Until you’ve sweated it out in a full-on German sauna, you can’t really claim to be a proper sauna aficionado. Happily it’s an experience I can now tick off my bucket list, courtesy of a free morning while on a work trip to Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony.
Wolfsburg is of course the home of Volkswagen, and the famous VW logo is everywhere in this city. A little research identified BadeLand (www.badeland-wolfsburg.de), a waterpark with separate adjoining sauna area as a suitable facility. Located on the River Aller, it’s within walking distance (25-30 minutes) of the iconic Volkswagen factory with its four chimney stacks dating back to 1938, as well as Volkswagen’s Autostadt museum and customer centre which is well worth a visit. The Courtyard by Marriott hotel is located next door to BadeLand for anyone looking for a convenient place to stay.
The fact that BadeLand’s website is in German only caused a few reservations about whether I would have problems finding my way around, but the helpful lady at the desk explained in perfect English that a half day entry fee of €16.20 would allow unlimited access to both the pool area and the sauna area. If you need towels, they are €2 each, and flip-flops are also recommended – I brought my own. You do need to have swimwear to use the pool side, whereas the sauna area is textile free.
At check-in you are given a wristwatch type sensor that allows access to the various areas, as well as locking your chosen locker and recording any drinks or other items you purchase in the bar area.
Changing facilities for the sauna area are unisex, though there is also a dedicated female changing area. So it was off with the clothes, and with a towel wrapped around me, into the fray. Continued…Read full original article…
Thousands of Germans take to the beach or the sauna — very public places — without wearing anything. Public nudity isn’t considered indecency, it’s considered culture.
The nudist movement goes by the initials FKK, which stand for Freikörperkultur, or “free body culture.” For Germans, nudity isn’t always sexual, and FKK has a long history, including a brief stint when it was banned by the National Socialists (Nazis) under Adolf Hitler.
Nudism “isn’t really erotic,” Gregor Gysi, president of the European Left party, told Deutsche Welle (DW)’s Rachel Loxton. “I see FKK as a possible counterweight to the ubiquitous sexualization in advertising, but also in society in general.” Continued…Read full original article…
Why Germany’s nudist culture remains refreshing From lakes to saunas and parks: Is Germany’s nudist culture, known as FKK, dying out or still making waves? It’s still strong enough to inspire a change of attitude for Berlin-based expats.
At first glance it seems like a regular beach scene: Children running in and out the water, sandwiches being passed around families and couples sunning themselves.
But on closer inspection most people at Krumme Lanke, a lake in the south west of Berlin have something in common.
They aren’t wearing a scrap of clothing. And it’s a non-event. No one cares and no one is surprised. There’s nothing sexy about it. It’s 25C; it’s a very hot spring day and there’s really no need for clothing if you don’t feel like wearing it. Continued…Read full original article…
As we gathered at Dublin Airport on a cold damp, dark morning I found it hard to envisage that within a few short hours we would be sampling the delights of Europe’s largest spa, Therme Erding.
Stepping off the plane at Munich Airport we were immediately taken aback by the sharp drop in temperature. The snow began to fall as we took the last leg of the journey via taxi. Looking out at the snow-covered landscape it was hard to believe we were only minutes away from a Bavarian paradise. On arriving at Theme Erding I was struck by the pure scale of the dome like structure, and hundreds or cars in what seemed to be a completely full car park. Surely this could not be on a normal working day? Continued…Read full original article…
I found a tranche of photos online purporting to be examples of East German naturism (i.e. the DDR).
I can’t vouchsafe for their authenticity, although one or two definitely are -the book and magazine covers in the first two photos.
Another has a ‘DDR’ plate on a car. The car’s from East Germany, then, but it doesn’t necessarily place the model in the country, or underline her place of birth.
When Germany was divided in two after the war and the east fell under communist rule, it was run with an iron fist in many respects, its citizens under surveillance. The Stasi, the East German secret police, spied on its citizens, and one had to be very, very careful who one spoke to about what. So paranoid was the state that the security services analysed garbage. Yes…having your bin (i.e.. garbage can) searched for evidence of ‘western food packaging’ was part of their remit. Continued…Read full original article…
Historia del Naturismo en Alemania Historia del Naturismo en Alemania, por TravelBook, 29 de septiembre de 2017 (cedido a Focus y publicado en el número de dicembre 2017, Focus es la revista trimestral en PDF de la FNI-INF)
Los Inicios del Naturismo en Alemania
A veces el Naturismo todavía se le sitúa en el rincón de lo sucio, pero quienes se ocupan con seriedad del tema, rápidamente se dan cuenta de que hay mucho más detrás del Naturismo que simplemente estar desnudo. TravelBook nos cuenta cómo se originó el nudismo en Alemania.
