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Mentioned for the first time in a document in 1497, the Brühl family originates in Gangloffsömmern in Thuringia. The picturesque locality with its old church and the former estate of the family is situated about thirty kilometers to the north of Erfurt.
The family became well-known particularly by the powerful acting of Heinrich Count von Brühl (1700-1763), who was received as a page into the court of the elector of Saxony, August II, surnamed the Strong, in Dresden, where he started his meteoric rise to the office of minister and prime minister, becoming the most influential man in the kingdom of Saxony.
He was married with Marianne Kolowrat-Krakowski, became minister under August the Strong, later on prime minister under August's son and successor August III. For many years he strongly influenced the fortunes of the Country.Precisely six generations lie between Heinrich
Count von Brühl and my family.

To many people the name of Brühl is known in connection with the monumental Brühl's Terrace in Dresden, which was built for the Count in his lifetime.

He had asked the king for the right to build on the fortifications, whose boundaries the city had outgrown for a long time. He had the moats filled with sand and gravel and a pleasure-garden laid out on top. A narrow bridge between the garden and his adjacent palace gave his family and guests access to a first-class territory in the heart of the city. Later on the king donated to his minister the remainder of the former fortifications, which gave Heinrich Count von Brühl the opportunity to largely expand his private garden. To this day the terrace forms an impressive part of the view over the Saxon capital. It melts into the scenery of the various buildings, some of them constructed considerably later, and combines them to form a harmonious ensemble. It seems as if this had been planned from the beginning.

Legendary was the hatred Frederick II. of Prussia harboured against the Saxon minister. During the Seven Years' War Brühl's palace was ransacked by Prussian soldiers. The Bellevue, a small place on Brühl's Terrace, was destroyed upon the order of the Prussian king. Whereas normally the "Soldier's King" forbade his troups robbery and destruction, Frederick ordered his troups to ransack Brühl's properties, the castles of Grochwitz, Oberlichtenau and Nischwitz, and to destroy the furniture and interior decorations. Finally the magnificent castle of Pförten in the Niederlausitz (Lower Lusatia) was set on fire, after the Prussian soldiers had enriched themselves on the furniture and provisions.

With Aloysius Friedrich Count von Brühl, the eldest son of the minister who took his permanent abode at Pförten Castle in 1785, an active social, cultural and family life developed in and around the marvellous building with its vast park.

This came to a sudden end in 1945. The Brühls had to flee and, apart from two tapestries, had to leave everything behind, including the "swan service", one of the most famous porcelain services from the Meissner porcelain factory. The minister had commissioned Johann Joachim Kaendler, the most important modeller of the Meissen factory, to create the service in 1737. We are indebted to Director Karl Berling of the Dresden Arts and Crafts Museum for being able to see in Dresden today a small number of individual pieces of the service that originally consisted of over 2000 pieces. Before World War I, Karl Berling had
asked for a choice of the best pieces as a loan to be exhibited in the museum.

For decades the castle stood unoccupied and empty and gradually turned into a romantic ruin. In recent years, thanks to the investments of its Polish owners, at least the wings were renovated and are now used as a hotel.
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