Schwarzatal, Tag der Sommerfrische

The Rediscovery of Schwarzatal

Schwarzatal was a popular destination for a long time. Already in the 19th century, guests regularly came to the so-called ›Sommerfrische‹ during the summer months to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. Witnesses to this tradition are the typical Sommerfrische architectures, ornate and often colorful half-timbered houses, characterized by the regional building material slate, which today often stand empty and dilapidated. In the former hotels or guesthouses, which were very popular in the GDR thanks to state-organized company holidays, guests relaxed in the typical loggias and on balconies.

Although the population in Schwarzatal has declined above average, resulting in many hotels and restaurants having to close, the uniqueness of this cultural landscape and architecture remains. In order to revive the Sommerfrische for the population and guests, the Zukunftswerkstatt Schwarzatal, together with the LEADER Aktionsgruppe Saalfeld-Rudolstadt and the IBA Thuringia, organized the first ›Tag der Sommerfrische‹ in 2015 with the aim of reopening the special houses of the region, evoking memories and initiating reflection on the future of this landscape and its places. The idea was developed in workshops on site as part of the federal program ›baukultur konkret‹.

Tag der Sommerfrische 2017_Foto Thomas Müller
Every year, more and more actors are involved in organizing the ›Tag der Sommerfrische‹, opening up vacant houses, and conducting markets and guided tours in the cultural landscape.
Musik zum Tag der Sommerfrische 2018_Foto Thomas Müller
Events such as concerts, readings, and festivals are important building blocks for sustainably revitalizing the valley.
Tag der Sommerfrische 2019 Strassenparty_Foto Thomas Müller
An estimated 15,000 visitors came to the ›Tag der Sommerfrische‹ from 2015 to 2022.
Tag der Sommerfrische Jugendherberge 2019_Foto Thomas Müller
Durch das Netzwerk der IBA Thüringen forschten auch Studierende und Mitarbeiter:innen verschiedener Hochschulen im Tal und erarbeiteten Ideenstudien für leerstehende Häuser oder Landschaften. Und viele engagieren sich auch nach ihrer Hochschularbeit weiter im Schwarzatal, beispielsweise in den Vereinen Haus Bräutigam und Haus Döschnitz.
Tag der Sommerfrische Wegweisung 2019_Foto Thomas Müller
Today, the Sommerfrische is once again considered an essential component for a sustainable development of the Schwarzatal. Reviving tourist traditions in a contemporary way unites regional actors who are strongly committed to renewing their homeland. These include local associations, the Oberweißbach Mountain and Schwarzatal Railway, the Schwarzatal administrative community, numerous restaurants and hotels, and many more.

The ›Tag der Sommerfrische‹ is part of the IBA project family in the Schwarzatal.

IBA Projektgrafik Schwarzatal

Fabrikantenvilla, Unterweißbach_Foto Büro für Urbane Projekte
Series of postcards for the Sommerfrische from 2017. Factory owner's villa, Unterweißbach. Picture (excerpt): Office for Urban Projects.
Schlossberg-Hotel, Schwarzburg_Foto Dörthe Hagenguth
Postcard series for the Sommerfrische of 2017. Schlossberg Hotel, Schwarzburg. Picture (excerpt): Dörthe Hagengut.
In der Nähe der Schwarzaquelle bei Alsbach_Foto Kai-Uwe Schulte-Bunert
Postcard series for the Sommerfrische of 2017. Near the Schwarza spring in Alsbach. Picture: Kai-Uwe Schulte-Bunert.



Project Sponsors

IBA Project Manager

Ulrike Rothe


Broschuere Heimatproviant.pdf [pdf]


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