THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY ESTATE
An idea in action
»From east to west there was a wide valley where the river Mulde once flowed. Now it flowed a few kilometres further north, with only a small stream remaining in the valley ... A forest that stretched for hours, reaching as far as Grimma, bordered on the estate to the west.«WILHELM OSTWALD, LIFELINES, 1926/27
The Energie country estate, purchased by Wilhelm Ostwald in 1901, was initially a summer retreat and finally the family’s home all year round. Ostwald established his research facility here and made it a meeting place for the academic elites.
After the death of Wilhelm Ostwald in 1932, part of his estate remained in Grossbothen, while the other part was moved to Berlin. Over the years, the park and its buildings were used for a variety of purposes, including as accommodation for refugees during the Second World War.
In 1953, the children of Helene and Wilhelm Ostwald arranged a donation of the park to the Berlin Academy of Sciences. In the East German era, the area was first used as a memorial, and later on also for as a production and work place.
On 3 October 1990, when East and West Germany were formally reunited, ownership of the estate passed to the government of Saxony. The newly founded Wilhelm Ostwald Society took over the care of the estate. At the beginning of the 21st century, the park was threatened with closure due to the austerity and reduction policies of the Free State of Saxony.
There was a change of course for the estate on 1 January 2009 when it was transferred to the Gerda and Klaus Tschira Foundation. It was converted from a memorial into an active space with a museum, archive, conference centre for scientists, diverse events, educational offers, special exhibitions and cooperations with various partners and institutions.