Ahlbeck or as some used to call it before WWII "Children's Bathtub of Berlin" is a famous seaside resort on the island of Usedom and a part of the Heringsdorf municipality. It boarders with Poland and the Polish city of Swinoujscie (Ger. Swinemunde). It used to be a small fishing village which later became popular with middle class Berlin and Hamburg area residents and members of royalty. The town's name is derived from the name of a river that used to flow through the village. Later, Ahlbeck became an administrative district of neighboring Swinemunde where the Prussian and German naval command was located since the 18th-century. Ahlbeck was also where German naval intelligence command was until the end of WWII. The town did not suffer any war damages and preserved a lot of its original 19th-century old world charm.

Ahlbeck meets Swinoujscie on the Polish and German boarder line i.e. the gray line in the middle of the photo. 
Monument on the German-Polish boarder. A boardwalk to the beach is in the background. 
See it @ Google Street View 

Ahlbeck viewed from a boardwalk on the Polish and German boarder 

Ahlbeck has many tourist attractions. The best know is the 280 meters long Ahlbeck Pier. The pier's construction began in 1882 and was completer in 1898. The pier is a famous landmarks on the island of Usedom, and the oldest still standing pier (Seebrucke) in the world with a restaurant. It was designed after older piers that used to be found on the south coast of England. An antique art nouveau clock that stands on the square in front of the pier is another famous landmark on the island. It was donated to the town by one of its affluent guests in 1911.

The construction of the Ahlbeck pier began in 1882 with the opening of a simple observation deck. The pier was fully completed when a restaurant opened on the pier in May 29, 1898. The first pier built in Europe was the
Brighton Chain Pier (1823-1896) and later, Brighton's West Pier (1866-1975). Both of those piers are long gone making the Ahlbeck pier the oldest still functioning pier with a restaurant. The pier was partially destroyed by massive ice buildup during the winter of 1940 to 1941, and it underwent full renovation in 1997.

Ahlbeck pier (Seebrucke) is the oldest still functioning pier in the world. 
The clock on the pier (on the right) is a Victorian era antique. 
See it @ Google Maps. 

On the pier in Ahlbeck 

One of Ahlbeck's less known historic landmarks is a beautifully located in an old forest and near the beach 100 years old Kaiser Wilhelm children's home complex (Kaiser Wilhelm Kinderheim), which was built between 1912-13. The complex is the oldest of its kind in the world. Today it functions as a camp for youth from Berlin (Jugendferienpark Ahlbeck der Sportjugend Berlin).

The town's promenade and side streets are lined with many small shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, private homes, bungalows, fine bed and breakfast inns and mansions in the German Grunderzeit style resort architecture. Ahlbeck also has a railroad museum that is located in the railway station on the south side of town.

Ahlbeck's tallest structure is a neo Gothic church from 1895, which stands on a hill.

Neo Gothic church from 1895

The unique design Wicker beach chairs found almost everywhere on the island and neighboring islands are made in Ahlbeck. The beach chairs have been made by hand in Ahlbeck for over a century by a family owned manufacturer. The chairs have a long and interesting history, which is told on a tour of the shop.

Original design and style of Ahlbeck Wicker beach chairs. Designed and manufactured in Ahlbeck for over 100 years. 

The Ahlbecker Ostseetherme is Ahlbeck's all year attraction. It is an indoor bathing resort, spa and sauna ideal for the winter. Next to the Ostseetherme is an observation tower with an elevator to the top deck, from which one can have a birds-eye view of the area.

Observation tower next to the Ostseetherme

Ahlbeck also has a landmark nudist beach that's over half a century old (FKK Strande). The beach is 500 meter long and open to all. There are trilingual signs informing visitors when they are entering a nudist area before that part of the beach begins. There are also other signs informing visitors when they are leaving the nudist beach. That is important because there are no borders between Ahlbeck and Swinoujscie in Poland where nudism is not welcome; though nudist beaches are popular in other locations in Poland. Next to the nudist beach is also a section reserved for people with dogs. Dog owners are urged to pickup the dog poop everywhere on the island. Thank you!

FKK nudist beach 

The town hosts various events and street fairs every year. It is also becoming a popular spring break destination for many students.

Skateboarding ramps 

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