Former Castle Park
Former Castle Park
The entire area of the former castle park is about 135,000 m². As early as 1617 there was a baroque Knotted Garden east of the castle, shown on the map drawn in that year. Later the park was transformed into an English Landscaped Garden. There are some very old oaks, Weymouth pines and tulip trees. The park was well known up to the end of WWII for the many rhododendrons, azaleas and Greek laurels (Taxus baccata). Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda looked after the park personally in the five years up to his death, sometimes with the assistance of village schoolchildren who were happy to earn pocket money during their school holidays. One week after he died in Bautzen, one of the most beautiful and tallest tulip trees east of the castle died, as if in sympathy with him.
The lake of some 20,000 m² was last dredged in 1936. After 1989 there were sufficient subsidies available but the town's administrative authorities did not to apply for them. The lake is leased by the Town of Dahlen to a fish farmer. The water level is higher than that of the castle grounds so the maintenance of the earth dam wall is very important. The Town of Dahlen has no trained employees for this special task. There was another lake a long time ago called the "Schmirrelteich", to the west of the Hain Lake but this was drained and is now an old forest. The northern dam wall is today marked as part of the St. James Pilgrims' Way. (See: "Chapel").
After 1989 the state decided to keep only about 20,000m² around the castle for the retirement home's use and the rest was handed over to the administration of the village of Börln which was incorporated into the Town of Dahlen in 1994.
In the 1990s the historic Distillery that belonged to the State was demolished without any permits by the tenant, Karl Hermann Stein, illegally using government subsidised unemployed workers and the rubble was deposited in the castle park. To this was added more and more rubble, resulting in a 9,000 m² mountain. Described by the culprit as a "skiing mountain" it was never suitable for winter sports at all. It is now let by him for horse riding sports, even to the Police from Dresden - although it is actually "owned" by the town which receives none of the income. Adjacent to the foot of this mountain of rubble is an old oak tree that has the largest diameter in the entire forestry revier of Taura.
During purchase negotiations (2003) with Dahlen's then mayor Johannes Rudolph (CDU), Roderick Hinkel was informed that there would be no problem purchasing the town's part of the castle park. This would have enabled the park to be restored as a single entity.
Although in Bad Muskau in Görlitz there was no problem to rejoin the two halves of the historic Fürst-Pückler-Park (created by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, a 7th cousin of Roderick Hinkel) which was left split into two countries (Germany and Poland) at the end of WWII, this was not possible in the small village of Börln due to a "power struggle" with former Stasi secret police members who still wield an unhealthy amount of power. In 2004, when Roderick Hinkel wanted to restore the entire park for the State Garden Show in 2006, using European Union funds, there was hefty opposition. The then deputy mayor Karl Hermann Stein, former head of the LPG and owner of Landgut Börln GbR, and his two sons (one son, Andreas Stein was later elected Ortsvorsteher or village headman of Börln) threatened citizens using undemocratic methods learned during previous activities in GDR times (including a lifelong ban on hiring the self catering restaurants/function halls and attending the bi-annual riding ball). Under duress, 150 citizens signed a petition on 26.02.2004 at a meeting in Börln, calling for a sale of the park or any restoration for the Show to be disallowed. Roderick Hinkel was himself not permitted to attend the meeting and his two gardeners, although invited, were banned from entering the hall. The village baker Rainer Kühne was forcibly removed by Messrs. Stein for daring to ask why Roderick Hinkel was not allowed to attend.
Roderick Hinkel's presentation "State Garden Show 2006 - Castle Park Börln" was presented to the City Council and citizens on 20.03.2004 but received an equal reception. Dr. med. vet. Andreas Döhler, a Town Councillor, said he did not want an English Garden (he had been to London and the parks there did not appeal to him - a visit to the gardens in Wörlitz might have explained a lot to him). He was of the doubtful opinion that one should instead have a "Saxon Park", whatever that might be. His father Johannes Döhler, a former member of the GDR's Central Committee parliament and great friend of Walter Ulbricht who was a frequent visitor to Börln - he had the Berlin Wall built - was of the opinion during his rhetoric reminiscent of Goebbels, that Roderick Hinkel - "who would buy up the entire village" - should rather start by renovating the castle's roof than by fixing up his garden.
Frau Plätzer, the official at the "Office for Rural Development" in Wurzen responsible for allocating Saxon State and EU funds for such projects, was heard at a public meeting on the "Park Dreams" Project to say "Just because this man has bought a castle for himself, I won't go along with it!" Only in 2008, as a result of many complaints including allegations of corruption was she removed from office. One family was even told "If there are any subsidies then you will be at the bottom of my list". But the damage was done and together with the old Communist Guard unfortunately still controlling this region 21 years after the Wall fell, the park had to say goodbye to valuable subsidies forever, as they were reallocated to Poland.
