This building just fascinates me every time I cycle past because it stands out from its urban surroundings. At first I thought it was an old farmer’s house and I imagined the green meadows around it. But in fact this was not true at all as it is one of the “Herbergshäuser”, the hostel houses also mentioned in the “Zum Kloster” article.
Poor day labourers who could not afford to live in town settled across the river where they were allowed, at least at the beginning, to build homes on the cheap flood land. The homes could be several storeys high and sometimes had more entrance doors than windows to ensure it could be shared by as many families as possible. In 1600 there were 180 houses in the Au. The area soon became unstoppably poor as too many people from the countryside were forced to try their luck in the city.
After years of illegal hostel house constructing the Au had become a chaotic slum which left the officials without any choice but suburbanise the area to get a grip on the situation.
The Kriechbaumhof, an original baroque hostel house and the last of its kind was removed in 1974, stored and rebuilt at a different site in 1984. It now belongs to the German alpinists club (DAV) and can be hired for private functions or seminars.
It is located direclty between the “Preysinggarten” and the “Zum Kloster” so if you go to one of the places have a look.