Not far from Berlin, in the Brandenburg district of Potsdam-Mittelmark, lies the small town of Caputh on Lake Schielow and Lake Templin. Cyclists, hikers and excursionists are drawn to the region and Caputh is a great place for a relaxing stopover.
The village “Capputh” is mentioned for the first time in a document from 1317. Although the village is located directly on the water, the inhabitants did not have fishing rights. They earned their living as forest workers, tar cooks and in the brickyard. The farmers in the village had little land available for cattle feed. They fetched fodder from the Drewitz area via the Caputh Hay Trail, which still exists today.
The Brandenburg Elector Joachim II was the owner of the manor and castle in Caputh from 1548. Around 1608 he had a hunting lodge built.
In his work “Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg” Theodor Fontane describes his visit to Caputh with the following lines:
„Wer hat nicht von Caputh (so heißt das Dorf) gehöret,
Das, in verwichner Zeit, die größte Zier besaß,
Als Dorothea sich, die Brandenburg noch ehret,
Das Schloß am Havelstrom zum Witwensitz erlas.“
“Who has not heard of Caputh (the name of the village)?
Which, in past times, possessed the greatest adornment,
When Dorothea, still honoring Brandenburg,
The castle on the Havelstrom to the widow’s seat erlas.”
But who was the Dorothea mentioned here who chose the castle in Caputh as her widow’s seat?
Electress Katharina acquired the knight’s seat Caputh in 1594 and had a summer residence built. After the building had been almost completely destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, the Great Elector gave the estate to his quartermaster. The latter had a country house built and only a few years later the Great Elector traded back the estate together with all the lands for estates in East Prussia.
He gave the house to his second wife, the Electress Dorothea of Brandenburg. She had the house converted into a three-winged complex with a double curved staircase. She had the interior richly decorated and from then on used the palace as a summer residence. When the Great Elector died in 1688, Caputh became her preferred residence.
In 1689 Dorothea died and Frederick III bought the palace back from his half-siblings. He gave it to his wife Sophie Charlotte, who, however, soon gave it back and preferred to devote herself to Charlottenburg Palace. Frederick, however, loved the palace and often used it for festivities and hunting trips
Frederick the Great, on the other hand, did not seem to care about the castle in Caputh. During his reign, he leased his property to a dye works and a weaving mill. At the end of the 18th century, the garden was then used as a fruit tree nursery.
In 1820 August von Thümen bought the castle. He and his family had it remodeled in the following years. Through inheritance, ownership eventually moved on until Alfred von Willich (1862-1941), who was the last owner of the estate. In the course of the land reform, the family was expropriated and a vocational training institution for photographers and flower arrangers in the GDR moved into the castle. The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg has owned the palace complex since 1995 and has opened it to visitors.
What is in the castle today?
Today, the palace houses a museum. A highlight is the Tile Hall, which Frederick William I had decorated with 7500 blue and white Dutch faience tiles as a dining room.
We strolled through the beautiful park, which is located directly on the shore of Lake Templin. Here you can look over the water sitting on benches, a relaxation time in the middle of nature.
Straße der Einheit 2
Saturday, Sunday, public holiday: 10-17.30 h
Tuesday – Sunday: 10-17.30h
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 10-16 h
Entrance fees to the Castle Museum:
Caputh local church
In 1820, the Caputh congregation realized that their previous church was not only too small, but also dilapidated and in urgent need of a new building. At first, they tried to solve the problem with renovation work and rebuilding, but it turned out not to be a solution. Friedrich August Stüler was commissioned to draw up a design for a new building. From 1850, the construction of the new church could begin and soon there was a basilica in Caputh, which was consecrated in the presence of King Frederick William IV at the beginning of 1852.
I find the church quite impressive. I particularly like the bell tower on the side, next to the church. This is connected to the nave via the sacristy. I also like the large rose window in the eastern wall of the church.
In the church, it is said, one can recognize the preferences of Frederick William IV. The decoration of the church dates from his reign and seems to have been designed according to his impulses.
Who or what is Tussy II?
Caputh is situated on two lakes that the Havel has formed in its course. Lake Templin narrows again at its southern end to about 50 meters wide to the Havel, before the course of the river widens to Lake Schwielow. This section of the Havel with the two estuaries and the enclosing terrain is called the Caputher Gemünde.
Until 1875, all ships traveling on the Havel had to pass through this narrow passage. A pilot helped to pass the narrow place.
Of course, the narrow passage also offered to overcome the Havel at this point. In the 18th century, a man offered the possibility of being taken to the other side in a hand barge. A kind of translation that was not possible for vehicles. So in 1843 the landowner von Thümen applied to the Royal Land Office for the construction of a ferry station. After some back and forth with the landowner (Wilhelm Bastian family) on whose land the ferry station was to be located, the ferry service could be started in 1853.
In the beginning, the wagon ferry was made of wood and moved by means of oars, pole and clubs, which were hooked into a guide rope. Later, motorized ferries came into use.
Today, the ferry service is still made possible by the descendants of Wilhelm Bastian. Since 1998, the ferry Tussy II travels from one shore to the other. The ferry is a rope-driven ship that operates in conjunction with the latest technology between Caputh and Geltow. Many visitors to the region come to Caputh just for a ferry ride followed by a visit to one of the restaurants on the waterfront.
If you want to cross the Havel as a pedestrian, you can of course take the Tussy II or walk about 600 meters south across the railroad bridge.
April – November
Monday – Sunday: 6 .22 h
December – March
Monday – Friday: 6 – 20 h
Saturday, Sunday: 7 – 20 h
Person: 0,50 €
Bicycle with driver: 1,- €
Car with driver: 2,50 €