Manor House Below
The former feudal Below estate with the Grabow village belonging to it can be semantically traced back as an original Wendish (elbslawic) settlement on an old hornbeam place (grabu = hornbeam).
This outlasted the following medieval colonisation of the north-east regions by founding German settlements, amongst others by the Wendish Crusade in 1147.
The area with the settlers living there was first enfeoffed in 1344 by Prince of Werle to Andreas Flotow of Stuer, although there were more feudal lords in the following years which mostly did not have their residence there. Thus there is a further Low High German document from 1464, in which Heinrich the Younger, Duke of Mecklenburg, Count of Schwerin, Prince of Wenden, confirms an earlier documented pledge to the cousins Philipp and Hans Priegnitz zu den Vinken for the boundary area with woods, meadows, and fields to Below to the city of Wittstock.
The manorial rights were split among many part-shareholders during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the years following it.
Landowner of Ludorf and further estate owners, such as Count von Knuth, were interested in owning the land in 1679 and began building the manor house in Below in a baroque half-timbered building style around 1680. He finally purchased the ownership in 1689, including church patronage, and turned it as with the other estates too, such as into an allodial estate, in which he was freed from feudal duties with a free property and the future inheritance was transferred. He sold his allodial Below estate next to the Grafow village lying nearby with inclusion of the church patronage for 7,000 Reichsthaler to Captain von Seitz in 1720, who took up residence in the Below manor house. He built several buildings around a square court and founded a glassworks. He extended the manor house with two sets of windows in 1741. There is a semi-perspective map of the noble Below estate from 1768. A house for menials was built on the north side of the ballroom.
The estate park being laid out as an English landscape park probably dates from this time.
The estate complex was, mostly due to financial problems, sold many times in the following years until it was expropriated in 1946 and subjected to being divided into 37 parts under the land reform. The manor house served as accommodation for many displaced people and housed, amongst others, a shop and a doctor’s surgery during the time Germany was divided.
The Below manor house has been under private ownership since 1991 and is a listed property.
Holidays in the Below manor house:
We offer two historically furnished apartments with large rooms for long-term or short-term rent. All our rooms have central heating, and the rooms can be heated with extra stoves. This is the reason the apartments are not only suitable for summer but also for a cosy stay in winter.
17209 Below, Dorfstraße 17