Villa Douglas, Aschersleben

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The Graf Douglas Villa, Ermslebener Straße, Aschersleben


In the 12th and 13th centuries it was the Ascanian Counts of Aschersleben who, as princes of Anhalt, helped the town, which had been granted city charter since 1266, to recognition and prosperity through their residence. The three-city alliance, which the city concluded with the neighbouring cities of Quedlinburg and Halberstadt in 1326 and lasted for 150 years, gave it an outstanding position of power that radiated far into Central Germany.

The different architectural styles that appear in the cityscape are remarkable. One example of this is the Graf Hugo Douglas Villa in the style of late classicism. It is a large plastered building with a tower and building parts of different heights that characterize the townscape. Inside the villa there is still a stove and several doors from the time it was built. There are some outbuildings, some of which are half-timbered and some are made of bricks. According to the monument register, the building dates from the late 19th century.

One of the first drawings of the villa was made by the architect G. Weber in 1858. He designed the villa for Gustav Douglas. From 1832-1856 he held the office of mayor in Aschersleben and had a house built at Ermslebener Strasse 6, which today corresponds to house number 10. As early as 1871/77 the house was enlarged . However, this was not the only structural change. Another important renovation took place in 1919. At that time the villa was owned by Dr. Karl Kuntzsch, who set up a women's clinic here. The former living quarters were converted into operating rooms, preparation rooms and sickrooms.

In 1938 two living rooms were added. The different uses of the villa are not completely verifiable. In 1986 a barrack was erected, which, after being used as a construction site facility, was later to be used for teaching apprenticeship masons. In the meantime, the villa was probably used as a youth workshop and later as a youth hostel.

Since then, the villa has been empty. The condition is accordingly desolate. The numerous additions made of different materials and times make the villa appear inconsistent and destroy the overall picture. Despite these flaws, the Douglas Villa is a monument, not least because of the tower that defines the townscape and the late classicist main building. Despite these “tough criteria” there is no public interest in the villa. The current owner could not be determined, it can only be seen that the building has been for sale for some time. The location certainly plays an important role here. Ermslebener Strasse is on the outskirts and leads out of town. The property is located directly on the street and in an unattractive environment, which is characterized by a gas station, a large food retail chain and a few smaller residential buildings.

It would not be worthwhile to use it again as a clinic, as Aschersleben already owns a hospital and is close to numerous other clinics. The view of the villa from the street is blocked by a high wall and the neglected vegetation. This could also be a reason why the monument does not arouse any noteworthy public interest. Most passers-by only notice the tower that protrudes over the wall. The conveyance of information and communication play a major role here. For people who do not deal with the topic, it is therefore difficult to understand why the villa is a listed building. Because here the city or the current owner does not do any work to support the perception of the monument. Rather, the building is more and more forgotten until the increasingly poor structural condition takes over and the building can no longer be saved. 

See also:

•  The Douglas family in Aschersleben [527 kb  pdf]  or read the full magazine here>>> [4.7mb  pdf]

•  The Douglas family in Germany



Source

Sources for this article include:

  • Beyond the good and the beautiful. Inconvenient monuments; Krappscher Tower, Graf Douglas Villa and Staßfurter Warte in Aschersleben'; Anne Schwarz (Tanslated from:)


  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted






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    Last modified: Monday, 06 July 2020