3349 J St., Sacramento, CA 95816
The Sacramento Turn Verein is the center of German traditions in Sacramento and Northern California. It’s where folks with German ancestry and people with an interest in German culture congregate to socialize, study German, party, exercise, and to carry on some old German traditions–like Oktoberfest, Karneval, Erntedankfest, Bockbierfest, and other fun events. Many drive past this building curious to know what those German words “Turn Verein,” mean. Many are surprised to learn that they mean “Gymnastic Club.”
It all started in the early 1800s at a time when the many small German states in Europe started moving toward liberation and unification. Promoters of democratic reforms began training in vigorous physical exercise (referred to as “patriotic gymnastics”) as a means toward that end. Thus the Turn Verein movement grew–and spread to America.
The German nation was finally born in 1871. The Sacramento Turn Verein, founded in 1854, is the oldest still-active institution in the great city of Sacramento.