“Ghost clinic” will become a retirement home

The stars were treated at the Wiedemann Sanatorium

Wonderfully located: the Wiedemann Clinic. (Image: Hauck)

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Wonderfully located: the Wiedemann Clinic. (Image: Hauck)

Celebrities used to get fit and young treatment here: Klausjurgen Wussow, Gert Frobe, Harald Juhnke, Inge Meysel, Heidi Kabel and Rudolf Moshammer came to the Wiedemann Sanatorium in Ambach on Lake Starnberg for a cure. Not much is left of the splendor of the old days and the elegant architectural style of the 1950s with curved terraces and the "Wiedemann-Kronchen", the letter W embedded in the floor. The buildings have been empty for ten years and are now in a state of decay. The windows are smashed, inside furniture is still crisscrossed, and nature is overgrowing the once so well-kept area. The former celebrity clinic has long since been added to the list of "lost places". The abandoned hotels and derelict properties are an Eldorado for photographers and adventurers. The "ghost clinic," as it has come to be called, therefore now has to be guarded by a security service.

Small-scale development

But now, after several unsuccessful attempts, things are finally moving forward. Instead of the celebrity clinic, a retirement home is to be built. Munsing’s municipal council is currently looking at four designs. The architects were all required to make the buildings disappear into the green landscape as far as possible and to retain the historic Waldschlosschen villa with restaurant and lobby as the centerpiece. It was also desired not to have a "typical retirement home", but rather a small-scale development, so that the estate on the hill would not be too bulky. The proposals submitted envisage pavilions or longhouses with apartments that have a private character, but there are also to be therapy facilities, a swimming pool and an events hall. At the end of August, a decision will be made as to which design will go forward.

Success with the fresh cell cure

With the Kuratorium Wohnen im Alter (KWA), which has purchased a large part of the property, a serious investor has finally come on the scene to take on the problem property.

The Wiedemann Clinic has an illustrious past. Fritz Wiedemann opened a practice in Ambach in 1952; at first, patients stayed overnight in the Waldschlosschen, then more and more fancy annexes followed. Wiedemann became known for its fresh cell cure, the latest craze for all those who wanted to stay young. That’s why many stars and starlets from the film scene were drawn here. For 50 years the business flourished, in 2004 the Wiedemann son sold the business, shortly followed by insolvency. For a few years, the Argirov Clinic in Kempfenhausen operated an outpost, but then it was finally over in 2008. For the community of Munsing, the property became a problem case. After all, the decaying buildings on the coveted lakeside location are really not a showpiece. In 2012, the clinic was to be auctioned off for nine million euros, but not a single bidder was found. In 2013, an investor wanted to set up a psychosomatic clinic, but after the initial talks everything came to nothing again. Then there was a standstill again for years. Only now did new hope emerge with the KWA. In the population, however, there is still skepticism, people fear a too massive development.

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