Zoppot – Cranz – Riga beach Baltic bathing in the 19th and 20th century
The first sea baths on the Baltic coast came into being around 1800, initially without any comfort and with simple bathing machines and cold baths. The bathing facilities were used for healing various illnesses, but also, from the start, for relaxation and entertainment. The infrastructure of the baths developed rapidly: warm swimming baths came into being, and ever-larger jetties grew into the sea. Later, with the arrival of the railway, small fishing villages became centres of entertainment, where the entire world met.
Of the course of the years, a specific bathing culture developed; the exhibition provides and presents evidence of this using the example of three Baltic sea baths – Zoppot/Sopot, Cranz/Selenogradsk and Riga beach/Jûrmala. The primary subject areas are landscape and general history, spatial design, bathing guests, recreational activities and entertainment, as well as bath architecture in the successive periods of the 19th century, the Interwar Years and the time of National Socialism, Socialism/Communism, as well as after the collapse of Communism. The differences and common features of the three seaside resorts on the southern Baltic coast are presented.
An exhibition by the Herder Institute, Marburg, in collaboration with the Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa in Potsdam and the Chair of East European History at the Europa University, Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).