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Hidden Treasures - Itinerary Sanatorium von Hartungen

On the lakeside of Riva in a large park lies a complex known as "Miralago", which originates from the sanatorium built in the early '900 by Viennese physician Christoph von Hartungen IV. Take a short stroll through a place where time stands still.


Start: Punta Lido or car park in Viale Rovereto
End: Punta Lido or car park in Viale Rovereto
Length: 1 km
Duration: 45'
Elevation difference: none
Difficulty: easy
Notes: Suitable for wheelchairs and trolleys.

1. The Sanatorium von Hartungen

At the dawn of the twentieth century the physician Christoph von Hartungen IV, from Vienna, built a very advanced sanatorium on the lakeside of Riva del Garda, based upon the latest homeopathic and hygienistic theories. Thanks to this sanatorium Riva became a destination for writers and personalities from central European cultural scene. 
Among the illustrious patients Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Max Brod, Franz Kafka are particularly shining examples. The sanatorium complex was completed in stages between 1895 and 1907, and remained a medical facility until the First World War. After the war, due to changed political conditions it was acquired by the Province and used as a summer retret for school children, known as "Miralago", until 1993.

Our tour starts from the bridge of Punta Lido, the first of the lakefront in Riva, near the confluence of the rivers Albola and Varone. A few steps further on the left lies the gate to the Miralago park. Alternatively, you can enter from the north gate, in Viale Rovereto avenue, and visit the area in reverse order. 
The park is open to the public from 8 am. to 8 pm.
2. Miralago Complex

From the gate on the lakeshore we enter the Miralago complex, former Sanatorium von Hartungen, surrounded by a park where one can find rare trees such as the cork oak, a powerful persimmon, very old mulberry trees that were probably already present when Von Hartungen had the park created, the magnolia grandiflora, the araucaria, the dwarf palm.
Inside the 20,000 square meters area, most of it a park, the Sanatorium was built by Von Hartungen between 1895 and 1907. It consisted of two villas in masonry, as well as up to twenty "air huts", small wooden bungalows with large glass-less windows and open doors, outfitted for two people, located roughly where the fence to the lakeside is today. The winds of lake Garda would keep these naturally ventilated, especially the powerful afternoon wind, the Ora. 
At the Sanatorium treatments of various kinds were practiced, following the most advanced hygienistic methods based on the principle that one did not cure the disease, but prevent its onset: great importance was given to "Terrainkuren", treatment programs based on systematic use of physical activity (thus, the large park area for long walks), to diets, to a correct relationship with the natural elements, and finally water healing treatments.
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