Timeline

Map
© Anne Frechen / Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz

1734–36

The Royal Prussian Major Gottfried Emmanuel von Einsiedel (1690-1745) acquires Ländchen Bärwalde (place and region name) which includes Wiepersdorf and enlarges the manor house. Two structures standing at a diagonal angle are added on each side.

1780

Sophie Dorothea von Einsiedel sells the Ländchen Bärwalde, Wiepersdorf and five more manors for 98,000 thalers to the Royal Prussian Chamberlain and diplomat Joachim Erdmann von Arnim (1741-1804). Two single-story towers connect the main building to the two diagonal side structures.

1781

26 January The poet Ludwig Achim von Arnim is born. His mother Amalie Caroline (1761-1781) dies shortly after she gives birth. His father Joachim Erdmann von Arnim, the Prussian envoy to Copenhagen until 1774, appointed theater director by Friedrich II until 1778, withdraws to his Gut Friedenfelde in the Uckermark (about 20 km south of Prenzlau). The father neglects his sons Ludwig Achim and his older brother Carl Otto von Arnim. Caroline von Labes, the boys’ grandmother, buys custody of her grandchildren for 1,000 talers from her son-in-law.

1785

4 April: Catharina Elisabetha Ludovika Magdalena Brentano (Bettina or Bettine) is born in Frankfurt am Main. She is the sister of the poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1842), whom Ludwig Achim von Arnim befriends in 1801.

1804

Joachim Erdmann von Arnim dies. The von Arnim brothers inherit Ländchen Bärwalde. Achim visits the castle with Brentano in autumn.

1811

11 March: Achim von Arnim and Bettina Brentano get married in Berlin a year after the grandmother dies.

1812/13

Freimund and Siegmund are born.

1814

Arnim and Bettina move from Berlin to Wiepersdorf for political and financial reasons. Despite the great burden of running and modernizing the estates, Arnim devotes himself to the work with great dedication. During this time he publishes short stories, dramas and poems, the novel Die Kronenwächter and numerous journalistic works.

1815

Friedmund is born.

1815/16

Arnim demolishes several dilapidated farm buildings that surround the manor house on today’s street side, and constructs a new agricultural annex to the south of the manor house, which is the location of today’s residency program.

Arnim grows seriously ill. Wilhelm Grimm and the lawyer Friedrich Carl von Savigny come to visit. The latter is the husband of Bettina’s sister Kunigunde (Gunda).

1817

Son Kühnemund is born. Bettina decides to move into their rented apartment in Berlin so that she can provide her sons with an appropriate school education. They relocate frequently within the city and live off of produce grown in Wiepersdorf, where she often returns to rejuvenate herself.

1818/21/27

Daughters Maximiliane (‘Maxe’), Armgart and Gisela are born.

1826

Arnim’s final independently published work Landhausleben is issued.

1831

On 21 January Achim von Arnim dies in Wiepersdorf (grave is located at the Wiepersdorf Church). After her husband’s death, Bettina begins her writing career: She revises her correspondence from her early years and publishes “Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child.”

1837–40

Bettina energetically advocates for the Grimm brothers being reappointed in Berlin, and in 1840 achieves her goal thanks to the new Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Her evolution as a political writer begins. In the winter of 1839/40 she completes her epistolary novel Die Günderode at Schloss Bärwalde, where she lives with her daughters.

1843/44

“This Book Belongs to the King” is published; the planned Armenbuch (cf. Poor people’s book) is not published due to the accusation of Bettina’s involvement with the Silesian Weaver’s Uprising.

1848

Bettina takes a lively interest in the revolutionary events of 1848 in Berlin which she welcomes. Despite her contacts with the young Germans and early socialists, Bettina sticks to her romantic ideal of a “People’s King.”

1859

On 20 January Bettina dies in Berlin (her grave is located next to the Wiepersdorf Church).

1870
The grandson of the married poets, Achim von Arnim-Bärwalde (1848-1891) becomes lord of the manor at Wiepersdorf.

1874–80

Achim von Arnim-Bärwalde renovates the building and park. The extension of the terrace, the park and the construction of the orangery gives the house a castle-like appearance. The northern wing of the castle and atelier are added to the structure, the fieldstone church is designed in a neo-Romanesque style.

1945

Wiepersdorf is transformed into the Russian commandant’s headquarters, thus rescuing it from the demolition squads that have destroyed other manor houses in Brandenburg.

1945/46

The painter Bettina Encke von Arnim, a sister of the previous owner, succeeds in transferring the castle to a poetry foundation with the help of Dr. Iwan Katz, a Jewish communist, formerly member of the Reichstag, and friend of the families von Arnim and Encke. In 1946, Friedmund von Arnim, the last private owner of the Estates Wiepersdorf, Bärwalde and Zernikow, dies in Soviet captivity.

1946

The Deutsche Dichterstiftung e. V., becomes the legal entity of the house and founds Wiepersdorf as a writer’s residence on 16.7.1946.

1947

Eminent domain and expulsion of the von Arnim family. The first writers, including Anna Seghers, come to Wiepersdorf.

1948

Wiepersdorf Castle is entered in the land register as the property of the people and the house and library are listed as historical monuments.

1950

Dissolution of the Deutsche Dichterstiftung e.V. The house is renamed ‘Schloss Wiepersdorf - Arbeitsstätte für Geistesschaffende.’

1953

The writers’ association of the GDR becomes the legal entity. The remaining parts of the literary estate of Achim and Bettina von Arnim are transferred to Weimar.

1965

On the occasion of Bettina von Arnim’s 180th birthday, the house is renamed ‘Bettina von Arnim Heim.’

1974

The Ministry of Culture of the GDR becomes the new legal entity. Comprehensive renovation work in the house and park under the direction of the Institute for Monument Protection.

1975

Sarah Kirsch publishes a cycle of eleven Wiepersdorf poems that dates back to her two-week sojourn in 1973.

1979

The GDR Cultural Fund becomes the legal entity of the house.

1980

The castle is reopened as a ‘work and recreation center for writers and artists - Bettina von Arnim.’

1989–92

As a result of reunification, the status of the house was unclear and initially used as a hotel for business people.

1991

Clara von Arnim, wife of Friedmund von Arnim, who had been the last owner prior to 1947, founds the Freundeskreis Schloss Wiepersdorf e.V. and, in collaboration with the Goethe Haus Frankfurt, initiates the establishment of a museum accessible to the public and to preserve the memory of the two poets. In 1999, she waived her claim for retransfer. West German President Johannes Rau pays tribute to her by presenting her with the Maecenas award.

1992

Reopening of castle under the auspices of ‘Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf der Stiftung Kulturfonds,’ which emerged from the Cultural Fund of the GDR. Artists from all fields of art and from around the world live and work in the house. In 2004, the Stiftung Kulturfonds is liquidated and the Künstlerhaus closes.

2005

The Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German Foundation for Monument Conservation) takes over the ownership of the castle and designs and finances the preservation of the property and the park. Together with the state of Brandenburg, the private foundation also continues to manage the castle and fellowship program.

2006

1 July: Reopening of the monument and the Künstlerhaus under the auspices of the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz.

2019

1 July: Founding of the Landesstiftung ‘Cultural Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf’ under public law.

2020

Planned reopening as an organization dedicated to fostering art, culture and science through an interdisciplinary and international residency program.