Plön, County

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Regional Research > Germany, after 1989 > Schleswig-Holstein > Plön, County

If I were want to name all the beautiful sights of this district, wherever I shall start and wherever I shall stop??

Villages, towns, "Herrenhäuser" (estate houses), lakes, beaches, paddocks and "Knicks" shape the face of this district.

("Knicks" are walls around the paddocks and fields lined with hedges, to save the ground from drying out by the winds.)

The district is embedded between the Kiel-Firth, the "Ostsee" (Baltic- Sea) and the "Holsteinische Schweiz" (Holstein Switzerland).

Woods, water and areas, which are used for agriculture make up 92,6 % of the region, but only 14 % of the people of the district make their living from agriculture.

From the navy-monument in Laboe (85 meters high) to the east, in the wide land of the Plön district, you have a picturesque view: The "Probstei" (a former monastic area), the area with the Big Lake Plön (there is also a Small Lake Plön) and the Lake Selent, aswell as the river Schwentine, which winds its way through the fields and the vally, which is called "Schwentine Tal" (vally Schwentine = a very strange name in our mainly flate country!).

(The navy-monument in Laboe was built upon an old artillery-bunker from the time before WWI. The building was started after WWI and finished before the Nazis came into power in 1933. It has the form of the bow of a cruiser from WWI and it seems, the imaginary cruiser has been stranded in eternity - like all the killed-in-action sailors of the German Navy outside on the seven seas. -

After WWII the British occupation powers planned to destroy the tower, because they thought it was a Nazi-symbol. - It was a difficult task to convince the British officers to abandon this plan. -

When I sometimes visited the navy-monument in the 1950's, I would see (downstairs in the round hall of the former artillery- bunker) a woman or man sitting on one of the benches, a handkerchief in hand and a bunch of fresh flowers lying upon the big round place. They look to the middle of the round room, where upon a small base the Holy Bible is lying open, as it still does today. - This is the real meaning of this navy-monument in Laboe and not the "Brimbamborium", which was in use from 1933 to 1945: The relatives of the killed-in-action sailors shall have a place to go to remember lost husbands, fathers, sons and other relatives.

After WWII mourners from all over Germany (without the people of the former DDR) came to this memorial in Laboe, located in the far north.)

Back to the Plön district:

Although no one would suspect it, 30,000 barrels of oil are pumped every year in Plön district!

Fish, ear of corn and oak leaf, which decorate the district shield, are the typical symbols for this district.

In the middle of the 18th century, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau demanded the "Rückkehr zur Natur" (return to nature) and was expelled from his homeland. A landowner on Big Lake Plön offerred him his estate for his leisure and reflection. - The philosopher refused his offer. Unlike the great thinker, Rouseau, the over-stressed people of the 20th century don't have to be asked twice to take a holiday: Nearly 3 million overnight stays per year are recorded in the Plön district. Every one can find peace and relaxation, whether it be at the Bay of Hohwacht, in Ascheberg at the Big Lake Plön, or at holiday centres on the beaches of "Kalifornien" (= California) or "Brasilien" (= Brazil). The last two places carry a feeling of the great distance to North- and South America.

(Both places got there names from former emigrants, which came back from California/USA and Brazil/South America!)

The area between the towns of Schönberg, Laboe and Raisdorf is not only a nice holliday-area, it is becoming also a very popular residential area, because nearby Kiel, the capital of Schleswig- Holstein, is a very desirable place to live. Unfortunately, living accomodations in the city are scare. Of the 43,000 persons in employment approxiamatly 13,000 commute every day between their homes and Kiel. This is the reason why the residences in the former fisher- villages Heikendorf, Kitzeberg and Mönkeberg on the eastern side of theKiel-Firth are the best adresses of the authorities, institutions andthe businesspersons of Kiel.

Historical ground can be found in the town of Preetz. There you can admire the pews for 70 nuns from the 14th century in the old "Benediktinerinnen-Kloster".

(In the past the "Probstei", which I mentioned earlier, belonged to this nun-monastery.)

The most important factor in the historical development of this district was the castle of Plön. This castle on an island in the Big Lake Plön was named "Plune" by the Wenden and was distroyed in 1139.

(Wenden = This is one name for the slavic tribes, which lived during time in this eastern parts of Holstein. Today this area is called Wagrien. Wagrier is another name for the slavic tribes. One finds the word "Wenden" also in another region's name in Lower Saxony: This is the "Wendland" south of the Elbe-river near the town of Dannenberg.)

In 1622, a "Herzogtum" (dukedom) was build in Plön. In 1863, the Danish King build a "Provinzialregierung" (provincial government) for the whole dukedom of Holstein. This government had to move the allied Austrian and Prussian troops in the very same year. In 1867 the Plön district was finaly established and recognized as a part of the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein.

Sharon D. Hagler

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