Schloss Meseberg

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Schloss Meseberg

Schloss Meseberg is a Baroque castle 65 kilometres north of Berlin in Meseberg in Brandenburg, Germany which is the retreat of the Chancellor of Germany and the official state guest house of the German Federal Government. It is situated in an estate near the town of Gransee southeast of a lake known as the Huwenowsee.

History[edit]

Schloss Meseberg
Ceiling fresco by Bernhard Rode

Built by the Wartensleben family in 1739 to replace a previous building on the site that had burnt down, the Schloss passed to the von der Gröben family in the second half of the century; in 1774, the property and adjacent land parcels were purchased by Prince Henry of Prussia, who resided in nearby Rheinsberg Palace, and one year later were gifted to his paramour, Christian Ludwig von Kaphengst (1740-1800). In this way Heinrich complied with the command of his brother, King Frederick II, to remove Kaphengst from the court at Rheinsberg. Kaphengst furnished and decorated the castle lavishly, commissioning ceiling frescoes from Bernhard Rode, including one depicting an apotheosis of Heinrich, the estate grew with the construction of additional buildings, including the stables. Under Kaphengst and his successors, the baroque garden was extended, and an English garden edging most of the lake shore was landscaped by Peter Joseph Lenné.

The property was later purchased by the Lessing family, owners of the Berlin newspaper Vossische Zeitung, during the Nazi era, it was forcibly acquired by Hermann Göring, only to be appropriated by the Soviet occupation in 1945. The East German government used it to house a grocery store and school rooms, which preserved it from demolition. A plan to renovate the dilapidated castle and turn it into a conference center for the Academy of Sciences was never realized.[1]

Following the reunification of Germany the estate was bought by the Messerschmitt Foundation in 1995, the foundation, devoted to preserving historical landmarks, spent 11 years and more than $30 million renovating the stucco building, with its Ionic half-columns and high mansard roof.[2][1]

In 2004, the Messerschmitt Foundation agreed to lease the castle to the Federal German Government for 20 years, for a symbolic annual rent of one euro, the government subsequently spent $17 million to install security and communications equipment and fitted it up with period furniture and paintings.[1] Since 2007, it has been the retreat of the Chancellor of Germany (as Chequers is for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Camp David for the President of the United States). The government regularly holds its cabinet conclave at Meseberg. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been hosting many state guests at the castle.

Facilities[edit]

Park of Schloss Meseberg
Meseberg Schloss Parkseite.jpg

The basement of the castle was once home to the kitchen of the local agricultural cooperative. Today it houses the chancellor’s wine bar, with seats for 30 guests.[1]

Visits of foreign dignitaries (selection)[edit]

First term of Chancellor Angela Merkel[edit]

Second term of Chancellor Angela Merkel[edit]

Third term of Chancellor Angela Merkel[edit]

Fourth term of Chancellor Angela Merkel[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°58′21″N 13°06′04″E / 52.97250°N 13.10111°E / 52.97250; 13.10111