Friday, 19 July 2013


One of the pleasures of cycling off the beaten track is that you come across startling locations that you would never find if you just travelled by train. On a cycling trip from Seelow to the Oder-Neiße Radweg we came across one such gem, Neuhardenburg and its Schloß.

This was the residence of the Prussian statesman Prince Karl August von Hardenberg, who seems to have been quite an enlightened guy. The Schloss and church were designed by Schinkel, so naturally everything is beautifully proportioned and neo-classical, set in a landscaped park that Capability Brown would have been proud of.

During the Soviet regime the DDR Jagdfliegergeschwader 8 air-force squadron took over the Schloß and the village around it presented as a 'model village' of Soviet communalism. After Die Wende the Schloß was returned to the Hardenberg family, who sold it to the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband (German savings bank) who run it as a conference centre and up-market hotel. It is also used as a retreat by the Federal Government. The parks are open to the public.

From 1949-1991 Neuhardenberg was renamed Marxwalde.

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