The site

The “Waldlust” Hotel in Freudenstadt, founded in 1899, was a first choice resort of a noble society of spa guests. It stands as a historic architecture building, as a cultural heritage treasury, as a long time social meeting place in a high rank – a unique symbol of a former golden period of town development. During the 1st third of the 20th century the hotel took a breathtaking career, carried by the arrival of many world famous guests – kings, queens, princes, poets, artists and also the international jet set. Also during its second blooming period after World War II the “Waldlust” had been a catwalk for the high society. “Waldlust”, the leading hotel of Freudenstadt, came to success by the entrepreneurial genius of a widespread hotel dynasty, the Luz family, who owned and managed several well known houses in Freudenstadt, Baden-Baden and Austria.

Today the old palace with its impressive size and scenery and its glorious “personal” history offers us a review back to a golden era, almost unimaginable for such a small town deeply embedded in the Black Forest woods.

Several years ago “Denkmalverein Freudenstadt” (Freudenstadt Association for Cultural Heritage) started preservation activities at the former Grand Hotel “Waldlust”. The associations is highly ambitious to preserve the splendid architecture as cultural heritage site of a great age. Therefore it undertakes rooftop repairing, water containment and other constructive measures, carries out conservation works as well as preventive measures against the loss of art and assures the houses' safety by constant controls. The association also informs about the great history of the heritage site by guided tours and by public relation efforts of all kinds.

Since “Denkmalverein Freudenstadt” engages also for other heritage sites in the city of Freudenstadt and its direct surroundings, in 2018 another association has been founded – “Denkmalfreunde Waldlust” (Heritage Friends Waldlust) which focuses exclusively  on the former Grand Hotel “Waldlust” and gathers citizens of Freudenstadt which are interested in the preservation and revitalisation of this remarkable heritage site.


The project

Since 2017, European Heritage Volunteers has been organising heritage volunteering projects at the former Grand Hotel “Waldlust” in Freudenstadt.

The 2019 project focused to bring back the former states of some parts of the heritage site.

In the ground floor of the former hotel a night club had its place. This club was the only part of the former Grand Hotel which was – since it had a separate entrance – accessible not only for the guests of the hotel, but also for the inhabitants of the city of Freudenstadt. Thus, this part of the building plays a special role for the identification of the inhabitants of Freudenstadt with the heritage site. Countless currently elderly inhabitants connect with this place which is informally known as “Zwitscherstube” (Birdy Club) memories from their youth.      

In the last period of “Waldlust”s use as hotel the former “Zwitscherstube” has been changed concerning use, structure and design and thus its shape had been characterised by the 70ies and 80ies. The aim of the project was to search for the remains of the original situation and basing on that to design a new concept for the interior of this part of the house orienting as much as possible on the historic situation.

The works included the abolishment of recent conversions in the former “Zwitscherstube” as well as in the neighbouring rooms and the clearance of new dividing walls, wallpapers and other elements. Under the guidance of a local architect an interior design concept has been established and the therefore needed furniture which had been stored in other parts of the “Waldlust” prepared and installed.

In result, the “Denkmalfreunde Waldlust” association re-opened the former “Zwitscherstube” still during the year 2019.


The project has been organised by European Heritage Volunteers, in cooperation with Denkmalfreunde Waldlust (Heritage Friends Waldlust) and with support of the City of Freudenstadt and Evangelische Diakonissenanstalt Stuttgart (Evangelic Deaconess Organisation Stuttgart).

European Heritage Volunteers