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Binz - a place with a past

The history of the Baltic seaside resort Binz has always been diverse and exciting.

Fishing and farming village

Binz was first mentioned – as Byntze - in a tax collection of the county Streu in 1318. At that time, the core of the settlement consisted of the middle part of today's Bahnhofstraße and the Rabenstraße with the scattered farmsteads of Granitz-Hof and Aalbeck in the vicinity. Church village and the centre of the parish was Zirkow.

The future of Binz as a seaside and health resort became first apparent as early as 1830, when guests of the Prince of Putbus bathed at the mouth of the Ahlbeck, a discharge of the Schmachter See.

Baltic seaside resort

In 1875, bathing in the sea became fashionable and the first bathers visited Binz. As they enjoyed the place very much, they started recommending it and other guests followed. The first road connecting the village with the beach, the Putbuser Straße, was built in the same year. The first construction of a hotel followed one year later, and in 1880, Wilhelm Klünder built the Strandhotel, the first hotel on the beach.

Ten years later, Binz was officially declared a seaside resort and began to constantly improve its infrastructure. The beach promenade, the pier, the Kurhaus, a new road network and the light railway were the first results of these efforts.

Interestingly, no large hotels were built during these tourism developments in Binz and other Baltic seaside resorts at the end of the 19th century. Instead, guest houses were designed in a villa style with maritime and very artistic elements. This charming and sophisticated design became later known as Bäder (or resort) architecture. Influenced by the spirit of the time, these houses were given special names, sometimes poetic ones, sometimes nationalistic ones (such as "Germania") and sometimes the names of family members - often, for example, the first name of the wife of the builder.

The pier in Binz was first built with a length of 560m in 1902. Only a few years after its completion, on New Year's Eve 1904, it was destroyed by a storm surge. Rebuilt in the following year, it was severely damaged again in 1906, when the timber-framed Kurhaus burnt down (this was rebuilt with stone materials in 1908). In 1912, the arrival of a steamboat caused such a gathering of people on the pier that a section of it collapsed and killed 17 people. As a result of this tragedy, the DLRG (short for Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft or German Life Saving Association) was founded in Leipzig in 1913.