Lost Place - Hotel Waldlust

by Heike August. 13, 2018 9285 views

In german we use a lot of english phrases in our daily life, which are often not used this way by english native speakers. I think, 'Lost place' is one of this phrases. (But please correct me, when I'm wrong.) What we call in german 'Lost Places' are in the rest of the world 'Abandoned Places'. In Germany 'Lost-place-photography' is very popular. The old Hotel Waldlust in Freudenstadt in the northern Black Forest, is a very popular location for photographers, regardless whether they are amateurs or profis.

Frontview Hotel Waldlust

Frontview Hotel Waldlust

Front and right side view

Front and right side view

Backside view Hotel waldlust

Backside view Hotel waldlust

Left side view Hotel Waldlust

Left side view Hotel Waldlust

This hotel was once the most iconic luxury hotel in the Black Forest Region. First opened in 1902, the hotel experienced its heydays in the 30ies. The former guestlist contains kings, queens, actors, poets, intellectuals and other high society members of that period. It had agencies in overseas, for this reason it gained international attention and prestige.

Reception

Reception

Lobby

Lobby

Lunchroom

Lunchroom

Music Lounge

Music Lounge

Lounge

Lounge

Ballroom (Partyroom :))

Ballroom (Partyroom :))

Seating area in the ballroom - water damaged...:(

Seating area in the ballroom - water damaged...:(

Chess Corner

Chess Corner

Pillars and wall decoration

Pillars and wall decoration

Isn't that strange? I live in a digital world, full of technical tools, like internet, smartphone, mails and receive news within only a few minutes after they happened from all over the world, but when I first heard about this hotel, I asked: 'Where the hell is Freudenstadt? ' But the silent- film actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks knew! Once in the 30ies Douglas asked Mary : 'Hey Mary, Hollywood bores me. Let's spend some weeks in Freudenstadt in Hotel Waldlust.' And Mary answered : 'Oh yes, Douggy Darling ! I always wanted to visit famous Freudenstadt with it's famous Grandhotel Waldlust!' How did they know about it without internet??? I mean, Freudenstadt isn't New York, London, or Paris! It's just a little town in a big forest. I guess, this oversea agencies must have done a pretty good marketing job.

Bar

Bar

Cheers !

Cheers !

Cozy corner in the bar

Cozy corner in the bar

Back to the history of Waldlust....

After the world war II, when the Waldlust was used as a hospital, the hotel reopend again in the 50s. But it never regained the popularity it had in the beginning of the 20th century. So after several owner changes, the hotel closed finally its doors for the public in 2005 and since that time it's abandoned.
Luckely the Association for cultural monuments - Verein für Kulturdenkmale Freudenstadt - tries to preserve this old historic building and to protect it from vandalism. In addition to guided tours and events, the Assosiation also offers some dates for 'Lost-place-shootings' during the year. You have to pay a fee about 30 Euros and get the possibility to stroll for 4 hours, independent and everwhere, through the house and make your photos. The fee will be taken for 100% for the preservation of the building. When I've been there, we were all together 30 photographers from different parts of germany. We were told, that no larger groups will be let in, so that nobody gets in each others way. The hotel has around 80 rooms on 4 floors and all the other facilities a hotel usually has (Bar, Lounge etc.), so you can imagine, that everybody had lots of possibilities, to shoot without any hectic and interuption. Nude and blood-photography are not allowed. Dessous photography is allowed. (...No no boys, no need to scroll down quickly, I just mention it, I didn't make any dessous photos. 😜)
In lots of the rooms are still some furniture, some are the old ones from the time the hotel closed, but I heard, that there once was a film team and they also left behind some of the furniture they used as requisites. Oh yes - and how could it be otherwise - there are lots of stories about paranormal activities in the house. I don't believe in such things like ghosts, but I can imagine how creepy it must be, to spend all alone a night in this hotel... :-)

Room

Room

Bathroom

Bathroom

Water armatures in french

Water armatures in french

Secretary

Secretary

Elevator and stairs

Elevator and stairs

Office

Office

Window handle

Window handle

Green room

Green room

Lamp

Lamp

Yellow room

Yellow room

Staircase

Staircase

Attic

Attic

After spending nearly 4 hours in the hotel, I was tired, sweaty, exhausted and if a fairy would have given me the choice between a Tesla-share or a cold shower, no doubt, my choice would have been the cold shower. But than I opened the door to a room, where all the written documents of the house were stored.

Documents !

Documents !

Believe me, I wished, I had another 4 hours (no shower necessary anymore) to dug into all that documents. But unfortunately I had only a few minutes left for a quick look. I found this old index-card from 1934, obviously used, to store informations about the guests of the hotel. I made the below photo and placed it back into the basket where I found it. Below the photo, you find my translation in english. The bold notes I added as additional information.

