In 1905 Brande got it’s own hospital. The nearby lignite pits were dangerous work places with quite a lot of accidents, some serious even fatal but most fortunately “only” broken limbs and other minor things as cuts. In 1911 the need for a larger hospital meant it had to be extended. Later, in 1915 a young doctor came to Brande to marry his dentist fiancee (one of the world’s first female dentist) and take over the hospital administration and to work as a doctor. He had some patients with diabetes and made a lot of research into making insulin ( which was a hot topic internationally those days). Later he moved home to Sealand and became a co-founder of Novo Nordisk, which today still is world leading in making insulin and diabetes research.
The other building, which is now the youth hostel was originally where the nurses lived.
Remember, back then a nurse was unmarried, as they were expected to care for the sick only. A curiosity is that a part of the underground tunnel from the nurses house to the hospital is still visible in the cellar. Unfortunately the rest of the tunnel is now closed, as it was full of black mould. In the 1950’ies there was no longer need for a home for the nurses as they now were allowed to be married and have a family and their own home. The building was then converted to a hostel.
The hospital was closed in 1964, as a bigger and more contemporary hospital had been built in Herning, which had then become the biggest town in our region by far.
Our aim is to keep the hostel running and save the old hospital building. A third building from 1996, used as a nursing home for dementia patients, is also part of this project.
The reasons for us to do thus project are:
● this is only this one youth hostel in our area
● the hospital building is rated as worth preserving
● the is quite a lot of local and international medical history associated with the building
● all buldings are in the centre of Brande and next to the beautiful park
● we welcome more and more tourists every year and not all want to stay in a hotel
● our town is headquarter for several international companies with need for easy and central accommodation
This is a project with a budget of more than DKK 30 mill. Till now, we have used more than 400 man hours on planning, budget overviews, contact with authorities, funds and so on.
Yesterday we had a meeting with the mayor. We were so lucky that he was available for 2 hours for a quick walkthrough of the buildings and time for a lunch where we could discuss our plans.
The hostel has been partly funded by the municipality, now they are no longer interested in co-funding it. Most hostels today are also either privately owned our run by a private foundation.
The land and buildings are for sale, but we don’t have any money. We will apply for funds, for restoration and rebuilding. First, however we need a written confirmation that we can take over the buildings and continue the daily work. Meaning, I’d we don’t succeed, the municipality are free to sell everything.
We will not run the hostel ourselves, but be a part of a professional board which rents the hostel to a dedicated person or couple.
Right now, we are all anxiously waiting for an answer from the municipality, hopefully by the end of next week…