El Naturismo, como su nombre indica, siempre ha buscado una conexión especial de la desnudez con la naturaleza.
“Había una vez…” un tiempo en el que era normal bañarse y nadar desnudo. En la Edad Media, por ejemplo, la gente se lanzaba desnuda a ríos y lagos, o disfrutaba en casas de baños por motivos de salud relacionados con modelos de la antigüedad o provenientes de culturas orientales. En torno al año 1300 había alrededor de 15 casas de baño públicas en la ciudad de Lübeck. Las prohibiciones de la desnudez en lugares públicos sólo aparecen al principio de historia moderna. Al principio sólo las clases altas eran puritanas. La gente corriente continuó chapoteando en desnudez hasta el siglo XIX. Continued…Read full original article…
Roshan Adhihetty is a Swiss photographer who joined a group of nude hikers on their various hiking trips across Europe.
The series is called ‘Die Nacktwandere’, German for “the naked hike”. Shots feature tasteful depictions of average nature-lovers who simply prefer to hike naked.
While Adhihetty never actually joined the naked hikers in taking off his clothes to stroll the trail nude, his photos almost make us want to.
The nude treks took the crew over beautiful mountain tops in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Even though the hikers went without clothes, regular hiking gear like backpacks, walking poles, and packed lunches were still in order. Continued…Read full original article…
Gerhard Riebicke was a German photographer who photographed, amongst other things, the naturist movement of the 1920s/1930s, just before naturism entered its darkest hour, tainted by association, for a while, with the entire Nazi philosophy of young, energetic and Aryan.
While some of his choreographed nude photography has a dubious element of faintly echoing later, disturbing imagery of the Nazis (not, incidentally, photographed by Riebicke to my knowledge), we can marvel at his capturing of movement and shape. Continued…Read full original article…
When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time.
Even today, I’m comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it’s because I’m German.
Nudism is traditionally popular in Germany, a country considered buttoned up and conservative compared with, let’s say, Italy.
In Germany, nudism is known as Freikoerperkultur (FKK), Free Body Culture. Baring all is normal in saunas, swimming pools, the park and on the beach.
Summer in the parks of Berlin and Munich brings the chance of encountering a middle-aged, bronzed German wearing only a hat and the BILD-Zeitung, Germany’s favorite tabloid. Cont…Read full original article…
My naked sauna in Berlin In Berlin, the saunas are nude — and mixed-sex. Gulp. Will Zoe Strimpel dare to bare all in front of the boys?
“Excuse me,” says a tall, paunchy man. “But I noticed your feet weren’t on a towel when you sat down before…”
I’m in a German sauna for the first time, and I’m being told off.
Nothing new about being told off, as even liberal Berlin, to which I recently moved, is full of baffling rules. I’ve been told by a museum guard to keep my handbag tucked under my arm, and, in the foyer of a public library, to keep my talking to a whisper. Now I’m being warned not to let my flesh sully the benches of a scorching wood cabin.
What is new is that I can see this man’s penis, as well as those of the 10 or so other men of various ages and shapes milling around, not to mention a few Brazilian waxes and nipple piercings.
For the Germans, this is as normal as a trip to the supermarket. As in Scandinavia, saunas are revered here for their relaxing effects, circulatory benefits and power to make you sweat a pint in 10 minutes. They are also mixed-sex, and no bathing suits are allowed. Cont…Read full original article…
A FEW YEARS AGO, a black-and-white photograph emerged of three young women walking along a dock with an expanse of sparkling water behind them. All were smiling and were naked, and soon after the picture appeared online, gleeful commenters across the web began insisting that the woman on the left was Angela Merkel. The German chancellor’s office declined to comment, and while many now believe the photograph’s association with Merkel to be a hoax, there’s plenty of reason to think that Merkel, who grew up in a small East German town north of Berlin, came of age frolicking in the nude.
