The Villa Kampffmeyer Is a Historic Place Nestled Among German Palaces in Potsdam
A flour tycoon named Kurt Kampffmeyer built in 1393, a villa on a lake in Potsdam, about 19 km Southwest of Berlin and named it Villa Kampffmeyer.
During the time when Germany didn’t have any problems with hyperinflation or teetering on the knife’s edge of civil war, Kurt built this place.
Back then the house used to look like a gathering of styles-part baroque, part neoclassical. Located around an area with a lot of history with former imperial landholdings, the place is full of history.
Among its neighbors the estate has the Jagdschloss Glienicke, a hunting lodge built for Friedrich Wilhelm, located right across the water from the villa, as well as the Babelsberg Palace, built for Emperor Wilhelm I.
Today, the entire land of parks and palaces in Potsdam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The villa, even back then, had a lot of great, tasteful architecture. Today, also featuring on the site is an entrance surrounded by boxwood hedges and adorned with a monumental portico.
Plus, there is also a double-height entry room with an oak-paneled staircase, ornament fireplaces, and elaborate design in each of the rooms.
“He had grand ambitions,” said Sebastian Varga von Kibed, a former investment banker and the house’s current owner.
“It’s got grand reception rooms, very tasteful gilding, and silks – really, it’s a sort of statement piece.”
The house during the war!
After Kurt finished building the place, the war came with the Nazis surrendering it. The Berlin wall cordoned off the French, British and American sectors.
The estate had the bad luck of being on the East German side.
“The Berlin wall ran, quite literally, through the gardens of the house, the villa was on the east side, and the wrong side of history.” said von Kibed.
Because of the house’s proximity to the demarcation line, it’s a wonder that they didn’t demolish it.
During the Cold War, the house went through some radical changes.
Von Kibed calls it “a slumber period” when German Democratic Republic owned everything, including the house.
The walls plastered over, the rooms subdivided, and the windows boarded up, all in an effort to “de-emphasize the grand bourgeois aspect of it,” von Kibed said.
Good thing is that the essence of the house remained untouched.
“They just put up these fake walls,” he said. “But they didn’t actually destroy anything.”
After they took down the wall in 1989, the house went through a succession of changes and well as owners.
After Von Kibed purchased it
Von Kibed, who purchased the house in 2012 just as an investment, he completed a second renovation of the house.
Back then, he put the place on the market for $41.6 million, or 28 million euros. Since then the price dropped to 23 million euros, which is around $26 million.
The House Today:
Today the house features a library, salon, formal dining room, and music room on the main floor, and a master suite, private study, multiple guest rooms, and a “panorama room” on the second floor.
It also has a basement currently configured as a staff apartment, as well as five bedrooms, and eight bathrooms.
Outside, von Kibed has restored the house’s two acres of gardens.
“When I purchased the house, one of Kurt Kampffmeyer’s youngest daughters got in touch with us,” von Kibed said.
The end result, von Kibed said, is a piece of history. “What you really see,” he said. “Is cohabitation between the history of two, or really three different Germanys.”
What do you think about this piece of history? Would you like to live there?
** Here are some things you might not know about Germany: