Reckahn Castle

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Reckahn Castle, garden side (2006)

The Reckahn Castle (also manor house or manor house ) is a monument in the village of Reckahn , a district of the municipality of Kloster Lehnin in the district of Potsdam-Mittelmark in the west of Brandenburg . The manor house , usually called a castle, was a manor of the von Rochow family . It belonged to the Reckahn manor . The manor house with its manor park is about ten kilometers south of the city of Brandenburg on the banks of the Plane .

The Rochow Museum Reckahn , which opened in 2001, is located in a section of the palace with a permanent exhibition about the work of the von Rochow family and in particular the school reformer and most famous von Reckahn lord of the palace, Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow . The palace is also used today as a meeting, conference and training center for the University of Potsdam .

The former Reckahn School, which today houses the Reckahn School Museum, is part of the Rochow Museum . There the work of Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow is presented, as well as the first Reckahn teacher Heinrich Julius Bruns is honored with a permanent memorial exhibition.

The lock

Development up to the 17th century

The old manor house with neo-renaissance gable (2007)

The Good Reckahn belonged to the possession of the extended family of Rochow, one of the oldest noble families in the Mark Brandenburg . In 1351 Reckahn was named Rickan in a loan letter from Golzow as property of the von Rochow family. At that time there was a fortified Dusterreckahn square, about a kilometer from today's castle, which was probably the family seat. This facility was destroyed by 1420 at the latest.

A late medieval predecessor of today's castle buildings is assumed at the site of today's castle. The so-called “old manor house ” with a Renaissance gable was not built until 1605 . It was built for Tobias von Rochow by a Wittenberg master builder who was not known by name . Research into the history of architecture in the run-up to the expansion of the building into a youth, cultural, community and conference center revealed in 2016/2017 that the gable belongs to the neo-renaissance (late 19th, early 20th century). Today this building is located north of the later Baroque building . After the construction of the new manor house, it was still used by the family and called a manor house.

Bloom in the 18th century

In 1713, the later Prussian took War Minister Friedrich Wilhelm von Rochow the goods Reckahn, Meßdunk, Goltin, Rotscherlinde and derricks . Between 1726 and 1730, Friedrich Wilhelm had the present-day, externally largely unchanged palace built by an unknown architect in Schlueter's Baroque style. At the same time, a baroque ornamental garden was probably also created on the east side of the house.

Reckahn Castle, courtyard side with entrance portal (2007)

The unusual plastered building is an approximately 30-meter-long, single-storey three-wing complex with stubby wings under a mansard roof that are aligned with the facade on both sides .

Its architectural peculiarity is a two-storey central wing highlighted like a corps de logis , in which the entrance portal and the staircase are on the courtyard side and the two halls on the garden side.

The facade, which extends over 11 window axes, is subdued with rustication, plastered pilasters , coffin and base cornices with consoles, etc.

Far better known than Friedrich Wilhelm was his son Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow , who took over the property in 1760. He gained fame through his agrarian and, above all, educational reforms as well as his literary and educational activities. As a canon from Halberstadt , he was in contact with the intellectual circle around Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim and he associated with personalities such as Christian Fürchtegott Gellert , Friedrich Nicolai , Johann Bernhard Basedow and the Prussian Interior Minister von Zedlitz .

Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow made a special contribution to reforming his country schools. Among his numerous writings, his child friend, A Textbook for Use in Country Schools, achieved European rank. He had a memorial erected in the palace gardens for his Reckahn teacher Heinrich Julius Bruns . The Rochow Museum Reckahn is dedicated to the work of this man in the castle and in the restored schoolhouse . Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow also began converting the pleasure garden into a "Thiergarten" and an orchard used as a game reserve. In the 19th century it was converted into the "English" landscape park, which was restored after the fall of the Wall .

Further development

Reckahn Castle, garden side (around 1920)

Since Friedrich Eberhard died childless, the property fell to a community of heirs made up of family members in 1805 . But members of the family continued to live and manage Gut Reckahn until 1945. The last landlord was Harry von Rochow, who died in 1945 . The last resident of the family was Felicitas von Rochow .

In 1945 the castle was used as accommodation by the Red Army and the property of the von Rochow family was expropriated in 1946 under the military administration. The soldiers withdrew in 1946. Apart from a few remains, the lock inventory is no longer available. The archive of the property was largely preserved and is now in the Brandenburg State Main Archive in Potsdam.

After the soldiers withdrew, the Reckahn School moved into the structurally unchanged mansion. It was first a central school, then a single school and finally a polytechnic high school . In it were taught for the children of the surrounding villages. From the beginning of the 1980s, classes only took place in the first four classes. The students then usually switched to the Polytechnic Oberschule in neighboring Golzow . The old manor house and a former stable were converted into residential houses, the other farm buildings were demolished, so that the original character of a country estate is no longer recognizable today. The "functional modernization" typical of the GDR was later carried out inside the manor house. In particular, specialist cabinets were built for the school and central heating was installed.

