We’ve learned a lot about the fascinating history of Germany For Kids’ location, so we thought we’d share it with you here.
Schloss Leizen as we see it today was built 119 years ago in 1898 however the site has been the seat of noble families for many centuries.
Leizen was first recorded as a Slavic “round village” in 1298. Remnants of a castle mound and moat dating from the middle-ages are still visible alongside the ancient road that leads to Schloss Leizen a few metres from Germany For Kids. Here the feudal Knight would have lived surrounded by other buildings such as stables and farm buildings. Later when long-range arms and firearms were invented such fortified homes were not necessary and the first manor house would have been built.
The origin of the name Leizen comes from these times meaning “hazelnut twig” (or branch) in the Slavic of the period.
At this time the whole area including Leizen and surrounding villages was ruled by Heinrich Knut the 2nd.
In 1370 Heinrich’s descendant Heinrich Knut the 3rd made Leizen village his family seat. The gravestone of Heinrich and his wife is still visible inside the village church of Leizen. Unfortunately later generations of the Knut family gradually allowed the estate to decline.
In 1750 Ernst Friedrich of Gundlach acquired the land and it became the home of his family. Records and artefacts of his family’s time in Leizen remain including the bells in the church. The original bells dating from 1527 and 1711 were melted and re-cast into two new bells in 1870 on the orders of Max Ludwig Gundlach.
The Gundlach family remained until the end of the Second World War (1945) when many larger private properties were expropriated (seized by the state) and put to community or other use, including Schloss Leizen.
Schloss Leizen has been used since to house refugees, as a shop and community centre and until recently as a country hotel set in beautiful grounds. Other buildings from the Gundlach estate remain in the village including the old storehouse for the manor which is now used as the village fire station.
In 2009 The Backhaus family, drawn to the region’s famous countryside discovered Schloss Leizen and decided that it was the perfect location for “Germany For Kids”.