A peice of the bathing town’s history

We have the privilege of taking care of two fantastic villa's by the sea from the last century. One, an old bath hotel that was built in beautiful swiss style, specifically for the upper class from Stockholm to have a first class stay when they came to Lysekil. The other building was built as a simple holiday stay for the lesser classes to have a holiday some days by the sea in the summer.

Gentle renovation & turn of the century romance

We have a huge interest in the history of bathing and health resorts in Lysekil. Not to talk about the beautiful interior style and the diligent architecture that characterized the 1900’s. When we bought the villa’s there were many decoration eras which had gone through the house over the years, which had partly taken away their original character. Strandflickornas Havshotel had old carpets, structured wall paper and skirting boards from the 70’s. It was a gigantic job to restore the beautiful wooden floor’s, put back the window frames and skirting boards and re-plaster the walls. Villa Strand has had to endure a harder renovation, but it has now come in to the light again… See more from when we restored the ceiling in the dining room at Villa Strand. Our ambition is to restore the house’s to their original splendor so long that it is possible and affordable.

Another very positive thing is the more older house’s the more anniversaries there is to celebrate… In connection to Villa Strand’s anniversary we made a silent film about how it could be in the happy turn of the century days in Lysekil…

 

Mollén och Curman, founded the bathing town Lysekil

The house’s history is said to be a big part of Lysekils bathing history that goes back to the year 1847. Below you can read about how it started off.. when Lysekil became the west coast’s biggest bathing town.

In the middle of the 1800’s a health trend of natural ideas spread. It became fashion to drink from a well, and to bath in seaweed. Consul Johan Gabriel Mollén, who was a rich shop owner, discovered that he could make something from this strong health trend. The year 1847, he built a simpler classy house made up of the furnishings from inside a ferry. This became the start of Lysekil’s bathing resort.

Professor Carl Curman taught balneology, and had a doctrine about the healing effects of bathing, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He had taken a profession in the subject from the university of Copenhagen. He founded Sturebadet which is still active in our capital city. Carl Curman discovered Mollén’s intention and Lysekil’s potential to be a possible bathing town. Curman took a big chance and started Lysekil’s Badbolag. He made up and shaped the entire of Lysekils beautiful bathing clubhouse, sea restaurants, buildings and bridges in several cold and warm bath houses. He was very interested in architecture and drew several of the buildings himself. During the year’s 1859-1888 he appeared as a medical practitioner and intendent in Lysekil.

His presence in the bath town attracted the whole of the Stockholm upper class since he and his makers where well known in their community- Lysekil became Stockholmers flashy bath resort.

Carl Curmans private summer villa, was known for the popular ancient style. The house still stands and his descendants manage the house today and still use it as a summer house. They also carry out exciting summer viewings some times every year.

Villa Strand…

The year 1894 Lysekils Badbolag built two beautiful Beach Hotels in a typical swiss style with many verandas and balconies. According to that time the bath intendent Anders Wide had ” built these with their fashionable furnishings and furniture which had a big influence on the buildings arount the area.”

This was only available for the upper class, and it was very common that they stayed throughout the summer season together with their staff.

The Villa’s were during a short period annex to Hotel Lysekil and used for the staff’s residency among other companies that were in Lysekil. 1993 Villa Strand was the Strandhotel 1, renovated to a hostel and hotel that we Strandflickor took honor of leasing. Then the other strandhotel 2, became a part of the aquarium today known as Havets Hus.

 

Strandflickornas Havshotel…

Badbolaget also built a simpler Villa, “Villa Fridhem” year 1904. The Villa was first used as a holiday home for the ” less skilled nurses”. These were actually the fine Sophia sisters from The Sophia Home in Stockholm that Sophia of Nassau, Oscar II started. Oscar II was a good friend of Carl Curman, who had a hand in the game to Fridhems up coming. He started a charity fund that collected money for the build.

Among the turn of the century you could have guest stay for 50öre/single room and 75öre/ double room.

During the years it has always been some type of up coming house. During the 50 & 60’s The Vikarvets museum itself was active at the same time in hiring it out to families the whole summer.

1970 started the build of the oil refirmary “Preemraff” by The Brofjorden’s beach in Lysekils municipality. Now they needed to bring every bed they could for all the workers and entrepreneur’s that invaded the city. Then they threw out all the old furniture and they brought in the more modern styles. The hotel got installed with shower’s and toilet’s in every room.

When we took over the hotel in 1998 there was still many of the 70’s furnishings left.

We have read a magazine “Trampen” that was given to Lysekils Badbolag every summer during 1900-1917. Here we could read about The Master Hunter that flirted with Friherrinnor, The Captain from then and bohuslän’s  poet that loved the way of the nordic theatre on Stånghuvud. This old document has been a treasure and an inspiration to us with the furnishings of the different rooms. Of course we have visited many auctions, charity shops, antique markets to make the decoration complete!

 

Trampen

On the walk to “trampen” what flirting there was! Many upper class families with sons and daughters that were old enough to marry took themselves to Lysekil to find a matching partner. In the summertime it stood: ” Here flirting is lively and what would a bathing town be without flirting?!” But from the beginning it was quite calm until the healing trend; it was then no risk for one to “relax themself”. The bath guests then began to cure themselves and take it easy.

The bathing ladies had hard and tough work. They were ready with their thermometers and scrubs for their visitors. Where they would treat them with different kinds of spa treatments and bathing rituals. For example, soaking in seaweed, mud bathing and spas with different kinds of herbs.