Hou Maritime Idrætsefterskole GB

Villa Bjørnkær. Omkring 1960

Villa Bjrønkær. Begyndelsen af 1900-tallet.


The sports continuation school Hou Maritime Idrætsefterskole occupies the old villa Bjørnkær.

The sports continuation school Hou Maritime Idrætsefterskole occupies the old villa Bjørnkær. The school opened in 1989, and the old buildings still form part of the school. The school can take up to 150 pupils and, in addition to its high professional standards, the school is renowned for its popular main subjects of sailing, handball, football, and outdoor activities. Villa Bjørnkjær was built in 1899 as a dower house for the manors of Rathlousdal and Gersdorffslund. It was never actually used as such, but various members of the Holstein-Rathlou-family lived there from time to time. In the 1920s, the house served as a health and convalescent home for the well-to-do, who were offered weekly medical checks and a wide choice of treatments: baths, a dry-air heating chamber, a steam box, hot-air treatment, massage, sun and sea bathing. All of this combined with healthy eating, peaceful and idyllic surroundings. In the early days, sea bathing was primarily viewed as a means to improve health. The large towns of the industrial 1800s posed considerable health risks and many lives were lost to disease and epidemics. Gradually, doctors woke up to the fact that it was the actual urban environment that was the root cause of the problem. Deserted beaches – a complete contrast to urban life – were some of the remedies used by medical science to counter the problem by providing plenty of fresh air, sunlight, and sea bathing. In the early 1940’s, Bjørnkær was sold to Mr Timm, a local farmer. He made substantial alterations to the main building and began selling off some of the agricultural land for development purposes. The farm has had a number of subsequent owners and its outbuildings were used for various purposes, including leather manufacture – the Piolet-school sachets were produced here until 1987.