It would hardly count as conspiracy theory. Public nakedness is common in the former G.D.R.: Of the 8 to 12 million nudists in Germany, the majority live in the east and are over 50 years old. One regularly observes men and women of all backgrounds — from dull public servants to service workers to members of the German intelligentsia — relaxing and socializing without any clothes. They read alone in the park or chat in groups at the beach; some prepare to swim, while others wash down bites of bratwurst with pilsner.
They consider themselves members of an informal movement known as FKK, an abbreviation of Freikörperkultur, which translates to Free Body Culture. Despite the aggressive-sounding name, there is nothing confrontational or self-righteous or even erotic about it. Unlike in America, where public nudity typically has gay or countercultural connotations, in modern Germany it seems to have none. What began in the late 1800s as a kind of philosophy of physical health transformed, under authoritarian rule, into a mode of quasi-dissident leisure, and then later into something more temperate, a culturally ingrained but ultimately apolitical national pastime. Cont…Read full original article…
Can the contrast between Britain and Germany be more stark than when it comes to public nudity? I come across it on my cycling tour of Germany’s largest island, Rügen, almost as soon as I pedal across the bridge that connects it to the mainland and the elegant Baltic port of Stralsund.
I’ve done just a few miles through shady woodlands and sleepy villages of quaint thatched cottages. There are cycle paths almost all the way and I’m enjoying myself. The sun comes out. In a lovely patch of forest, I swing off down an unmarked track. Who cares about directions? You can’t go wrong here, and I want to see the sea.
I emerge by the water and take a coastal path that soon degenerates into a boulder field. I carry the bike to a beach that is a metre wide, and on it, basking magnificently, is a middle-aged man with a pot belly that is almost a metre deep and sun-ripened to walnut brown. Not a stitch on him. I pause, then edge past. There is no one else around. He is the only person I can ask for directions. Cont…Read full original article…
Alguna vez policías alemanes patrullaron las playas amenazando a los nudistas con arrestarlos si no se ponían la ropa.
Hoy parece una situación difícil de creer, dado que en ese país la práctica del nudismo es algo tan común como tomar cerveza.
La llamada “cultura del cuerpo libre” o FKK (por sus siglas en alemán) tiene una larga tradición que se remonta a hace más de un siglo. Los primeros nudistas no fueron “hippies” o manifestantes protestando contra algún gobierno, como podría pensarse. …Read full original article…
St. Peter-Ording | Das Gefühl von Freiheit, keine nassen Klamotten am Körper und nicht das ständige An- und Ausziehen – Nacktbaden hat für Anhänger der Freikörperkultur (FKK) viele Gründe. So auch für Birgit (60) und Roland (63) aus dem Harz, die seit 2001 jedes Jahr nach St. Peter-Ording in den Urlaub fahren. Hier genießen sie unter anderem das Baden am FKK-Strand. Beim FKK-Baden wird das Tabu der öffentlichen Nacktheit gebrochen. Hinzu kommen immer weitere Sportmöglichkeiten für „Nacktivisten“ wie Nackt-Wanderwege oder Nackt-Radtouren./em>
Sie hatte anfangs noch Hemmungen. „Als Kind lernt man, mit Badesachen schwimmen zu gehen. Da war es doch eine Umstellung, aber man gewöhnt sich dran, und man fühlt sich viel freier“, sagt die 60-Jährige. „Das An- und Ausziehen der nassen Sachen ist eine Qual“, sagt ihr Mann.
„Entweder man hat fünf Bade-Outfits mit oder man läuft den ganzen Tag in nassen Sachen rum und wird krank“, bestätigt Jürgen (61) aus Neubrandenburg. Er fährt mit seiner Frau Heide (61) seit 15 Jahren jedes Jahr nach St. Peter-Ording. „Zum Wochenende wird es meistens ein bisschen voller“, hat das Paar am FKK-Strand beobachtet.
„Aber es ist niemals zu überlaufen – und das in der Hauptsaison“, versichern Dieter (73) und Erni (60) aus Hessen. Die Weite und der fast menschenleere Strand beim morgendlichen Spaziergang fasziniert die Beiden besonders. Auch das Paar aus Hessen bevorzugt das Gefühl der Luft am nackten Körper. Zudem genießt es die Ruhe am FKK-Strand. „Hier ist jeder für sich, man liegt nicht Handtuch an Handtuch“, sagt Dieter (73). …Read full original article…