Created in the 1930s by the architect Fritz Ebhardt who had a keen sense of place and landscape, the main Rankenhof residence and boathouse became an idyllic lake-front retreat for our grandfather, who was a local entrepreneur and inventor. The grounds were developed by the Berlin landscape architect Friedrich Götze. All interior and exterior wrought-iron work you see - the door hinges, lamps, the weather vane on the Bootshaus - was executed by the master craftsman Ungerer, a Nuremberg artisan who apprenticed with Hans Leibold and was also his son-in-law.
Rankenhof, a wondrous jewel among the many country homes starting to dot the countryside in the first half of the 20th century, was expropriated in 1952. Absorbing the adjoining properties, the East German government added a Volkspolizei guesthouse and used the impressive residence for high-level state visits and GDR leaders. Then, in the early 1990s, the property was returned to the family. The European Fund for regional development provided support for the scrupulous updates undertaken. In 1995, Rankenhof was finally able to open its doors to people seeking a beautiful place to relax. For us, a successful return to our roots.