Index-card

Index-card

Translation:
Name of the Guest: Zubiria, Mr. T. de / "Deusto" (is a district in the spanish town Bilbao) Spain. Travels with Secretary Gonzalo Perez...must be exorbitant rich. Was in the Bar with Terra (manually added : and Jean) - Spanish Blueshirt.- ('Spanish Falange Organization - extreme nationalist political group - in one word : fascists- in german they were called 'Blauhemden'. )
Returning from a visit at the spanish king, whom he brought 60.000 signatures. (manually added : And money!). Was 3 times in prison. Very, very kind but needs women and action. Wants to revisit us. Interesting. Z: 230 (could be room nbr. 230, ) MK: 20.-alc (maybe spend Mark 20,- for alcohol ?? Reichsmark was the german currency from 1924-1948). 06.sep-07.sep.1934 (I suggest, this is the date of the night he spend in the hotel.) Wants to speak german - studied in Darmstadt (german town near Frankfurt/M.)
(The last sentence seems to be added 1 and 1/2 Year later in 1936) :
On transfer to Darmstadt, (Came in) to say Grüß Gott (God day/hello).Now Mercedes-Representative with beautiful car.- Kind: 18Mar1936

For me, this room is the treasure box of the house! I bet, there are hunderts of stories about the hotel and the guests and the history to find.

If anybody of you want to buy the Waldlust, I think you get it for around 1.3 million euros. (But keep in mind, you need around 35million euros for the inside and outside renovations...) Oh yes, and please don't forget to invite me to the reopening, ok?! ;-)

Finally I have to say, the 'Verein für Kulturdenkmale Freudenstadt ' is really doing a great job. They invest a lot of time, energy and heart and soul into this project to keep it alive as long as possible. But at least it can't be ignored, the time already left deep wounds and as sad as it is, I think the Hotel Waldlust is dying a long, slow death. Really sad !


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There are 44 comments , add yours!
Manuel Aranda 4 months, 1 week ago

H llegado hasta aquí a través de su música que me gusto mucho, investigando me encuentro con estas hermosas fotos estoy seguro que esconde un cofre lleno de sorpresas y estoy muy interesado en descubrir que pensaba o como era el que lo escribió y su verdadero significado. gracias infinitas por estas fotos deslumbrantes.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Jim Hooker 1 year, 11 months ago

Wonderful set.  How strange that decay, like poverty, is often so photogenic

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Jim Hooker 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you Jim, glad you liked it ! And I agree, it's strange that decay is often so attractive.

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Ho Kim 2 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting shots and stories. They are clever to maintain the place in this way. Though they renovate the whole hotel, it will not be easy to gather customers to prosper as it used to hundred years ago. Simple destruction is a waste as well. Keeping the hotel in that way will act as a good attraction for those who love paranormal things. The way they keep the hotel is very interesting : keep the weather beaten walls as they are but the furniture are mended and replaced to be in use. I do appreciate your kind interpretation of the card : they were so clever as to keep all the business information in that card, even all the tedious details as well.
I do enjoy all the photos and stories. smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sylvia Warren 2 years, 1 month ago

Lovely that it is kept in its original state! I think preservations are much more interesting than renovations or replications.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Sylvia Warren 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Sylvia ! I agree, but the problem with preservation are often the costs. As far as I know, the building is still in private hands and is not subsidized by the county. All the work of the assosiation of cultural monuments is voluntary and I don't want to think about what will happen, when they give up this project...

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
George Kunschman 2 years, 1 month ago

Fantastic photos Heike, and I very much enjoyed the information. Makes me want to revisit Germany again!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to George Kunschman 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you George ! It's funny, since photography is my hobby, I discover more 'little treasures' in my own country, than ever before. grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Olivier Girard 2 years, 1 month ago

Whaou ! Where is Gatsby ?

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Olivier Girard 2 years, 1 month ago

Drunken in his room. smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Greg Blaney 2 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting set of photos, Heike. Looks like this place could still be operational. Really, really love #15 - what a great photo. And, as Joe needed to do, I also had to google 'dessous'. Please forgive my ignorance. You write very well in English, I wish I was close to being multilingual, but not to be.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Greg Blaney 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Greg. Glad you like them. I also like #15, but my fav is #23. No idea why, maybe, because it's so simple. ...
Honestly, you don't use the word Dessous in the US?????
I really thought Joe is joking!! Especially because Camellia called him a rascal. (I had to google that.) smile  
I thought, Dessous is the most common word all over the world for 'lingerie'.
And no, I don't think it's ignorant not to know that word or other languages, it's more my own ignorance to assume, that everybody knows it...I have to do better research....But I'm sure, now you will never forget, what its meaning is, it's a good way to learn vocabulary. smilebikini

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Greg Blaney Replied to Heike 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, I'm not American. I'm from Canada, which I suppose makes it even more unusual that I've not heard the word dessous, since we have 1/4 of the population that speak French. Lingerie is a more common word here in North America, I think.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Lakshmi Bhat 2 years, 1 month ago

