Every half hour a chime of the bell

The turret clock of Posterstein Castle
The turret clock of Posterstein Castle

The clock hands are shining golden in the sun. When you stand on the bridge in front of Posterstein castle, you can see the turret clock. It strikes the full and the half hours.

Many intelligent people have commented on time during the years: Ovid, for example, is said to have spoken the words: “Times are changing and we are changing with them” and Orwell noted: “Times does not pass quicker than earlier, but we pass it in a hurry”. And already Einstein knew: “Time is what we read off the clock”. – How true!

Already Einstein knew: Time is what we read off the clock

That takes us back to the turret clock of Posterstein. Its clockwork dates back to the year 1902 and it was restored the last time in 2010. The gilding is authentic. On the clock face you can see the date 1869, probably the year when it was installed.

The gilding is authentic.
The gilding is authentic.

The chime, which you can hear every half hour, is even older. The bell is dating back to 1571 and it is garnished by the family crest of the knights Pflugk, which owned the castle for several generations. On the clock is written: “Caesar Pflugk of Stein let cast me in Freiberg Anno MDLXXI”. Earlier on the manor Posterstein the bell rang when work had to begin and end and when there was fire, the chime of the bell signalized fire alarm.

Alle halbe Stunde ein Glockenschlag

Die Turmuhr von Burg Posterstein
Die Turmuhr von Burg Posterstein

Golden strahlen die Zeiger der Turmuhr von Posterstein in der Sonne. Wenn man auf der Brücke vor dem Eingang zur Burg steht, kann man sie sehen. Sie schlägt zur vollen und zur halben Stunde.

Viele kluge Menschen haben sich im Laufe der Geschichte zur Zeit geäußert: Ovid soll vor langer Zeit die wahren Worte gesagt haben: „Die Zeiten ändern sich und wir uns mit ihnen“ und Orwell notierte: „Die Zeit vergeht nicht schneller als früher, aber wir laufen eiliger an ihr vorbei.“ Und schon Einstein wusste: „Zeit ist das, was man an der Uhr abliest.“ – Wie wahr!

Schon Einstein wusste: Zeit ist, was man von der Uhr abliest.

Das bringt uns zurück zur Postersteiner Turmuhr. Ihr Uhrwerk stammt aus dem Jahr 1902 und wurde erst 2010 zum letzten Mal restauriert. Die Vergoldung ist echt. Auf dem Ziffernblatt steht die Jahreszahl 1869, was darauf hindeutet, dass es in diesem Jahr angebracht wurde.

Die Ziffern sind vergoldet.
Die Ziffern sind vergoldet.

Der Glockenschlag, den man alle halbe Stunde hören kann, ist noch viel älter. Die Turmglocke stammt aus dem Jahr 1571 und trägt das Wappen der Familie Pflugk, die mehrere Generationen auf Burg Posterstein lebte. Auf der Glocke befindet sich der Schriftzug: „CESER PFLUGK AVFF STEIN LIS MICH ZV FREIBERG GISSEN ANNO MDLXXI“. Früher auf dem Rittergut Posterstein läutete die Turmglocke die Arbeitszeiten ein und bei Brand gab sie den Feueralarm.

Moving from Altenburg to Altenburg

How German settlers in 19th century founded a new hometown in Missouri

A motley group of emigrants from Saxony-Altenburg, Dresden region and Hannover stranded on a rock in Mississippi river in 1839. Right beside the river the strict Lutheran settlers founded the town Wittenberg. Frequently the legendary river carried Wittenbergs houses away – that is why only the Wittenberg Boat Club and a crumbling old post office remind of the town today.

rock in Mississippi
After a long journey by ship a group of German emigrants from Altenburg County stranded at this rock in Mississippi in 1839.

The emigration was organized by different clergymen, under the leadership of reverend Martin Stephan from Pirna near Dresden. As a result of social problems after the Napoleonic Wars and tightened taxes in the countryside, parallel to first revolutionary riots, a lot of people in Altenburg region considered to try out their luck in the „new world“. In the beginning they considered Australia as a new home as well, but south from St. Louis in Missouri they were offered 10.000 acre land to a cheap price.

Wittenberg Boat Club
Wittenberg Boat Club

In Winter 1838/39 five ships with settlers from the kingdom of Saxony and the duchy of Saxony-Altenburg headed for the so called „new world“. The devotional emigrates took 900 copies of Luther’s catechism with them on board of the ships. Even during the long crossing the children were taught. All ships reached the US, except for a small boat called „Amalia“, which apparently collided with a bigger ship near France.

