Which castle resisted an air attack but not the East German land reform?

Rittergut Meuselwitz / Meuselwitz Manor (c) Museum Burg Posterstein
Rittergut Meuselwitz / Meuselwitz Manor (c) Museum Burg Posterstein

Between 1724 and 1724 the German statesman Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff (1626-1692) let build a castle with park and orangery on his manor in Meuselwitz. A baroque gate led into the estate.

Von Seckendorff, born in Herzogenaurach, had graduated at a grammar school in Gotha, Thuringia, and was later on supported by Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg. During the Thirty Years’ War the Swedes executed his father in Salzwedel because of high treason. Von Seckendorff studied philosophy, law and history in Strasbourg. In 1655 he published his book “Der deutsche Fürstenstaat“, a handbook of German public law. This book, which long time had been a benchmark for political science at German universities, was already in von Seckendorffs lifetime published in several editions.

From 1651 to 1663 he achieved a number of important functions at the duke’s court in Gotha. In 1664 he started working for the duke Maurice of Zeitz (†1681). In 1680 he stopped working as a chancellor and retired to his estate in Meuselwitz. But he still had political positions as a chief tax collector in Altenburg and as landscape director. In 1685 his book “Christenstaat“ (the Christian state) was published. Shortly before his dead he was appointed to chancellor of the new founded university in Halle. He died in Halle and was buried in the church in Meuselwitz at December 30th in 1692.

Under an air attack against Meuselwitz at February 20th in 1945 the economical buildings of Meuselwitz Manor were badly damaged. The castle itself suffered from only small damages.  But as a consequence of the East German land reform in 1945 all buildings were pulled down. Only the badly damaged orangery and the well preserved baroque gate were conserved. In spite of protests from the local office for preservation of historical monuments the gate was pulled down, too, in 1950. The orangery could be restored by Walter Gruner, an architect from Leipzig, in 1957. An historic mill, belonging to the old estate, was pulled down in 1988. The free space, where Meuselwitz manor once had been standing, is today used as a parking space.

View the about 60 manors of the county of Altenburg on our google map: http://tiny.cc/o27p6.

Read more about castles and manor houses in Altenburg region in the following books, which can be bought in the museum or ordered per e-mail to info@burg-posterstein.de:

Das alte Schloss sehn wir noch heut…
Aus der Geschichte der Rittergüter im Altenburger Land (Teil II)
© Museum Burg Posterstein 2010

…Und nachmittags fuhren wir nach Nöbdenitz segeln!
Rittergüter im Altenburger Land und ihre Gärten
© Museum Burg Posterstein 2007

Text: Marlene Hofmann / Museum Burg Posterstein