Flussbad Rehsumpf - Flussbad Rehsumpf

Bathing jetty, the “pig box” in the background on the right, the cabins between the trees

The Rehsumpf river pool is a natural open-air pool in Dessau-Roßlau . When it was built in 1907, it is one of the oldest river bathing establishments in Germany. [1] Because of the wooden construction, historical bathing establishments are rarely preserved. [2] Rehsumpf is a rare example of German river bathing culture from the time before the First World War [3] and the life reform movement . [4] The river bath is a monument in Dessau-Roßlau. The stilt buildings with wooden bathhouses are characteristic of the structures .


The river bath is located on an island in the Dessau water town in an arch of the Jonitzer Mulde . [5] The floodplain landscape Untere Muldeaue , to which the deer swamp belongs, is a designated flora and fauna habitat (FFH area) . [6] The landscape and bird sanctuary is home to rare animal and plant species. [5] In addition, the island and Rehsumpf are partially part of the UNESCO world heritage Dessau-Wörlitz . [5] [7]


Johann Bernhard Basedow founded the Philanthropinum in Dessau in 1774, a school in whose pedagogy sport was an important part. His holistic approach paved the way for the city's bathing culture. [2] Dessau was once a stronghold for river baths with a total of 10 facilities. [2] The Dessau Swimming Club from 1904 e. V. built the Rehsumpf river pool in 1907. [4] Its heyday was in the mid-1920s , when the association had over 1,600 members. [8] [4] At the time, the system was expanded to include a competition pool in the side arm. [4] [2]

Historical photo with Hugo Junkers (right), his renovated bathing house in the background on the right

Supporters of the Bauhaus were among the bathers. [9] The most prominent user of the Rehsumpf outdoor pool was Hugo Junkers , Dessau engineer and entrepreneur. [8] He built his own free-standing bathing house for his family, [2] white with blue heart-carved shutters. [1] In 1931 Junkers arranged for a hall to be added to the farm building and a new club building to be built. [4] [10] A descendant of Junkers spoke at the reopening on June 26, 2019. [3]

In World War II, several buildings suffered fire damage. Despite the damage, operations were resumed in 1945. During the GDR , the bath belonged to the company sports association of VEB Maschinenfabrik and Eisengießerei Dessau . It continued to serve as a public bathing establishment. [4] The Mulde has been heavily polluted by industry in Bitterfeld since the 1940s . [2] A deterioration in the water quality forced the family pool to be closed in 1947, whereupon the competition track was also opened for public use. [4] Since theGerman reunification , the number of users decreased. Due to its historical importance, the bathing facility was placed under monument protection in 1995 . [4]

In 2002, the system was severely damaged by the Elbe floods , and was then repaired through state funds and internal contributions. [11] The ABUS sports club withdrew from sponsorship of the bathing facility in 2012. [11] Until 2012, the river pool was still in use. [2] Another flood followed in 2013 , which again caused immense damage. The state provided € 290,000 to repair the damage. However, no repairs were carried out, rather the demolition was decided in summer 2015. Vandalism occurred after the decision was published . [11] The demolition was planned for the spring of 2016. [8th]Committed citizens founded the Rehsumpf e. V. , who has made the revitalization of the deer swamp bath his task. [2]


The Rehsumpf e. V. has leased the site from the city. The aim is to preserve the river pool as historical evidence. [12] The danger of the flood region [8] [10] is to be countered with resource-conserving treatment of nature. [12] [13] The main theme of the renovation is "Live with the water." [13] Revitalization and maintenance are intended to prevent vandalism. [12]

The Rehsumpf river pool facility reopened on June 26, 2019. [3] The river has a very good water quality again. [2] However, it was not allowed to swim because the body of water belongs to the Saxony-Anhalt State Anglers Association. An agreement for joint use is sought for 2020. [1]


Reproduction of a historical photo of the “pig box” on site

The changing rooms were built in light wood construction on a concrete-steel construction that could be adapted to the rising water levels. [10] The approximately 90 cabins are in the hands of individual families. [2]

The lap pool in the side arm is 50 meters long. The tributary is fed by groundwater and therefore carries clean water throughout. In the 1920s the basin was set up for the army. During the GDR era, water sports enthusiasts from well-known sports clubs trained here. [2]

In the past, children and non-swimmers were let into the water in the so-called “pig box” to practice swimming. [1] It is a wooden gate, with slats as a floor, like in a pigsty. The box could be fixed in the water by means of posts at different heights. [2] The Rehsumpf e. V. salvaged this historic children's pool and has it renovated. [1]

The facility includes an inn and a clubhouse. [4] Since 2010 the inn has no tenants. [11] The rooms have now been renovated and a solar system has been installed. [1]

The table tennis table and bowling alley have been preserved from the former playground. [4]



Commons : Flussbad Rehsumpf - Collection of images


  • Schröder-Bornkampf, Bettina; Kremer, Elisabeth; Lange, Ulrich; Weigt, Karin; Krausse, Joachim; Meier, Klaus; Reichhoff, Lutz; Schaller, Walter. 2019. More light, air, sun - the river pool at the Dessau deer swamp. Deer swamp e. V. (editor). Dessau: Jonitzer Verlag. ISBN 978-3-945927-08-3

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Susanne Reh: Bathing is prohibited in the renovated natural pool in Dessau. Where Junkers was swimming. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, public law institute, July 4, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l Beatrice Härig: Swimming in the pig crate . River bathing establishments yesterday and today. In: Monuments Online. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn, August 2018, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  3. a b c Rehsumpf bathing establishment in Dessau has reopened . In: German Foundation for Monument Protection (Ed.): Monuments . Magazine for monument culture in Germany. No. 4 . Monuments publications, 2019, ISSN 0941-7125 , p. 50.
  4. a b c d e f g h i j Naturbad Rehsumpf eV: history. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Rehsumpf eV, Dessau, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  5. a b c Naturbad Rehsumpf eV: The Rehsumpf river pool. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Rehsumpf eV, Dessau, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  6. https://lau.sachsen-anhalt.de/fileadmin/Bibliothek/Ppolitik_und_Verwaltung/MLU/LAU/Naturschutz/Natura2000/Managementplanung/Dateien/ffh129_text.pdf page 63
  7. LVermGeo: Garden-Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. (PDF) Map of the World Property and its Buffer Zone. In: UNESCO World Heritage List. UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 5. Februar 2018, abgerufen am 8. August 2019 (englisch).
  8. a b c d Anke Katte: The place for Sunday: Historic river bath kissed awake. In: WochenSpiegel. Wochenspiegel-Verlags-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, June 21, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  9. Rehsumpf river pool. Anniversary program 100 years of Bauhaus. In: Serviceportal Stadt Dessau-Roßlau. Retrieved August 9, 2019 .
  10. a b c André Winternitz: Rehsumpf river pool in Dessau before the rescue? In: rottenplaces.de online magazine. André Winternitz, August 1, 2016, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  11. a b c d Naturbad Rehsumpf eV: Current situation. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Rehsumpf eV Association, Dessau, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  12. a b c Naturbad Rehsumpf eV: Project. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Rehsumpf eV Association, Dessau, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  13. a b Naturbad Rehsumpf eV: use concept. In: The Rehsumpf river pool. Rehsumpf eV Association, Dessau, accessed on August 9, 2019 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 49 ′ 59.5 ″ N , 12 ° 16 ′ 7.3 ″ E