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.
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
||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
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
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.
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
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.