Project 25: Cultural Landscape of Fürstlich Drehna

Untroubled by the oblivion

Fürstlich Drehna seems almost otherworldly. With its romantic name and moated castle set in an idyllic park, it seems like a window on another time. But at one time this jewel was under threat from encroaching lignite mining machinery and decades of neglect. Today, the whole ensemble has been restored to its former glory – in the midst of a new cultural landscape.


The village of Drehna is first mentioned in the history books in 1291, and the first castle (altered and added to over the centuries, and later replaced by the Renaissance moated castle of today) first appeared in the sixteenth century. The village got its name – Fürstlich Drehna – in 1807, when Kaiser Franz I elevated the Graf zu Lynar, the then lord of the castle, to Fürst status. The landscaped park also dates from this period, although it was subsequently expanded several times. The castle grounds – with the manor, the brewery, and the courthouse – was a central part of village life in Fürstlich Drehna, together with the historic »Zum Hirsch« guesthouse.
In the GDR period, the village lost the »aristocratic« appellation of »Fürstlich«, and parts of the grand castle park as well. In 1982, the Schlabendorf-Süd open-cast mine destroyed almost half of the fifty-two hectares of parkland, including the castle’s pond. The castle itself was pressed into service as a juvenile prison, and increasingly fell into disrepair, while the poor state of the road network (caused by mining) cut the village off from the rest of the world. Drehna was completely surrounded by open-cast mining.
After the open-cast mine was shut down in the nineteen-nineties, the LMBV recultivated twelve hectares of the ruined landscape park, created a new pond, and began to flood the residual mining cavity and to turn it into a scenic bathing lake.


The adoption of the »Cultural Landscape of Fürstlich Drehna« as an IBA launch project in 1999 was another step towards bringing Fürstlich Drehna back to life. The aim was to create a model example of an accumulated cultural landscape – a landscape with history – in close proximity to a new post-mining landscape, while giving the location a new lease of life and putting it on the tourism map.

A partnership between the LMBV, the Kultur- und Heimatverein, Brandenburgischer Schlösser GmbH, and the IBA has since succeeded in revitalising not just the destroyed park but the whole ensemble. Thanks to Cottbus landscape architect Helmut Rippl, the recultivated »Kippenrippen« or mine dump ribs on the castle park’s edge have been given the same historic forms as the old park, and the heavily affected park has been restored to half its original size. The revitalisation effort was helped by the IBA inviting artists to the newly flourishing park and the derelict castle, and spreading this romantic location’s reputation beyond the region with events like the Kultursommer, the Literarischer Spaziergang, and Fürstlich Feiern, (the summer of culture, a literary stroll, and a princely celebration.)
Finally, the Brandenburgische Schlösser GmbH (the Castle Association of Brandenburg) took over both the castle and the task of restoring it appropriately. The sponsors also found a suitable use for the complex as an exclusive hotel, and a leaseholder. The lovingly restored »Schlosshotel Fürstlich Drehna« opened in 2007. The village’s historic centre was also restored, and the baroque Zum Hirsch guesthouse became a popular venue for events and celebrations. The Naturparkverwaltung Niederlausitzer Landrücken moved its headquarters into the

former gardener’s house, and the old brewery is now under private ownership and brewing its own special Schlossbräu beer.
The surrounding post-mining landscape is also part of the overall »Cultural Landscape of Fürstlich Drehna.« It contains a recreated piece of the castle park and an artificial sea. Since 2006, the Lake Drehna has been flooded, making it part of the region’s future tourism industry – which will include a Motorcross track.


In 2009, two years after the Schlosshotel opened, the leaseholder changed the plan – rejecting the classic hotel concept (open all year round) in favour of hosting weddings and other events. The future use of this culturally and historically valuable structure must now be rebalanced again. It is an attractive travel destination – only a few minutes away from the motorway and therefore easy to get to. To further promote local tourism, the city of Luckau gave its outlying Schlabendorf district a bathing beach and a harbour for the sailing club – turning it into »Schlabendorf on the lake.« Close by is Sielmann’s Natural Landscape Wanninchen, which is already open to visitors. Close cooperation is planned between neighbouring localities. In future, Luckau and its historic town centre will be included in the overall tourism plan.

Our Partners

Brandenburgische Schlösser GmbH
Kultur- und Heimatverein Fürstlich Drehna e.V.
Naturparkverwaltung Niederlausitzer Landrücken
Stadt Luckau


Go by car to Fürstlich Drehna or by public transportation:

VBB fahrinfo - Link (mit Vorbelegung)
go back

last update: 1/26/2017 13:13