Schloss Hardenberg

Hardenberg is a fairly well-known name in the neck of the woods I am from. The noble family from Lower Saxony have owned Burg Hardenberg in a small town called Nörten-Hardenberg since at least 1287 and were later created barons and, in 1778, counts. They served Guelph and Prussian rulers or became otherwise famous politicians, their Schloss in Neuhardenberg was the place for conspirative meetings in preparation of the 20 July plot to kill Hitler - and in more recent developments, the Hardenbergs now own the second largest liquor producing company in Germany and their Korn with the hog is pretty famous. A lot less known: They also own a pretty nice palace.
In fact, Schloss Hardenberg may just be the palace I would chose to live in if I had the choice (once I get over the fact that I don't really want to live in a castle to begin with - cold, draught, in case you were wondering). Mind you, I have never seen it from the inside as it is a private residence but I quite fancy its setting just below of the ancient Burg and its surrounding forest, with a lovely English landscape garden and its general Baroque architecture. It probably also helped that there was an equestrian tournament going on when I stopped by thus making me feel 13 all over again. Plus (for the adult me), they also produce gin in addition to Korn so I'm pretty much all in.
Schloss Hardenberg was built at the beginning of the 18th century. The Burg on the hill above, which had previously served as the family residence, had fallen into a state of disrepair and the Hardenbergs wished for a more representative home. They commissioned architect Georg Sigismund Schmidt from Hanover to draw up the plans. Construction started in 1701 and nine years later the family was able to move into their new home locally also known as Vorderhaus (front building). The adjoining outbuildings were built during the course of the 18th century.
The English landscape garden, parts of which are open to the general public, was added at the end of the 18th century at the behest of Countess Christiane of Reventlow, wife of Prussian statesman and Prime Minister of Prussia Karl August of Hardenberg. And while you cannot visit Schloss Hardenberg itself, a stroll through the park as well as seeing the nearby Burg - which we will have a closer look at soon - is very much worth the visit, especially when one of the equestrian events is on.

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