The Gentzrode mansion is located in the municipality of Neuruppin, Germany, just outside of the city limits. Neuruppin is located on the shore of the Ruppiner See, a lake traversed by the Rhin river, about 60 km (37 mi) northwest of Berlin. It is the birthplace of the novelist Theodor Fontane (1819–1898)
This building called c on a piece that was purchased by Johann Gentz in 1840. It took some 21 years for construction to start.
The history of the Gentzrode in Neuruppin
In 1840, a clothier named Johann Christian Gentz purchased a tract of land on Kahlen Berge (Bald Mountain), north of the city of Neuruppin for farming. A large ornate granary, designed by Carl von Diebitch, was constructed in 1861. After the family moved to the estate, Johann’s son Ludwig envisioned a grand castle-like mansion, surrounded by landscaped gardens, as well as a family mausoleum.
The Moorish-style mansion, designed by Martin Gropius and Heino Schmieden, was built in 1876-1877, while the grounds were planned by Gustav Meyer. Unfortunately, the cost of the construction exceeded far beyond the estimates, which eventually led to the ruin of Johann Gentz, the family went bankrupt in 1880.
After 1880 the beautiful Gentzrode mansion was bought and sold often. In 1881 it was sold for one fifth of the construction costs. The new owners sold off all the inventory before eventually selling the whole estate in only ten months time.
The next owner was a machine manufacturer who specialized in sugar production. He wanted to revive the plantation and grow sugar beet on the grounds. But his idea quickly fell to pieces due to the poor soil quality for this agricultural endeavor. After five years the estate was sold again, this time to Paul Hoepffner. He only owned it for half a year.
In 1934, the area was possessed by the Nazi Wehrmacht and used as a firing range and ammunition dump. In 1945, the Soviet army took control, and was home to the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany tank division. The Soviets added a few buildings, including a cinema, two barracks, a boiler house, sauna, and grocery store that supported the 5,000 people living at the site. After the dispersal of the Russian army, the buildings on the 500 acre estate fell into ruin.
Last known plans for the estate come from 2010 when a Turkish investor purchased Gentzrode with hopes to restore it and transform it into a vacation resort. Since 2011 the process of restoration has been halted while the area is being searched for any live ammunition or land mines that might still be ticking under the ground.