ZSCHEIPLITZ MANOR — EUROPE’S OLDEST ARISTOCRATIC RESIDEN
Founded in 1025 AD and first mentioned in 1040 AD as a residence of Count Palatine of Saxsony Kloster Zscheiplitz is the Europe’s oldest continually inhabited aristocratic residence.
Archeological data shows, that the first human settlement appeared here in late Neolith, some 10 thousand years ago.
In early 9th century the first wave of the Frankish colonisation has reached Unstrut – by then a Slavonic land, inhabited by peoples with cultural, ethnic and genetic identity similar to that of today’s Sorbs and Czechs.
Zscheiplitz was destined to become a central point of Frankish expansion in the area East of Thuringia. Sometime in early 10th century it became a place of permanent residence of the family, which ruled the area on behalf of German Kings and Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottoman dynasty – the counts of Goseck, Counts Palatine of Saxony, a cadet branch of the Wettin dynasty.
Named Weissenburg – White Fortress – the residence remained in the hands of the Goseck family until the death of Friedrich III. According to the Reinhardsbrunn Chronicle he was murdered by the orders of his rival for power, wealth and influence – count Ludwig of Thuringia. After his brief imprisonment Ludwig has wed Friedrich’s wife Adelheid, who, in atonement of her sins, donated the residence and the land around it to the order of St. Bernard.
The Nunnery of Zscheiplitz was dissolved in 1540-s, with the death of its last inhabitant. The village and the estate became a property of prince Moritz of Saxony who created Zscheiplitz Manor to be owned exclusively by the nobility of the land.
Only slightly affected by the retreat of Napoleon of France, who positioned his artillery on Zscheiplitz hill to cover his retreat from Leipzig on October 20 1813, the village was almost untouched by the 20-s century two world wars. In contrast to many other, Zscheiplitz has no memorial to its war-time dead. Before the land reform the manor was owned by the Bila family and then, collectively, by 12 refugee families from the eastern parts of Germany. By early 2000s the manor was on the brink catastrophe having lost two of its five roofs, all of its facade and interior decorations, ovens and fire places, with dilapidated electric cabling, broken water pipes, rotten floors, broken windows and doors.
In 2008, the ruins of the manor was acquired by the von Hahn family, direct descendants of count Burchard I. von Goseck through maternal line and thus related to both Friedrich III and Ludwig of Thuringia. During the last three hundred years our ancestors resided in the Baltics performing various civil, military and diplomatic duties to the Russian Imperial crown.
Residing in the manor house since summer 2011 we have, over the course of the last three year, performed a comprehensive renovation of the house and the gardens of the former monastery.
We receive no direct financial support from the state or the Monument Authority. Yet, by keeping the house open to the visitors and tourists we are determined to share its history with anyone interested.
Should you like to contribute to our renovation efforts please feel free to donate through
Kadri von Hahn
IBAN DE23 8005 3000 1141 0323 48
reference Renovation Kloster Zscheiplitz
We are honoured to invite you to explore the manor, as well as our valley, together with us. Will be happy to guide you through its artistic and historical treasures: steep vineyards, ancient castles, picturesque villages and parks. We organise various tours across the region, including biking, hiking and kayaking.
Church of St. Martin of Tour, Zscheiplitz
We also intend to organise cultural and artistic events of great variety and exuberance – photo and arts exhibitions, theatrical events, musical concerts.
For us World Heritage status means opening the region to the entire world, bringing its people and all these interested in European cultural heritage close together. Feel free to approach us, if German language is not your forte — our guides speak all major European languages.
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