After the school closed in 1996 and the after-school care center in 1998, the house was restored. Some rooms, especially the staircase, were modeled on their original condition and the exhibition rooms were redesigned as museums. Since August 4, 2001, the permanent exhibition Reason for the People - Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow has been the core of the Reckahn Castle Museum. It honors the life's work of the reformer in many areas, not just in the school system of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Today's use of the castle

In mid-1999, the current concept for the use of the castle was created: the castle, church and school building form an ensemble of school and educational history in Brandenburg and Prussia. The following work together: the state of Brandenburg, the Potsdam-Mittelmark district, the historical Reckahn association and the University of Potsdam.

Rochow Museum Reckahn

Part of the castle was converted into a museum and opened in 2001 under the name Rochow Museum Reckahn. The museum shows a permanent exhibition entitled Reason for the People , which is dedicated to the von Rochow family and above all to the work of the agricultural and educational reformer Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow.

The tour begins in the garden hall. Here four busts show who was decisive for these reforms:

A modeled conversation between these four people introduces the visitor to the topic. The work of the agrarian reformer is presented in two rooms, four rooms are dedicated to the educational work.

Meeting, conference and training center

Several rooms in the palace are now available as meeting, conference and training centers for the University of Potsdam. The University of Potsdam uses the Reckahner meeting center for scientific conferences, closed meetings, doctoral colloquia, seminars and university training as well as for selected academic celebrations. The literary event LIT: potsdam also takes place here every year.

The area around the castle

War memorial

The castle is located on the northern edge of the village of Reckahn. In the square in front of the castle there is a war memorial in memory of those who fell in the two world wars.

A war memorial of a special kind is the Reckahn pyramid. It was probably built under Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow. A memorial plaque from 1760 says: "In memory of the great army camp under Frederick the Great for the irreparable damage to the surrounding goods of 29,247 thalers".

The memorial and the inscription on the tablet refer to the large army camp that Prussian troops had set up between Reckahn and the goddess in 1741. The camp, which is said to have counted over 40,000 men at its peak, caused great destruction in Reckahn and the surrounding area. However, the king never compensated for the damage. After the memorial plaque had been lost since the end of World War II, it was renewed in 1992 and reattached to the pyramid.

Another memorial plaque on the pyramid has been commemorating the formation of Hussar Regiment No. 5 - The Black Hussars - since 1907 . This unit under Major von Mackrodt was formed in September 1741 in the large army camp.

To the south and east of the palace is the palace park , which is one of the oldest landscape parks in Brandenburg. At the southern end of the park, in a line of sight to the castle, is the castle and village church. Behind the church is the historic schoolhouse, today's Reckahn School Museum.

The castle park

Monument to the teacher Heinrich Julius Bruns in the palace gardens

When the new palace was built around 1730, the three-hectare park was also created as a baroque garden. The further design took place around 1800 under Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow. At that time the park was also called Thiergarten and an orchard was created. A landscape garden based on the English model was created. This condition was restored after 1990.

The park is delimited by the tarpaulin in the west and south. A bridge at the south end leads to the village and castle church. In the west of the park, a ditch connected two carp ponds with the tarpaulin. This moat was crossed by a curved wooden bridge. Ditches and ponds were filled in in 1963 as part of the regulation of the tarpaulin and in favor of a new pond management at Reckahn.

In the south of the park is the monument to Heinrich Julius Bruns. It reminds of the practitioner of school reform with the words “He was a teacher”.

Between 1898 and 1910 a hereditary burial of the von Rochow family was set up in the park . 14 family members were buried here until 1945. The building is in need of renovation.

The village and castle church

The village and castle church, which is quite large for the village of Reckahn, was built between 1739 and 1741. The external appearance and, above all, its interior furnishings largely correspond to the condition at the time of construction.

School and School Museum

Next to the church is the school house from 1743. Today it is a school museum and a memorial for the school reformer Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow , in which the school equipment and everyday school life up to the recent past are documented very clearly. The school museum is also dedicated to the work of the first Reckahn teacher Heinrich Julius Bruns and honors him with a permanent exhibition.


  • Förderverein Historisches Reckahn e. V., Reckahn community (ed.): Reckahn. The Rochowsche Gutsdorf in the Mark. History and stories from the village of Reckahn, written on the 650th anniversary of its first mention 1351–2001 . Self-published, Reckahn 2001, without ISBN.
  • Sibylle Badstübner-Gröger (ed.): Palaces and gardens of the market. Reckahn . Nicolai, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-87584-574-9 ; 2nd, change Edition, Nicolai, Berlin 2002. (Published for the Friends of the Palaces and Gardens of the Mark in the German Society (1990) )

Web links

Commons : Schloss Reckahn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Frank Bürstenbinder: Reckahner Renaissance gable is a big mistake. In: Märkische Allgemeine , Brandenburger Kurier, May 19, 2017, p. 15

Coordinates: 52 ° 20 ′ 13 ″  N , 12 ° 32 ′ 24 ″  E