The Dömitz fortress Print E-mail

On order of Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg Castle Dömitz was built from 1559 until 1565 on the ruins of an early Middle Ages fortress. In the basic from of a regular pentagon the castle is a military installation in the style of Italian art of castle-building. Purpose and task of this castle was to secure the south-western border of Mecklenburg, to control the crossings of the River Elbe as well as ensuring the Elbe customs in the harbour of Dömitz.

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In 1894 the castle was abandoned as a military object. Today, Dömitz Castle is the only fully preserved installation of this kind in northern Germany and open to the public to visit for example the museum, the powder magazine and the Fritz-Reuter-Memorial-Hall.

In the Powder Magazine the visitors gets an insight into the history of the castle. With its 750 years the impressive powder magazine belongs to the older part of the castle. The name easily the original meaning of this room. Later, and after being abandoned as military object (1894), the room with its up to 3 meter thick walls was used as a stable or storage room for ice. In 1972 the room was connected to the museum. Today it serves as an exhibition room for a small part of the castle's history. Furthermore, the museum uses this room for literary and musical events.

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Through one of the five bastions of castle a tunnel leads the visitor directly to the large courtyard. The visitor's view does now fall on the large former Commander's House. The Commander's House with its tower on the right side does now serve as Dömitz‘ Museum of Local History. In 1953 the museum of Dömitz was founded by the teacher Karl Scharnweber. In permanent cooperation with the town council and the citizens of Dömitz the museum became an important cultural institution of the town.

Mainly, the Museum of Local History is a museum of the town's history with a versatile and interesting exhibition about the historic development of the town from the 17th Century until today. A wide folklorist division about the so called „Grey Region" gives an insight into the daily life, characterised by hard daily work which had to be done from dusk till dawn to manage the poor life on the country side.

The visitor of the museum will find a large number of working- and household tools in the folkloristic exhibition which allows a good insight into the work of a blacksmithor in the daily work of the housewives and their daughters.

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An other exhibition about the importance of the shipping on the River Elbe for Dömitz for the economical development underlines the character of regional history of the museum as well.

After visiting the interior, the visitor may have a look on the exteriors of the castle. On the bastions and in the casemates the visitor will get an insight into the installation and the defence systems of the castle.

A memorial  site for the low-German writer and poet Fritz Reuter is located in the former chapel in the tower next to the museum.

The exhibition informs the visitor about Reuter's student's years and his participation in the former democratic-progressive efforts of the student fraternities in Jena. The process against the „demagogue" Reuter, his conviction and his 7-years imprisonment, of which he stayed the last year in Dömitz is displayed in detail.

 
 

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