“Hospitality is the art of getting visitors to stay without stopping them from leaving.”
Gerberbastei build to secure the northern old town
The Gerberbastei (Tanner Bastion) in Bautzen is a five-storey round tower in the northern part of the city fortification of the old town of Bautzen. In ancient times `storm was blown` or `storm rung`, this resulted in a lively, often hectic activity! For then enemies approached the gates of the city! In order to better defend the northern part of the city wall, this bastion was built in 1503.
Tanners defend Bautzen
It got its name from the fact that the tanners, who had settled along the Spree, were ordered to that bastion by “the storm”. Now it was up to the tanners at Gerberbastei and along the adjacent Zwinger wall to fend off the attackers. In the course of time, disease and man himself brought misery and suffering to the city. The plague pedemic of the 16th century made the tanner’s bastion a hospital. “Siechbastei” became a bitter-tasting nickname of the Gerberbastei! Hotly contested, the tower burned out in 1634 during the Thirty Years’ War and the battle against Napoleon in 1813 and the World War II also led to serious damage.
Gerberbastei becomes youth hostel
When the town of Bautzen had the Gerberbastei converted into a “hostel for youth hikes” in 1913, it became the first youth hostel in Saxony. And the Gerberbastei is still a youth hostel today. Between 2002 and 2003, the tower was completely renovated and two houses in Gerberstrasse were connected, which today house the dormitories of the hostel. In the tower there is the dining room of the youth hostel Bautzen, as well as some meeting rooms. An exhibition on the history of the youth hostels in Saxony awaits visitors on the top level of the tower.