We are not the only ones Schwante is ‘sacred’ to: the name Schwante has its origins in the Wendish word “Swetu”, which means “holy” and suggests that this place was once used for cult purposes as a place of worship.
Schwante was first documented for a delivery of wine to the nunnery in Spandau. The von Redern family received the property as tenure a quarter of a century later and shaped its fate decisively until the late 19th century as landowners, patrons and lords. With over 45 estates, the later Counts von Redern were the wealthiest landowners in the Lower Barnim.
The von Redern family also had a massive influence on the structural development of the place, especially the current house and grounds, including the Schlosspark. On the site of the present house there was originally a moated castle that protected the fortification line Kremmen-Schwante-Vehlefanz. The cellar vaults in the present house show evidence of at least one previous building, the so-called “Festes Haus”, a square structure with a side length of 80 m and a surrounding moat. The growth of the von Redern family and the improved economic situation led to an expansion of the building which resulted in a three-wing complex from in 1744.
The architect of the castle house is unknown, but the specific architectural style suggests that the “Surintendant der Königlichen sämtlichen Schlösser, Häuser und Gärten”, Georg Wenzelslaus von Knobelsdorff, was involved in its creation.
The origin of the garden and park is less well documented, but as early as 1555 there is a first mention of a vineyard and kitchen garden that complements the residential courtyard. With the renovation of the house in 1744, begins the creation of an academically planned landscape park. This is demonstrated by “Messtischblätter” in the following 150 years: In several stages, the subsequent owners created an enclosed farmyard well integrated into the overall complex, surrounded by path-lined meadows with ponds. There was a geometric garden around the house, linked to the village by a tree-lined avenue.
After a long period of absenteeism by the von Rederns, Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Redern restored Schloss Schwante as his permanent residence in the mid-19th century. During this period, the old farmyard in the park was torn down and moved to its current location at Mühlenweg in the extension of the central axis of the estate.
After his death, the family sold Schloss Schwante to Berlin-based real estate entrepreneur Richard Sommer in 1888. He was a successful ” Victorian real estate developer, especially of the parcels around Brandenburg Gate. He redesigned the interior in the then contemporary Vitorian style and modernized the farm buildings with stables, farm workers’ apartments and a water tower. These improvements made Schwante one of the most technically agricultural facilities in the region. Concurrently he built an ensemble in his forrest, with replicas of a mosque and other prominent Berlin buildings such as the Reichstag and the town hall. The centerpiece of the ensemble is a splendid mansion called Schloss Sommerfelde, which still exists today, albeit without its mausoleum.
Due to probate disputes amongst the heirs of Sommer the property was sold, the lands went to the housing cooperative “Freie Scholle” and the house to a Mr. Ledwin from Berlin, who sold it to one Vicco von Bülow in 1924. This gentleman was henceforth called Vicco von Bülow-Schwante – his family owned the house until the Soviet expropriation in 1945.
After the Second World War, the house initially stood empty. It then served a variety of purposes from 1949 on as a kindergarten, hospital, doctor’s office, post office, community kitchen, cinema, school, seat of the mayor and the LPG. Depending on the different spatial and functional requirements of the individual users, partition walls were installed to so-called “lecture room” or “dining room”, as this can can still be read above some doors today.
After reunification, Schloss Schwante was initially owned by the municipality, which kept the house and park going with great effort until 2009. That year they found a buyer in cultural impresario and restaurant entrepreneur Christian Schulz (Monbijou Theater, Märchenhütte, Clärchens Ballhaus,). He founded the place after further renovation through theater productions, dance, concerts and gastronomy, successfully filling it with even more life.
In 2019 Christian Schulz sold Schwante Castle to Loretta Würtenberger and Daniel Tümpel.