Bad Tölz: Summer Home of Thomas Mann and His Family, 1909‒1917

The Mann family in their garden in Bad Tölz © ETH Library Zurich, Thomas Mann Archive, photographer unknown
Street in Bad Tölz © City of Bad Tölz

Bad Tölz is home to the only authentically preserved Thomas Mann house in the German-speaking world. Ever since taking a vacation there in 1908, the writer, who was living with his family in Munich at the time, was delighted by the small town Bad Tölz, which is only about 50 kilometers from where he lived. Mann wrote some of his most renowned novels such as: Royal Highness, The Magic Mountain and Confessions of Felix Krull in the country house that he had commissioned and moved into in 1909. Not only works such as Death in Venice, show influences of his stays there, but they can be seen as well in the texts of his sons Klaus and Golo Mann.

The country house in Bad Tölz was sold in 1917, yet fortunately the exterior of the building remains unaltered to this day. Although the home is now privately owned and cannot be visited, there is a Thomas Mann themed trail in Bad Tölz, which provides information about the most important stations of the Mann family during their stay in the small town along the Isar River. The town’s library has created a Thomas Mann reading room, which largely corresponds to the spaces where Mann worked and wrote during his exile in Switzerland and the USA. The furnishings include original props from the film The Manns—Novel of a Century directed by Heinrich Breloer. The town museum also has a separate writer’s room dedicated to the author Thomas Mann.

Since 2017, Bad Tölz has been organizing events in commemoration of the author. Generally, every two years, they organize a Thomas Mann Festival, which focuses on one of the works of the Nobel Prize for Literature laureate. Related events include not only academic lectures, but also concerts, readings, city tours and excursions that tie in with the respective work in focus.

The next Thomas Mann Festival will take place in May 2023, with a literary and musical programme which will will focus the late novel Doktor Faustus.  


Referat für Stadtmarketing, Tourismus- und Wirtschaftsförderung
+49 (0) 8041 78670

Max-Höfler-Platz 1
83646 Bad Tölz

Thomas Mann Villa © Stadt Bad Tölz