Manor Houses in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

The Manor landscape in Northern Germany

A tremendous density of manor houses

The countryside in this area is very extensive, and the agriculture fields are larger then elsewhere. The area beyond the river Elbe is the land of the large agricultural manor estates, which is unique in Europe. After Heinrich The Lion and his battles against the Slavic tribes, a relatively down-to-earth form of Mecklenburg Pomeranian nobility was formed. It’s no coincidence then, that the same family names appear again and again amongst those who received grants of land from the Mecklenburg and Pomeranian Dukes: The Oertzen, Maltzahn, Bülow, Plessen, Hahn, Bassewitz, Blücher, Wedel and Puttkammer families thus became great landowners. After further increase in the land ownership of the nobles due to the 30´s Year War, by the end of the 18th century, the typical, large noble manor estate was established as the dominant feature of the Mecklenburg and Pomerania countryside. Classical farming villages were seldom and had been largely replaced by the manor estate villages. The manor house (Gutshaus, Herrenhaus) was the focal point of the village, the various farm buildings, the dwellings of the estate workers, the church – often a patronage church of the lord, and the typical landscape parks, often rambling over large areas. These building collectives embedded in the wide-ranging Mecklenburg Pomeranian countryside remain to this day the definitive characteristic of the region. The political and social orientation to the East-Elbish manorial structure changed over the course of history. One thing is clear, however, it worked very well for hundreds of years.

Explore the  lively hinterland
Only at the time after 1945 and specially after 1990 the seemingly unstoppable decline of the historically fascinating manorials startet with the separation of the buildings from the land. It still isn’t too late to preserve a large part of this treasure, which offers enormous touristic potential for the region.  Nowadays visitors may choose between 1.500 Manor Houses to visit. A few hundred of them are offering a touristic offer. Manor Houses are used as hotels, B&B, Eventlocations or as holiday apartments. Some of them are museums or cultural venues with exhibitions, art or concerts. Some of them offer a luxurious standard, most of them are down to earth and very country house like.

Stay in one of the unique Manor Houses

What to visit

As a visitor to this Manor Landscape you will have to choose between a diverse range of holiday homes and touristic offers in the countryside of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. You may find five star standard hotels with superior restaurants and excellent service like Manor Stolpe (Gutshaus Stolpe) in the Peenetal, Castle Burg Schlitz (Schlosshotel Burg Schlitz)  in the woods of the lake district or Castle Basthorst (Schlosshotel Basthorst) near the capital town Schwerin. Some Manors impress with a vintage charm in specious holiday apartments like Castle Schmarsow (Schloss Schmarsow) and Manor Rensow (Gutshaus Rensow) in Vorpommern, Manor Zicker (Gut Zucker) at the island of Rügen or Castle Retzow (Schloss Retzow) in the lake plateau.

Old places for new creativity

Venues for culture, art and festivals are creative oasis in the rural areas and entice the urban Boheme to leave buzzing Berlin or Hamburg for good. Visit the Castle Bröllin (Schloss Bröllin) to attend dance workshops, to see modern theatre or art performances or to enjoy contemporary art exhibitions. The baroque Castle Broock (Schloss Broock) is still a sleeping beauty, but you may witness the rebirthing of a cultural monument as a venue for culture, events and tourism. Also still in the making is Manor Vogelsang (Herrenhaus Vogelsang), that claims a new area of romanticism and attracts every year several thousands of visitors for events like the Victorian Arts Festival, a festival for the art of horsemanship (Pferdegeflüster) or the traditional Baroque Dinner Event (Barockes Tafelmahl).

And of course don’t miss the Cultural Heritage Festival of the Manor Houses –  “Mittsommer Remise”, every summer end of June in this region. Two days full of open houses to celebrate this special monumental heritage with guided tours, a cultural program and culinary offers.

An outstanding private collection of photo art is displayed in the Castle of Kummerow (Schloss Kummerow), which is also an exceptional piece of sensitive restoration. You will be delighted to find modern pieces by world-renowned photographers, enjoy concerts and events.

Hotels and Restaurants

A very romantic atmosphere provide the hotels at Manor Ludorf (Gutshaus Ludorf) in the lake plateau, Castle Kaarz (Schloss and park Kaarz) near Schwerin, Castle Gamehl (Schlosshotel Gamehl) near the Hanseatic city of Wismar or the Castle Schwansee (schlossgut schwansee) near to the baltic beach. All of them, and many more, also offer a very good cuisine in their restaurants. Dagmar von Stralendorff von Wallis bought her ancestors’ family nest after the reunification of Germany. Read her Story in the blog Castles and Families.

If it´s hard to choose from this enormous diversity, you can book a roundtrip and just visit a few of the gems of our Baltic Manor Landscape Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a touristic hot spot

Visit the land at the Baltic coast

This region in Northern Germany has a lot of spectacular nature to offer, with a hilly flat land, woods and lakes, and five Baltic islands, of which Island Rügen is the  biggest German Island and a coast line with white sandy beaches. Not only the so called lake district has many deep blue lakes, but all regions characteristics is water, a lot of canals and rivers are connecting the lakes and some rivers flow into the Baltic sea. In the eastern region, where Germany borders upon Poland, is a river called Peene, which is also called the Amazons of Europe, because of its wilde and natural shores. Beautiful Hanseatic cities with brick gothic and historic town centers are the entrance points to the rural landscape with the typical Manor Villages. Activities besides the beaches are hikes through nature preserve areas and around lakes, paddle tours on rivers or bicycle tours through fields, meadows and woods. Excellent golf courses can be played on and classical concerts at the Music Festival  (Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) can be attended throughout the year.

Castles and Manors

Besides the many former estates with their Manor Houses, there are eight residency castles to discover, they where built by the dukes and earls of Mecklenburg. The most prominent is the Castle of Schwerin (Schweriner Schloss), which is often compared to the Bavarian Castel Neuschwanstein. The Baroque Castle Ludwigslust (Schloss Ludwigslust) with a Park designed by Lenné is worth a visit and the Castle Bothmer (Schloss Bothmer) is an extraordinary piece of England in Mecklenburg, since Earl Hans Caspar von Bothmer planned and built this Castle while he was living in London