(from German turnen, "to practice gymnastics," and Verein, "club, union"), association of gymnasts founded by the German teacher and patriot Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in Berlin in 1811. The term now also denotes a place for physical exercise. The early turnvereins were centres for the cultivation of health and vigour through gymnastic exercise, including the use of such modern gymnastic equipment as the horizontal bar, parallel bars, side horse, and vaulting horse. The organizations were also intended to prepare German youth to defend their country against Napoleonic France, and gymnasts were encouraged to develop a spirit of patriotism and Deutschheit ("Germanness").
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