Fascinating, all those photos took me back to those times. Thank you so much for sharing.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Lakshmi Bhat 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for your kind comment ! When I was there, it was so easily to imagine, how the guests where dancing in that ballroom, or sitting in the bar. Really, a very atmospheric building. grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski 2 years, 1 month ago

What a fascinating set of pictures! Thank you for taking the time to share the story of the place, I really enjoyed this post.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, glad you liked it ! grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 years, 1 month ago

If I could put 10 hearts I would. I love, love, this post and the fantastic photos. What a treasure! I would pay and go for a second round just to dig out some of the index cards to read. Really a gorgeous place, too bad it was abandoned. Glad to know that they restoring it. I bet one day all those documents will be put on display as well....I would hope :) Thank you for sharing this, truly was a treat. :)

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Camellia Staab 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Camellia. Yes, I really think about another visit. Now I'm really curious, what else I could find out about other guests of the house. grinning I'm not sure, whether they plan to save the docs in future but I really hope so!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Joe Zink 2 years, 1 month ago

Incredible place. #20 sets the mood very well.
I had to look up "dessous", how am i supposed to learn this stuff if you never show me grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 1 month ago

smile You rascal, you! smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 1 month ago

Ohhh Joe, please accept my apologies ! A while ago I read an article about a scientific analysis, where it was written, that astonishingly all male persons over 6 years are knowing the meaning of the 2 french words 'Dessous' and 'L'amour' without ever getting an explanation about the meaning of these words.
Yesterday evening I double checked and I have to confess, that the article refers to european males - US males seems to be the great exception...In future posts I will do my very best, to post examples, so that you don't have to look up the meanings. smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Joe Zink Replied to Heike 2 years, 1 month ago

At first I thought it was a different spelling for Dr. Suess or something... and I'm like, "wait, they had green eggs and ham, and she didn't even take a picture?"
 And as far as L'Amour, I immediately think of cowboys and Indians author Louis L'Amour and the classic book "Conagher". A line from that book would describe me pretty well: "He was not, he told himself, gifted with much imagination"...smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 1 month ago

Hmm, that you have a lack of imagination I didn't noticed until now. smileI think it is more the opposite. smiley
But I like it, makes me always laugh !

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
John Waco Jr 2 years, 1 month ago

An amazing place and amazing images

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to John Waco Jr 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you so much, John ! Imagine how it must have been in the 30ies... Sometimes I wish, I had a time-machine ! smiley

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Francesc 2 years, 1 month ago

Wonderful work and text!!!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Francesc 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks so much, Francesc ! It was a great experience ! grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 1 month ago

Absolut irre, ich würde sofort zahlen! Ganz tolle Story and fantastische Fotos. Schade, dass man nicht Finger zeigend durchgehen kann und sagen: "Packen, Sie das, das und das auch noch ein und schicken Sie es mir."

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 1 month ago

Was meinst du mit zahlen ? Die 30,- Euro Fee, oder die paar Milliönchen für die Sanierung ?smileIch habe schon daran gedacht, ob man nicht George Clooney mal fragen sollte, ob er nicht eine kleine sanierungsbedürftige Villa im Schwarzwald kaufen möchte, aber dann kommt da nie jemand rein, weil die sich eh nur abschotten würden. Wäre auch schde. grinning

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 years, 1 month ago

Awestruck place, fantastic story, amazing images. What a wonderful post Heike.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Antonio Gil 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, Antonio, great that you like all this. It really took me a few evenings to write, edit and upload. smile

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Heike 2 years, 1 month ago

Your hard work is noticeable dear friend

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 2 years, 1 month ago

Fantastic photo set and great history, what an elegant place

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks so much, Pete ! Yes, this place is really something special. All the stories, which might happened there once...Very inspiring !

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sherry Hill 2 years, 1 month ago

incredible photos and wow, what a place.. i'm in love!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Sherry Hill 2 years, 1 month ago

Me too Sherry ! It was like a step into the 30ies. Thanks for your kind comment.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Abigail Gossage 2 years, 1 month ago

Wonderful!  Echoes in good condition (more or less) of a different era.  I would love to go there!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Abigail Gossage 2 years, 1 month ago

'Echoes of a different era' what a wonderful phrase !!! Thank you, Abigail. I would go again, this place really attracted me very much !

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Michelle Keena 2 years, 1 month ago

Gorgeous photos and story!

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Michelle Keena 2 years, 1 month ago

Many thanks, Michelle ! blue heart

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 2 years, 1 month ago

This is a great set, love it. Urbex, that is what they call it these days, is something I try, but everything here is firmly bolted shut.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Heike Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Peter ! Problem is often, that this places are often so destroyed by vandalism, that it's really no fun, to stroll through them, but here, you really felt the histoy. This house has still a lot of charm and character.

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
Berckmans Peter Replied to Heike 2 years, 1 month ago

It sure does

2 years, 1 month ago Edited
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