Joachimsthal, Brandenburg

Joachimsthal is a small town in the district of Barnim, in Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated within the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve on the isthmus between the lakes Grimnitzsee in the north and Werbellinsee in the south, about 17 km (11 mi) northwest of the district’s capital Eberswalde and 55 km (34 mi) northeast of the Berlin city centre. The municipality is the administrative seat of the Amt („municipal federation“) Joachimsthal (Schorfheide).

Joachimsthal was founded in 1601 by Elector Joachim III Frederick of Brandenburg at the foot of medieval Grimnitz Castle and received town privileges in 1604. The Elector had a glass foundry erected and in 1607 established a boarding school, the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium, that was relocated to Berlin after its devastation in 1636 during the Thirty Years‘ War. After a blaze in 1814, the church and several houses were rebuilt according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

King Frederick William IV of Prussia had the Hubertusstock hunting lodge erected on the western shore of the Werbellinsee in 1849. In changing times, Hubertusstock served as a pleasure ground for men in power: The German Emperors from the House of Hohenzollern indulged in huntsmanship (Wilhelm II had his own train station built), as did the Presidents of the Weimar Republic, Friedrich Ebert and Paul von Hindenburg. In 1944 Adolf Hitler gave the lodge to Obergruppenführer Hans Lammers and in 1973 it was rebuilt as a vacation home for General Secretary Erich Honecker.

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