In the late 19th century, artists flocked to the tiny fishing village of Ahrenshoop on the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula of northern Germany. The colony that they established is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
The concept of having scenic residencies for the creative pursuits actually has a long tradition in Europe. At the end of the 19th century, artists' colonies popped up across the continent. Most were in Germany, however – and they included Worpswede near Bremen and the island of Hiddensee. Ahrenshoop was discovered by the painter Paul Müller-Kaempff, who immediately saw that it was a special place. After he set up residence, other artists followed him, building houses with studios and galleries and making Ahrenshoop famous. Writers arrived later and also found inspiration there. And it's no surprise that they did. The Baltic Sea lies on one side of the narrow peninsula and the shallow Bodden bays on the other. In between is the small fishing village with its thatched cottages and above it all the wide blue sky. It's a combination that captivates to this day – whether you are here for a seaside holiday or as a lover of art.
Beauty as far as the eye can see
This year, Ahrenshoop is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the founding of its artists' colony with a host of exhibitions and art projects. An ever-present attraction is, of course, the beautiful scenery. In Ahrenshoop, there are only around 800 metres between the Baltic Sea and the Bodden bays, with the latter's reed beds providing a habitat for many rare animals. On the Bodden side is the small harbour of Ahrenshoop-Althagen, where you can see traditional boathouses that are built into the water. Anyone wanting to find out more about Ahrenshoop as an artists' colony can join a guided tour of the village. Ahrenshoop also makes a fine base for active holidays thanks to the many walking trails and cycle routes that criss-cross the peninsula. Click here for more information on this picture-perfect holiday destination.