The town of Eberswalde and the municipality of Chorin are surrounded by a landscape of forests and lakes. The town is one of the Brandenburg foundations of the Ascanian dynasty, who provided the margraves of Brandenburg until 1319. The Cistercian monastery of Chorin, eight kilometres away, is also an Ascanian foundation and served both as a house and burial monastery for the sovereigns. Today, the city of Eberswalde shows a felicitous interplay between venerable old structures like St. Mary Magdalene’s Church (“Maria-Magdalenen-Kirche”) and modern buildings like the Paul-Wunderlich-Haus. Chorin is one of the most popular day-trip destinations in Brandenburg, primarily because of its former Cistercian monastery.
Known far beyond the borders of Brandenburg, Chorin’s early Gothic Cistercian monastery, built from 1272 onwards, was the most ambitious building project in Brandenburg at that time. It was here that the High Gothic architectural system that had been developed in France was implemented completely in brick for the first time. The unique western façade is a successful synthesis of the order’s ban on towers, a reference to tradition and the claim to representation of the margravial patrons. A large part of the medieval monastery complex has been preserved and can still be experienced today. The architecture and special Gothic style of the brick of the former house monastery of the Ascanian sovereigns is unique. Today, the ensemble is surrounded by a 19th century landscape park designed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After secularisation, as a result of the Reformation, the monastery was dissolved in 1542. The historical buildings were used for other purposes, for example as a Prussian agricultural estate. Around 1810 Karl Friedrich Schinkel discovered the building and henceforth advocated its preservation and restoration. This is why today Chorin monastery counts among the early examples of Prussian monument conservation. To Schinkel, buildings like Chorin were “the country’s most beautiful […]
Amt Chorin 11a, 16230 Chorin
Cistercian monastery, Chorin
St. Mary Magdalene‘s Church (“Maria-Magdalenen-Kirche”) in Eberswalde is one of the most important high Gothic parish churches in Brandenburg. Influenced by the Cistercians of Chorin, it was built between 1285 and 1333 as a three-aisled basilica without transept. A unique feature is the figural decoration of the portals: highly detailed capital figures, fired from clay, that are partly very well preserved. They feature biblical scenes as well as animal and star symbols. Inside the church, wall paintings from the 16th century, two Gothic devotional figures and a valuable bronze baptism (around 1300) have been preserved. The magnificent Renaissance altar from 1606 impressively illustrates the Protestant confession of the congregation.
Kirchstraße, 16225 Eberswalde
St. Mary Magdalene‘s Church, Eberswalde
The significance of Eberswalde grew considerably when Albrecht II made the town a place of power of the Brandenburg margrave. In addition to the representative development of the town church of St. Mary Magdalene, the administrative relocation of an important trade route via Eberswalde is indicative of the contents of a margravial document sealed in 1317. The increasing traffic on this road, which also passed the nearby Chorin monastery, eventually became an important basis for the foundation of St. George’s Hospital outside the gates of the town. The exact date of the foundation is unknown. The first mention of an altar in the leprosarium chapel of St. George was in 1359. In 1360, the altar received a further donation. By 1370, the chapel already enjoyed such good financial standing that it could provide money for the construction of the tower of the Eberswalde town church. There are also no written sources for the construction of the hospital chapel — today the only surviving building of the hospital. Friedrich Alder, a 19th century building archaeologist, dates this building to the middle of the 14th century because of its “simple and austere construction forms” and the “excellent technique”, an assessment shared by […]
Breite Str., 16225 Eberswalde