatorium are the long balconies in front of the patient rooms on the south and east sides of the building, which could also be reached by bedridden children through floor-to-ceiling windows. The two bed wings south and east are connected in the middle by a four-sided central building in which the functional rooms were located.
While one wing of the ensemble was renovated in the 1990s, many of the original components still exist in the old building.
Back in the days, air and sunlight were supposed to cure the children of their lung ailments. From 1931 to 1998 the Harzgerode sanatorium was operated as a
children's sanatorium for tuberculosis and as a health clinic for lung diseases. The sanatorium offered space for up to 150 young patients and 150 employees, most of whom lived on the premises.
Lung operations were performed in two operating theaters. Until the 1990s, light and air continued to play a major role in curing lung diseases. There were also opportunities for long walks on
the premises and reclining cures on the balconies of the sanatorium.
In 1950 the sanatorium received its own special school, and in the 1980s, instead of the school barracks, a multi-class school building.
After 1990, it was classified as a building worthy of note in terms of building history. In just a few years, almost twelve million Deutsche Marks were invested in renovation, modernization and medical technology, two million DM alone for the latest technology for X-ray diagnostics and laboratory equipment.
In view of the falling number of admissions from 1991 onwards, a spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs for the state government of Saxony-Anhalt announced
that the clinic would be closed at the end of the year. Parents of the children affected founded an "Initiative to maintain the Harzgerode Specialized Children's Hospital". Almost 17,000
signatures were collected in the region for the preservation of the sanatorium. City council, district council and state parliament campaigned for continued operation. In 1996 another 10,000
signatures were collected to keep the clinic. Despite the protests, the final closure was announced in December 1997. As of September 30, 1998, the remaining 89 employees were dismissed. There
were then numerous attempts to put the system into a new use.
A community for ecological living has lived on the site since 2018 and is gradually expanding it as an ecovillage, event and seminar location. Guided tours are offered on request.
Visited: November 30, 2018 [legal visit]
Location: Harzgerode, Germany
Status: Abandoned/partially inhabited