>Daz haus Wiepersdorff vom Morgen< painted by Achim von Arnim-Bärwalde 1880
>Daz haus Wiepersdorff vom Morgen< painted by Achim von Arnim-Bärwalde 1880
View from these days
View from these days

The history of Wiepersdorf and of Bärwalde


 The history of Wiepersdorf and of Bärwalde


Royal Prussian officer, Major Gottfried Emmanuel von Einsiedel (1690-1745), purchases the tiny district of Bärwalde (name of the village and district), which also included Wiepersdorf, and enlarges the manor house. Two structures, each situated at an angle to the sides of the main house, are added.


Sophie Dorothea von Einsiedel sells the tiny district Bärwalde, Wiepersdorf and five additional manor estates to the Royal Prussian Chamberlain Joachim Erdmann von Arnim (1741-1804) for 98,000 Taler. Two towers are constructed to join the two angled buildings to the main house.


January 26: Birth of the author Ludwig Achim von Arnim. His mother, Amalie Caroline (1761-1781), dies shortly after his birth. His father, Joachim Erdmann von Arnim, Prussian envoy in Copenhagen until 1774, theater director under Friedrich II until 1778, retires to his estate Friedenfelde in Uckermark (approximately 20 km south of Prenzlau). He does not look after Ludwig Achim and his older brother Carl Otto von Arnim (1779-1861). The boys’ grandmother, Caroline von Labes, purchases custody of her grandsons from her son-in-law for 1,000 Taler. 


April 4: Birth of Catharina Elisabetha Ludovika Magdalena Brentano (called Bettina or Bettine) in Frankfurt am Main. Bettina is the sister of the poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1842). She becomes friends with Ludwig Achim von Arnim in 1802.


Death of Joachim Erdmann von Arnim. The von Arnim brothers  inherit the tiny district of Bärwalde and in the fall of that year Achim inspects the estate with Brentano.


March 11: A year after the death of his grandmother Ludwig Achim von Arnim and Bettina Brentano marry in Berlin.


Birth of sons Freimund and Siegmund.


Arnim und Bettina relocate from Berlin to Wiepersdorf for financial and political reasons. Despite the demands that managing the estate place on his time Arnim publishes stories, plays, poems and the novel <Die Kronenwächter> [Guardians of the Crown].


Birth of Friedmund.


The farm buildings (currently partially used as fellows living quarters) are rebuilt.


Arnim is seriously ill. Visit by Wilhelm Grimm and jurist Friedrich Carl von Savigny, husband of Bettina’s sister Kunigunde (Gunda). 



Birth of son Kühnemund. Bettina decides to live in a rented city apartment in Berlin so that her sons can have an appropriate education. Frequent moves within Berlin and provisioning with produce from Wiepersdorf, where she returns frequently for rest and reinvigoration.



Birth of daughters Maximiliane (Maxe), Armgart and Gisela. 


Arnim’s final independent publication <Landhausleben> appears.


Achim von Arnim dies in Wiepersdorf on January 21 (grave next to the church). Bettina begins her own literary activities after the death of her husband. She revises her own correspondence from her youth, first of all >Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde< [Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child]. 



Bettina advocates energetically for the reappointment of the Grimm Brothers and in 1840 is successful with the new Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV. This marks the start of her development as a political writer. In the winter of 1839/40 she completes her book >Die Günderrode< [Günderrode] at Bärwalde Castle, where she is living with her daughters.



>Dies Buch gehört dem König< [This Book Belongs to the King] appears; her plans to publish >Armenbuch< [Book for the Poor] cannot be realized because Bettina is purported to have contributed to the Weavers’ Revolt in Silesia.


Bettina takes an active interest in the revolutionary events in Berlin, but despite her contacts to the Jungdeutschen and early socialists she nonetheless endorses the romantic deal of a >Volkskönig< [People’s King].


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


The grandson of the literary couple, Achim von Arnim, >the painter< (1848-1891), becomes the master of the manor at Wiepersdorf.


The painter Achim von Arnim redesigns the buildings and the park in neo-baroque style. The palatial character of the manor evolves through enlarging the terrace, the garden and the construction of the orangerie. 


The >the studio< is added to the north wing of the manor house, and the fieldstone church is redesigned in neo-Romanesque style.


Wiepersdorf becomes a Russian military command and escapes the demolition units that destroy other manor houses in Brandenburg.


The manor house is occupied by homesteaders after the expropriation and expulsion of its residents, the manor house. The painter Bettina Encke von Arnim is able to transfer the castle to a foundation for writers. The last owner of Wiepersdorf and Bärwalde, Friedmund von Arnim, dies as a prisoner of war in Russia.


The Deutsche Dichterstiftung e. V., founded July 16, 1946, becomes the legally responsible entity. Wiepersdorf becomes a residence for writers.


The first writers, including Anna Seghers, come to Wiepersdorf. 


Wiepersdorf Castle is entered into the Land Register as the property of the people and the manor and library are protected as historic buildings.


The Deutsche Dichterstiftung e. V. is dissolved and the manor is renamed >Schloss Wiepersdorf, Arbeitsstätte für Geistesschaffende< [Wiepersdorf Castle, Workplace for those involved in Mental Activity].


The Schriftstellerverband der DDR becomes the legally responsible entity. What remains of the literary estate of Achim und Bettina von Arnim is transferred to Weimar.


The manor house is named >Bettina von Arnim Heim< on the occasion of Bettina von Arnim’s 180th birthday.


The DDR Ministry of Culture becomes the legally responsible entity.


Thorough restoration of the manor house and park under the direction of the Institut für Denkmalpflege [Institute for Historic Preservation]. 


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


The Kulturfonds der DDR becomes the sponsor of the house.


Reopening of the palace as a >place of work and relaxation for artists and writers, Bettina von Arnim<.


Christa Wolf is awarded a three-month residency in Wiepersdorf.


Initially there is uncertainty regarding the transitional situation because of Reunification. The manor house is used primarily as a hotel for businessmen. 


Reopens as Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf of the Stiftung Kulturfonds, the successor to the Kulturfonds der DDR. Artists in all media from a variety of countries live and work at the manor house. The Museum is established in collaboration with the Freundeskreis Schloss Wiepersdorf and the Freien Deutschen Hochstift/Frankfurter Goethe-Museum.


Liquidation of the Stiftung Kulturfonds and closure of the residential art center.


July 1: Reopening of the residential art center under the sponsorship of the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz.