A schloss is for life - not just Christmas
A German castle may seem a snip at 40p but hidden extras can be horrend ous, writes Steve Crawshaw from Bonn
Monday 26 December 1994
The organisation entrusted with privatisation in east Germany, which has around 60,000 properties to dispose of, has chosen 20 of its choicest for sale and distributed 18,000 glossy catalogues, worldwide. Its English title is "Fairy-Tales", but in Germanits title,"Castles for the Future", is more accurate.
Property prices start at DM1 (40p). but however enchanting and however cheap the guide price, the words "in appalling condition" appear repeatedly.
The particulars of Schloss Wulkow, near the Polish border and available for DM1, note laconically: "It is imperative that reconstruction and repair begin as soon as possible. Otherwise, the building will be lost for ever." Purchase depends on legal guarantees that the building will be suitably restored.
Other highlights include an 18th-century castle with secret passageways; a 13th-century monastery, or a 16th-century manor house with moat.
Many have a chequered history. The catalogue says of a 13th-century castle, that "the use of the entire castle by the People's Army of the GDR resulted in serious interference with the original ground plan".
A manor house in south-east Germany was used in the past 60 years as: a Nazi labour camp for women; a hospital for the Soviet army; a training school for East Germany's Communist youth organisation; and, finally, as stables for a collective farm.
Response to the catalogue has been overwhelming, from those who want to create conference centres, holiday centres, or exclusive hotels. Now it is up to citizens' committees, who have spent several weeks scrutinising bids and would-be purchasers' creden
t ials, to decide which bid is best financially or for the locality. A shortlist will be published on Thursday.
Some properties carry a warning: "Restitution claims by the previous owners are known of." Theoretically, those expropriated under the land reform of 1945-49 cannot be reclaimed under a deal with Moscow at the time of German unity in 1990. Previous owners are still keen to try their luck, not least, because they are entitled to compensation.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
North Korea calls Barack Obama 'a monkey' in latest attack as 'The Interview' row festers
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...