Eberbach and Eichberg Asylums
Eberbach and Eichberg Asylums (1815 -)
Location: nr. Kassel, Hessen, Duchy of Nassau
In 1815, the Duchy of Nassau created a Provinzial-Irren-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt (Provincial asylum) in the former abbey of Eberbach. In 1840, building work started on a new asylum at Eichberg. The new building designed according to principles laid down by C.F.W. Roller, the eminent psychiatrist who oversaw the construction of the asylum at Illenau, and originally intended to accommodate somewhere between 200 and 220 patients. Eichberg asylum opened in 1849, admitting all the patients formerly at Eberbach. Its first superintendent was Ludwig Snell, one of the first psychiatrists to introduce the concept (later adopted by Wilhelm Griesinger) of unitary psychosis. Snell departed Eichberg in 1856 to take up a post at Hildesheim asylum in Hanover. In 1873/1874, Eberbach (which had been used as a prison after the departure of its psychiatric patients) was brought back into use as asylum accommodation, this time under Eichberg’s umbrella. By 1881 the merged institution housed 350 patients, and in 1885 new buildings to accommodate a further 100 patients were built. Today the institution is managed by the Landeswohlfahrtsverband Hessen, Kassel.