The place where the Public Bath Sibiu is now located, housed in 1840 the first stearin-candle-factory in Transilvania.
After the relocation of the factory on the street known today by the name of Turnului Street, Franz Frühbeck senior founded in the 1840s the first steam baths in the city.
Johann Habermann bought in 1886 the bath from Frühbeck’s ancestors, which he expanded and modernized.
The idea of building at the end of the 19th century, an easily accessible public bath, belonged to Dr. Carl Wolff. The General Assembly of the Savings Bank in Sibiu embraced this idea and allocated from its reserve funds the necessary means.
The building was designed by Karl Hocheder (1854-1917), former professor of architecture at the Technical University of Munich. It combines Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements, typical for the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This combination makes the Public Bath Sibiu, the city’s most representative building for this particular architectural style.
Professor Karl Hocheder assigned one of his best assistants, Hans Heckner, for the construction works, which, thanks to Heckner’s experienced team, went so smooth that the building’s inauguration could take place on December 11th, 1904.
Regarding its structure, the Public Bath Sibiu is an almost exact copy of the Muller’s Public Bath in Munich.
At that time, no other city in the Dual-Monarchy housed such an establishment.
The Public Bath had on the left side a 21 meter long and 9 meter wide swimming pool, covered with sea-green tiles. The Roman-Irish steam bath – unique in Romania for its fittings (sauna with 32 cabins, moist and dry air-baths, cold- and warm-water pools, shower room, massage room), was located on the right side of the hallway.
On the first floor there were 10 cabins with tubs and showers, as well as 5 treatment rooms: mud treatments (with mud from Bataglia, Italy), electric light baths and tubs with galvanic electricity.
Most of these facilities are also available today.
The increasing popularity of the Public Bath, gave Dr. Carl Wolff the impetus to consider offering the tourists, both treatment and accommodation. Thus the sanatorium was built. The Stadtpark Sanatorium (1907 inaugurated) formed together with the Public Bath, until after the 1st World War, a physical recovery facility, unique in Transilvania.
The sanatorium’s building, also designed by Professor Karl Hocheder, was half made up of the wards and the doctor’s apartment, and the other half of apartments for rent. The dining room and living room were located in the wing that linked the Public Bath to the Sanatorium. After the inauguration of the Sanatorium, the number of national, as well as international visitors from Turkey and Germany increased to an average of 5,000 per year.