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The clinic history

One of Otto’s motivating factors was his personal acquaintance with Pastor Kneipp, who at the time was famous all over Europe thanks to his successful treatments. A number of patients Otto von Guggenberg and several other physicians had failed to cure were sent to Pastor Kneipp in Bad Woerishofen, Bavaria. Baffled by Kneipp’s success, Otto von Guggenberg decided to study his methods.
He moved to Bad Woerishofen, worked alongside the Pastor for a time and, upon learning that Kneipp’s methods had until then found little recognition among the medical profession, resolved to provide scientific backup for the Pastor’s theories.
To Otto von Guggenberg, Brixen by the river Rienz with its mild climate and lush green surroundings seemed like an ideal location for a spa clinic.
While both his family and the townsfolk were sceptical at first, they soon realized Otto’s intuition had been right. The favourable economic cycle and the upswing of tourism in Tyrol at the time were of significant help and enabled a series of additions, improvements and conversions up until the outbreak of World War I.
Thanks to Otto von Guggenberg’s entrepreneurial spirit, the Lutzengut estate, a former farmstead, was turned into a high-capacity spa clinic. The inauguration of a technologically advanced new bath house in 1907 marked a further significant improvement. The former bath house was subsequently converted to a guest house. Four farms were purchased and provided the clinic with fresh produce.
Before World War I, the clinic consisted of five interconnected buildings – the new section, the old bath house, the central building, the Lutzengut house and the new bath house – and several outbuildings, parks and tennis courts.

The Dr. von Guggenberg private clinic was the first of its kind during the Austrian Monarchy and enjoyed enduring success, with guest numbers rising by the year and Brixen gaining worldwide renown. Pastor Kneipp himself travelled to Brixen in 1892 in order to visit his student. In the 27th edition of his book “My Water Cure”, Kneipp mentioned von Guggenberg: “A second clinic of this kind (the first having been founded by the Brethren of Mercy in Bad Woerishofen) was founded by one of my most industrious students, Dr. Otto von Guggenberg, in Brixen. He will provide support and cure the sick!”

The death of Otto von Guggenberg in 1914 and the outbreak of World War I were major setbacks for the clinic. After the death of his father, Hans von Guggenberg took over the medical supervision and management of the spa clinic.
To compensate the major financial loss caused by the war, the von Guggenberg family were forced to sell properties. When Austria-Hungary finally lost the war and Encouraged by favourable economic conditions, the family risked new ventures.
Nevertheless, adverse circumstances threatened the clinic’s very existence repeatedly over the years. The worldwide economic crisis caused severe losses.

During World War II, the clinic was first used as a sanatorium for high-ranking Italian army officers, then as auxiliary town hospital.

Re-opening the clinic after the war and keeping it up and running between 1948 and 1959 demanded great commitment and sacrifice.

Throughout the years, the building has been substantially renovated in order to ensure state-of-the-art technology, facilities and energy supply while preserving its original style and traditional character.

Today, the Dr. von Guggenberg clinic remains the only Italian private clinic recognised by the International Confederation of the Kneipp Movement that offers Kneipp’s treatment in their original form.

The private clinic besides featuring therapeutic treatments, also offers an interior which creates a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere and thus a vital element for an optimal recovery.
Private Clinic Dr. von Guggenberg
Via Terzo di Sotto 17 I - 39042 Bressanone Phone+39 0472 82 02 22
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