The end of this woeful tale was that the mayor handed over the city's part of the park to the Taura Forestry Office to be managed by them as a "recreational" forest, so that the town, which has a severe lack of funds, would have all costs borne by the state. Forestry is 100% subsidised. Using unemployed youths, including girls who stated they would have preferred to do sewing, who initially had no suitable tools, the first step was to remove all jasmine bushes and azaleas from the park. Azaleas are, according to the forester, a cause of "allergies" for many visitors. Although the Monument Authority in Dresden was supposed to be involved with the planning but according to the law has only an equal right of determination with the Forester, the work could not be stopped. The felling of trees began. Only a few exotic Weymouth pine trees could be saved, thanks to the intervention of Roderick Hinkel. The forester was of the opinion that these trees had no place in a "Saxon Park". At this juncture, Roderick Hinkel who is a direct neighbour and also a Town Councillor was simply not invited to further meetings about the (former) park.
In 2008 the Town of Dahlen, at the behest of Andreas Stein, the head of the village council, son of Karl Hermann Stein and part-owner of Landgut Börln GbR, lined the paths in the park with rough stones usually using for mixing in cement, suposedly due to a lack of funds. This has made it very uncomfortable to walk on, especially for childrens' prams and wheelchairs. Other than the normal saftey measures in trimming branches over paths, the Town of Dahlen has not undertaken any positive measures to improve the park. The mobbing against Roderick Hinkel continues, usually in the form of placards throughout the park and village whenever a cultural event is held, on the lines of Mielke's guideline number 1/76 page 47 and page 48. All future attempts of this kind will, however, remain fruitless, as most of the citizens of Börln meanwhile realise that they were lied to at the protest on 26.02.2004.
In 2010 further valuable, irreplaceable trees were felled. More felling is planned of beautiful trees which have already been marked with a white "X" - the next victims of the madness, for sale as firewood.
In 2012 employees of the Town of Dahlen damaged the 1000 year old monument-protected moat, although they were actually supposed to be carrying out repairs. The Landrat has refused to allow the moat to be restored, so it will remain an open sewer. Dahlen's Mayor also refuses to carry out maintenance, for which the town is legally obliged.
The Bismarck Oakplanted on 1.4.1895 in honour of von Bismarck's 80th birthday, painted in Autumn 2010
Oil Painting by Steffen Gröbner before storm damage during which half the tree was lost (www.steffen-groebner.de)
The castle park is changed in to a "recreational forest"
The long wait
At least the privately-owned part of the castle park will be lovingly restored; indeed a part has already been restored. The next generation of Börln's inhabitants, which is growing up in freedom in Saxony and is not subjugated by any regime, will surely decide differently to their parents and grandparents. The park area will once again be joined together, unified, and be eye-catching! After a long winter of communism will come spring, with its multiplicity and beauty!
Spring on the banks of the moat
These colourful trees were all felled for no reason whatsoever by order of the Mayor of the Town of Dahlen Matthias Löwe (after this photo was taken in 2010). Deforestation!" cried many shocked villagers.
Old oak tree which has the widest circumference of all trees in the forestry revier of Taura, stands next to a 9,000 m² rubble dump in the former castle park
Castle lake in autumn, emptied. The stones along the bank were collected in fields and were dumped without the permission of the national monument authorities but with the inexplicable permission of the Mayor of Dahlen, by Karl Hermann Stein. Since then there are far fewer ducks to be found - they cannot find any breeding spots now.
Roses and Epheuranken, Cyanine, Violets and Chrysanthemums,
Tulips, Forget-me-nots, Lilies, Myrtle, Jasmine,
Buds and Blossoms and Moss, Snowbells, Narcissi and Hollyhocks,
Hyacinths and Oh, every Child of Nature,
Have the Poets stolen! Empty Forest, Gardens and Fields,
And through defloreated stream errs, o Loved One, your Friend,
Broken with bloody hand unfriendly thorns and thistles. ---
Love only breaks them, they are made into a Bouquet!
Carl Gottlieb Hinkel
Elisée MacLet (1881-1962)
Bouquet de fleurs dans un vase Japonais
Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau (1785 - 1871)
Blue Bridge in the Pückler-Park Muskau
Rhododendron along the moat
Springtime along the moat every year since 1000 years
Text and all images unless specifically mentioned Copyright (C) 2016-26 Roderick Hinkel