Altenburg, Dresden, Wittenberg, Frohna, Paitzdorf and Seelitz in the „new world“

As mentioned before, the settlers arrived in Missouri in 1839. At that time this region still was a nearly uninhabited wilderness. The newcomers probably wouldn’t have survived the first winter, if they wouldn’t have been supported by the Lutheran community in St. Louis. In today’s Perry County the German settlers founded towns, which they named after the regions and towns they came from – like Dresden, Seelitz, Johannisberg, Altenburg, Frohna, Paitzdorf and Wittenberg. Dresden, Seelitz and Johannisberg were later on suburbanized by Altenburg, Missouri. Of course the emigrants only reported the best things to their friends and families in Germany and in the following years a lot of other people from Altenburg region moved to the new founded Altenburg.

You don’t need to fear Indians, wild animals and Mexican soldiers in Altenburg

Reverend Martin Stephan lived a very little moral life in the new world, while he let himself celebrate as a king. When the community finally had realized how badly their spiritual leader had betrayed them, they dismissed him. The first president of the Missouri synod, which has two million members today, was Ferdinand Wilhelm Walter from Langenchursdorf. Gotthold Heinrich Loeber from Kahla overtook the job as reverend in the new founded Altenburg. In a letter to Germany on September 10th, 1839 he described the life in the new world, where the most people at this time did still not live in houses, but in temporary sheds. To comfort his reader he added that one did not have to fear Indians, wild animals or Mexican soldiers in Altenburg.

school building from 1839 in Altenburg Missouri
The school building from 1839 is the oldest house in Altenburg, Missouri.

As one of their first projects, the settlers built a school in august 1839 to provide grammar school education for the children: Religion, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German, French, English, history, geography, mathematics, physics, natural history, philosophy, music and drawing were on the schedule. The goal was to prepare the pupils for later university studies. In the first year seven boys and three girls were enrolled.

Welcome to Altenburg, Missouri!

In October 2010 historians from the German Altenburg travelled to the American Altenburg to take part in an international conference named „Home is where our story begins“. Already decades before the genealogist Wilfried Piehler from Gera (Thuringia) established first contacts to Missouri. Inhabitants from Altenburg, Missouri, have already a few times visited Altenburg County in Germany. Some of them surprised the Germans by speaking German with Altenburg dialect from 19th century.

Altenburg Missouri
The American Altenburg is a gemuetlich small town with a living Christian community.

On the two-day conference local historians and genealogists from Missouri presented their research on the history of the town. German historians, as Sabine Hofmann from Lindenau Museum Altenburg, described the history of the German Altenburg. On Friday, March 18th, 7pm, Wilfried Piehler and Klaus and Sabine Hofmann will present the results of this conference at Posterstein Castle. To learn more about the history of Altenburg, Missouri, you should take a look at the book „Altenburg Missouri and the surrounding Parishes” (editor: Mary Beth Mueller Dillon, Lynhorst, Indianapolis, 2010).

(by Marlene Hofmann, also published in Ostthüringer Zeitung, March 16th 2011, http://www.otz.de/)

Wo steht ein „halbes Schloss“?

(c) Museum Burg Posterstein, Schloss Langenleuba-Niederhain
(c) Museum Burg Posterstein, Schloss Langenleuba-Niederhain

Das Rittergut Langenleuba-Niederhain ist eine ehemalige mittelalterliche Wasserburganlage, die zwischen 1707 und 1711 zu einem Schloss umgebaut wurde. 1838 riss man einen Flügel des Schlosses ab – daher rührt der Beiname „Halbes Schloss“. Noch 1805 war das halbe Schloss von Wasser umgeben und den davor gelegenen Wirtschaftshof konnte man nur über eine Brücke erreichen. 1946 wurden die Besitzer im Zuge der Bodenreform enteignet. Auf den Gutsflächen entstanden elf Neubauernstellen. Im Schloss selbst fand u. a. Schulunterricht statt. Seit ca. 1980 verfällt das leer stehende Schlossgebäude, während die Wirtschaftsgebäude, einschließlich des ehemaligen Ritterguts-Gasthofes, erhalten geblieben sind.

Eine interaktive Karte über die Rittergüter im Altenburger Land finden Sie hier: http://tiny.cc/o27p6.

Lesen Sie mehr über die Rittergüter des Altenburger Landes in unseren Publikationen, die Museum gekauft oder per Mail an info@burg-posterstein.de bestellt werden können:

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