Where to go if you are interested in castles and viticulture? To Mecklenburg. Yes, don't smirk knowing better. To Mecklenburg. Picturesquely framed by seven hills, near Neubrandenburg lies the small town of Burg Stargard. Up to 2000 bottles of Mecklenburg country wine are bottled here every year.
Stargard Castle is the northernmost hilltop castle in Germany
On the castle hill, 50 meters above the city, the medieval Stargard Castle stands as a witness to a significant past. It is the only preserved hilltop castle in northern Germany! Built more than 750 years ago, it is also the northernmost hilltop castle in Germany and the oldest secular building in what is now Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. It was once built as the court castle of the Margraves of Brandenburg.
It is the nucleus of the town of Burg Stargard, which in earlier centuries had a much greater significance than it does today. Tourist magnet so is the castle. Several times a year there are events that revive the Middle Ages, such as the Castle Festival or the Medieval Days. The complex, as it presents itself today, consists of a total of eleven buildings from different eras.
Oldest German grape variety is cultivated in the town of the seven hills
Here is also one of the northernmost vineyards in Germany – a tradition of more than 500 years was revived a few years ago. In total there are about 1200 vines of the varieties Ortega, red Regent, Muller-Thurgau, Phoenix, Solaris and Elbling on an area of about 0.2 hectares. The latter belongs to the oldest German vines. According to the private winegrowers' association of Burg Stargard, 1000 to 2000 bottles of Mecklenburg country wine (white and red) are sold annually.
Well, who would have thought it: Mecklenburg is wine country! The castle grounds also house a museum, a hotel, numerous vacation apartments, the registry office and a historic root and herb garden. Since 2001, anyone who wants to get married can do so at the castle. A garment tailor shop offers the appropriate historical garments for this purpose on request.
Last ice age 10000 years ago brought beautiful terminal moraine
Burg Stargard is located about eight kilometers south of the district capital Neubrandenburg in the district Mecklenburg Lake District and has about 5400 inhabitants. The small town is situated in the valley of the linden tree, which is dammed up in the town in the mill pond. Among the prominent elevations in the town or in the immediate vicinity are the 90-meter-high Burgberg, the 89-meter-high Galgenberg and the 86-meter-high Kluschenberg – thanks to the most recent ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago and pushed a beautiful terminal moraine into the present Stargrd area.
A bit of history of this historical place: When the land of Stargard was granted by Duke Wartislaw of Pomerania in 1236 to Margrave Johann I. and Otto III. Stargard's stone history began with the construction of the castle by the margraves of Brandenburg. In the course of this, next to the Wendish village of Stargard, a German market settlement at the brook "flumen Stargard" developed very quickly.
Am 11. January 1259 margrave Otto III awarded the castle. gave the town of Stargard its town charter. Like the whole country, Stargard suffered heavily from the consequences of the Thirty Years' War. Until the middle of the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, the castle lost part of the Old Residence, the north tower, the battlements of the main castle and the defensive wall of the outer castle with four defense towers and the Maiden Gate through demolition.
Last big witch trial in the Crooked House at Stargard Castle
In the Krummen Haus the last great Mecklenburg witch trial took place in 1726. Coins are minted in the main castle from 1745 to 1747. Arson and lightning destroy the Crooked House in the main castle, three barns and two stable buildings by 1919.
With the opening of the "Nordbahn" in 1877, Stargard got a railroad connection, which contributed decisively to the development of the town. Not only the settlement of small industrial enterprises but also the tourism started. The town with its charming surroundings attracted many nature seekers and art painters, especially from nearby Berlin, and became a popular summer resort. Since 1922 the castle served as a home and farm for ten families.
In 1946 a state youth school was established here, which was converted into a youth hostel in 1963. In 1990 the youth hostel moved into the town. Now began the comprehensive architectural-historical investigation and restoration of the castle complex. After a long and difficult restoration, the castle tower was reopened as a lookout tower in 1994. The castle inn "Zur Alten Munze" and the museum opened their doors in 1999. Since the year 2000 there is a historical root and herb garden, which is well known beyond the region.
Local recreation area at the gates of Neubrandenburg
Unlike many other towns in the region, Burg Stargard did not lose its old town center at the end of World War II, "only" the town hall and five other buildings burned down. Until 1952, the castle and town gave their name to the country, the duchy and the district. With the formation of the three northern districts, Neubrandenburg took over the leading role in the region. Burg Stargard developed with a modest industry and agriculture to a local recreation area for the rapidly growing district town Neubrandenburg.
Burg Stargard has a summer toboggan run
Since 1990, the town has developed into a popular place to live and is increasingly focusing on the tourist marketing of its beautiful scenic location and, of course, the brick castle located on a hill in the city. By the way – this will please especially the children: Burg Stargard has a very nice summer toboggan run.