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:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.