Bruhnskoppel, Malente, Germany, 1891

1891 – A postcard sent in summer 1891 shows the buildings on top of the Bruhnskoppel near Malente-Gremsmühlen in Germany. © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com/Photo: Alb. Giesler


The story behind the image

This is one of the oldest images in our archive, a postcard shot by photo pioneer Albert Giesler. It shows the buildings of Bruhnskoppel near Malente-Gremsmühlen probably between 1885 and 1890. It was owned by my great-great-grandfather, Johann Hinrich Grebien (1826-1903), father of Dorothea Christine Grebien.

In 1870, Johann Hinrich opened a restaurant on the peak of the Bruhnskoppel, which is not very high but still a tiny hill. Tourism in the area had slowly been picking up, and the restaurant was pretty successful. So successful in fact, that he extended the business with a hotel around 1895, which was run by his son, Friedrich Rudolph Grebien, who apparently added a 21 meter high tower that provided stunning views across the landscape. There are many images on the web showing the site with that tower which makes the photo above so unique. Friedrich operated the hotel until the end of 1907 when he sold it.

The hotel continued a wild ride through the decades until it closed in 2010. It followed a bizarre story of several investors who were talking about investing into a new, fully restored hotel. But these plans never materialized. At the same time, the buildings were destroyed by the weather and by vandals. Today, it’s has become a shame for the community, labeled a “lost place”. See the change over time on krummsee.info.

A few words about ALbert Giesler. He was born in May 1862 in Eutin in Germany and pursued a photography career after graduating from school. He got trained by various photographers across Northern Germany and opened his photo studio in Eutin, his hometown, in 1886, at the age of 24. Starting with landscape photos, he constantly explored new and promising technologies like stereographic photos or portrait photography in an artistic way. His work quickly became popular and many customers started collecting his photos. No surprise that he was appointed the official photographer of the Oldenburg court very soon. Even today, his work is outstanding both from a technical and an artistic point of view (considering the limitations of his time.)

It’s exciting to see how Johann Hinrich actually lived in Bruhnskoppel, in the 1890s, a beautiful place forr sure.

1899 – View from Bruhnskoppel across the landscape.

The high resolution image

Capture Datebefore 1891
PhotographerAlb. Giesler
LocationBruhnskoppel, Germany
Image Source7.5 x 4 cm postcard image
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions7156 x 4025 Pixels
Copyright© by Alb.Giesler/Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s