Family tour of the Granitz hunting lodge on Rügen

Child-friendly and exciting

Author: Annette Rübesamen
Published: July 2, 2024

The children learn that Prince Wilhelm Malte I wears Swedish yellow., © TMV/Tiemann

Author: Annette Rübesamen
Published: July 2, 2024

Wolfgang Stohmann pushes the black bowler hat with the colorful feathers out of his forehead. He points to the gold-framed painting of Wilhelm Malte I, Prince of Putbus, in one of the halls of the Granitz hunting lodge: "Take a good look at the uniform, kids. That is not a German uniform. What do you see on the bag? Maxi and Isabella fixate on the picture. „Three crowns“, says Maxi. „Well, which country has three crowns on its coat of arms? Maxi thinks about it. „England?“.
Close to the mark. The tight-fitting, black and yellow outfit of the landlord of Granitz Hunting Lodge is the uniform of a Swedish bodyguard; after all, landlord Wilhelm Malte I was Governor General of the province of Swedish Western Pomerania, to which Rügen belonged until 1815. But Maxi is only six years old, and this is exactly what the children's and family tour in the castle is designed for: to introduce children in an exciting and interactive way to the hunting lodge that the Putbus princely family built between 1837 and 1846 on one of the highest elevations in Rügen in the middle of the Granitz forest. With its pale pink painted façade, the stone dog sculptures on the entrance steps, the four corner towers and the 38-metre-high central tower, it looks like a fairytale castle in the countryside. Incidentally, none other than the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV provided a sketch for the construction of the so-called „Crown of Rügens“ in 1830. The great master builder Karl Friedrich Schinkel also worked on the plans.

A model of the fairytale Granitz Castle., © TMV/Tiemann

The mystery of the high tower

Almost all children find castles exciting. After all, they immediately evoke associations with fairy-tale characters such as princesses, kings and knights. Castle tours, on the other hand, are often not a real pleasure for children. At least not when guides endlessly reel off dates and difficult-to-understand historical stories for which children usually lack the interest and patience. But history can be told in a completely different way. And the family tours at Granitz Hunting Lodge are the best example of this. Here, the castle's history is packed into exciting little stories and illustrated in an exciting way with special exhibits - this awakens children's imagination and stimulates their curiosity. Happy children, in turn, are known to lead to even happier parents.

For an hour, Wolfgang Stohmann guides his two little guests through the castle with its four round corners and the central tower visible from afar. The central tower is the landmark of the hunting lodge! Stohmann wants to know: Why do the children think Prince Wilhelm Malte I had such a high tower built? The children ponder. "To show off and keep an eye out!" Not so wrong, says Stohmann happily; it was really about the view and, of course, the demonstration of power.

Princely desserts and an oven in the shape of armor

The castle also arouses kids' curiosity in other ways. The magnificent furnishings alone! Although some of the interior has been lost over the centuries, there are still countless hunting trophies on the walls, and even tables and chairs are made of antlers. Other furniture is made of precious, gilded ropes and crystal chandeliers sparkle on the ceilings like in a fairy tale.

There is so much to discover!

The luxurious dining room, for example. The children wonder what the royals ate back then and whether there was dessert. There was, Stohmann tells his attentive audience, and it was of the finest quality. Recipes for puddings, creams, candied fruits and cakes of all kinds can be found in the cookbooks of the castle kitchen.

And then there is this iron stand in the large knights' hall. I wonder what it is all about? It is standing on the wall, unnoticed. „Is it really a knight's armor?“, Stohmann asks mischievously. „Take a closer look!“ Isabella and Maxi examine the iron piece. Isabella sees it first: an iron pipe connects the pitch-black figure to the wall – the supposed stove is actually a stove that was used to heat the castle on cold days.

"Where did the princes actually go to the loo?“

Patiently, Stohmann, who wears a vest with dark jeans and looks like a friendly grandfather with his short white beard, answers all the children's questions. Even the ones that aren't in the history books, which are more about the practical aspects of castle life and keep the kids all the more occupied.
„Where did the princes actually go to the toilet?“, the children want to know. You can't say that with one hundred percent certainty, the guide admits. But it is assumed that in the so-called Privé there was a chamber pot-like sanitary facility which the servants then had to empty. Incidentally, this was not called a toilet. In the past, going to the toilet meant washing yourself.

The children nod eagerly. Another lesson learned!

Mr. Stohmann explains the secrets of the castle., © TMV/Tiemann
Bird's eye view of Granitz hunting lodge, © SSGK MV / Funkhaus Creative

Granitz hunting lodge

  • Open today
  • Jagdschloss Granitz, 18609 Binz

Granitz hunting lodge is one of the most popular destinations on the island of Rügen

Read more: "Granitz hunting lodge"

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The highlight in every respect: the central tower

The highlight of the children's tour is of course the central tower. You can climb up the free-floating internal staircase, which consists of 154 openwork iron steps and is a very unusual construction. Breathtakingly, it winds its way up to the viewing platform. It's quite exciting to suddenly be standing so high above the castle roof! You could now enjoy the magnificent view over the Bodden landscape and the Baltic Sea as far as Greifswald. But children are not known to be captivated by panoramic views for too long. What interests them much more is whether Mr. Stohmann might have an exciting castle story to tell. And indeed he does!

The free-floating staircase in the central tower., © TMV/Tiemann
The staircase in the central tower requires a head for heights., © TMV/Tiemann
Why did princes have such a high tower built? It's obvious - because of the view!, © TMV/Tiemann

Events and guided tours

in the Granitz hunting lodge and in the state castles in MV

The family tours at Granitz Hunting Lodge take place during the summer and fall vacations and are suitable for children aged six and over. Admission is free for them. Parents can also take part; the ticket costs ten euros for them. Other themed tours, concerts, moonlight walks and hunting horn and dachshund days also take place in and around the hunting lodge.
Further information at www.jagdschlossgranitz.de.

Travel in style with the Jagdschloss-Express, a sightseeing train that starts at the Seebrücke in Binz.

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