The history of the Fachklinik St. Georg
The historic “Ochsen” Inn was refurbished in 1873 and renamed “Höchenschwand Hotel”, which in turn was renovated in 1908 and afterwards labelled “Kurhaus”. After having been destroyed by a fire in 1910, the property was rebuilt and became the modern “Kurhaus Höchenschwand”. The medical practice, accommodated in the former “Kurhaus”, set up by Bernhard Porten and Dr. Bettinger in the early 20th century was continuously extended and developed eventually into what is now the Specialist St. Georg Clinic with 170 beds.
THE ORIGINES: CENTURIES OF DEDICATION TO HOSPITALITY
The place where now stands the St. Georg Clinic is steeped in a long hospitality tradition. The ancient inn of the St. Blasien Benedictine Monastery welcomed here for centuries travellers, merchants and craftsmen for a meal and rest during their strenuous journey through the harsh Black Forest. Eventually, the monastery inn was re-baptised “Zum Ochsen” Inn, which was replaced in 1873 by a new building and became the “Höchenschwand” Hotel owned by Adolf Stein. The hotel offered lavish comforts and extras, providing 50 bedrooms, a games room and a “Ladies’ room with piano”, a library and a wine bar. The owner decided to acquire an awesome mechanical orchestra to replace the chamber music.
In 1908, the “Höchenschwand” Hotel was awarded another label: “Germany’s Highest Spa Centre”. However, the hotel was entirely destroyed by a big fire only two years later, on 05.11.1910.
AFTER THE BIG FIRE: PHOENIX RISING FROM THE ASHES
The fire disaster, which occurred in 1910, was the beginning of an extraordinary story involving not only the “Kurhaus”, which was immediately rebuilt, but also the entire village of Höchenschwand. In 1913, the physician Dr. Wilhelm Bettinger met for the first time Adolf Stein, the hotel owner. He suggested to convert the “Kurhaus” into a sanatorium providing therapies throughout the year. Finally, the “Kurhaus GmbH” was founded in 1919. After having taken over the management, Bernhard Porten, a native of the “Mosel” Valley, expanded the premises by several extensions. The idea to take advantage of the healthy climate of Höchenschwand to provide medical services turned out to be a success, not only as a business, but also in terms of the visitors’ health.
During World War II, the “Kurhaus” was used as a “substitute hospital” and after the war it was confiscated for several years by the occupation army.
THE SECOND GENERATION OF THE PORTEN FAMILY
In 1950, Werner and Gisela Porten took over the management of the businesses striving to maintain the achievements of the ancestors. The business success story continued and thanks to the high quality of medical services the “Kurhaus” facilities and the whole health resort flourished. In the following decades, the business continuously expanded and new premises were built to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. In 1955, the St. Georg “Kuranstalt” therapy centre opened and in 1967, the private St. Georg Clinic with swimming pool and enlarged consultation and therapy facilities was inaugurated.
TAKEOVER BY SONJA AND FRANK PORTEN
Sonja and Frank Porten took over in 1989, being the third generation of the family to manage the St. Georg Clinic. Since then, the husband and wife team has pursued the goal to make the Prevention and Rehabilitation Clinic a state-of-the-art facility to the benefit of the patients. For the Porten Family this objective implied the purposeful and thoughtful extension and completion of the premises. An extension building, finished in 1992, houses a therapeutic exercise department and a new medical care unit. After the closure of the hotel business, the accommodation capacity was enlarged by a modern building with 28 beds in 1993.
Since 2007, a generous purpose-built extension completes the medical premises. Simultaneously, a sports hall and further spacious therapy rooms were built to enhance the spa department. In 2009, a generous exercise room (MTT) with computerised equipment could be inaugurated. The St. Georg Guest House was renovated in 2011 and upgraded with modern furniture and equipment. A new room fitted with exercise bikes was completed in 2014. In the following year 2015, 50 rooms of “Portens Kurhaus”, the main building, were completely refurbished and equipped with modern facilities.
In the year 2017 the new and state of the art therapy building "Portens TheraFit" was built over 600 sqm. Main focus is on medical training therapy (MTT).
WELCOME TO THE MODERN ST. GEORG CLINIC
The continuous development of the St. Georg Clinic with numerous extension proves that we have never been shying away from new challenges. Today, the rehabilitation clinic provides state-of-the-art medical and technical equipment and modern accommodation facilities with 170 beds in 100 single rooms and 35 double rooms, which are all equipped with satellite television, Wifi internet access, safe, senior-friendly furniture, emergency call button, smoke and fire alarm and mostly with refrigerator. We will continue to go out of our way to ensure that the rehabilitation patients feel comfortable at the St. Georg Clinic and therefore can fully concentrate on their recovery.