Granitz Hunting Lodge lies in the middle of the forested Granitz ridge which covers an area of about 1,000 hectares and has been part of the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve since 1991. The name Tempelberg given to the highest hill in the Granitz comes from the 18th century, when a small hexagonal belvedere stood on the site of the present schloss.
The hunting lodge was built between 1838 to 1846 by order of Prince Wilhelm Malte I of Putbus, based on a design by Berlin architect, Johann Gottfried Steinmeyer in the style of the North Italian Renaissance castellos. It was once a popular holiday destination for European nobility and prominent people; for example, Frederick William IV, Christian VIII, Otto von Bismarck, Elizabeth von Arnim, and Johann Jacob Grümbke numbered amongst its visitors.
The lodge was owned by the von Putbus family until 1944 and passed into Nazi hands on the imprisonment of Malte von Putbus. The family was finally dispossessed as part of the East German land reforms and the castle remains today in state hands. After the end of the Second World War many of the furnishings were lost or stolen, several works of art were taken to the Berlin Art Depot, the agency for the administration of Soviet assets in Germany, and transferred in 1953 to the state museums in Berlin.
Attempts by the grandson of Malte zu Putbus, Franz zu Putbus, to get the family seat returned failed in court. The building is used today as a museum. The castle was renovated at the beginning of the 21st century at a cost of 7.9 million euros.
The two storey, plastered, brick edifice has a rectangular ground plan and four small corner towers. In the centre of the building in the old courtroom there is a 38 metre high central tower, erected later based on plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Inside is a cantilevered circular staircase with 154 cast iron steps. The static forces of the heavy iron staircase are entirely absorbed by the side walls; because it virtually clamped to the tower.
From the observation platform, 145 metres above sea level (NN), on the roof of the tower, there is a panoramic view in all directions, especially over the south and east of Rügen. In clear visibility the island of Usedom may be seen.
Old hunting rifles are displayed in the 'Stags of the World' (Hirsche der Welt) exhibition as well as furniture from the 19th century. In addition there are temporary exhibitions, for example of paintings.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr.