Loved for Centuries...
The Langendorf estate, originally belonging to the Perbandt, an ancient Prussian noble family is located about ten kilometers to the West of Gvardeisk of Kaliningrad region (City of Tapiau of East Prussia). The Perbandts had settled in Zamland long before the German Knights Templar. The estate consisted of the central homestead occupying both banks of the river Pregel, and two separate smallholdings named Albrekhtskhof and Glyuklakk. The so-called “Castle Mount” – is a mound on the higher bank of river Pregel, which extends into the territory of the park and has an adjacent and remote systems of moats and mounds typical for the Knight Templar period. Most likely, the original fortress was built upon an earlier Prussian fortification. A prehistoric burial site on the Northern bank of river Pregel provides evidence of very early settlements in this area. The central homestead together with the smallholdings used to be owned by the Perbandt family whose names are mentioned in the historic documents from the times of Knights Templar. The property remained in the hands of the family members continuously until 1945.
Historic records of the family and estate
The first documented evidence of the family origins refers to certain Sklode de Kvednau, a Prussian nobleman, who lived approximately from 1200 to 1260 AD. He and his family belonged to the number of local leaders of Zamland tribes, which were referred to by the Knights Templar as the “original and ancient Vikings”. The first mention of the name Perbandt appears in a charter dating back to 1363 where a certain nobleman was called Perbandt fon Vindskime. The majority of their holdings in the region the family acquired in the 13th and 14th centuries, followed by smaller purchases in the later times. A part of Tapiau holdings spread through the territory from Koddien in the East through Shivenau (Borskoe) and Podollen (Lozovoe) to the West all the way to Langendorf (Sokolniki) and included a similar landmass in the Southern part of Bonslak (Gorka) and Nothern part of Vargene (Velikolukskoe).
Historic records contain abundant information on the successors of Sklode who were famous officials in the Knights Templar territories, the Duchy and the Kingdom of Prussia. Mathias fon Vindskime nicknamed “Perbandt” (1380-1455) comes from the line of Langendorf. He can be easily referred to as one of the most influential noblemen in Zamland. In 1432 he was one of the nobility who executed the peace treaty between the Teutonic order and Lithuania. Both Mathias and his son Ambrosius belonged to the people who formed a solid foundation of the Order during the tempting times of the 13-year long war with the Prussian Union (of the Nobility and Cities). His influence was so strong that many asked him to appeal for mercy and forgiveness of the Grand Master.
The Langendorf estate experienced a significant economic rise under Otto Julius (1825-1907), who was the oldest son of George fon Perbandt. He received his education from the Academy of Agriculture in Meglin. Upon returning home he improved and built new contemporary agricultural facilities. And, construction of ample number of houses for workers, a new master house, and lavish gardens were a witness of a great economic success, especially in the areas of livestock farming and horse breeding. He was a Knight of the Order of Malta.
The second son of George fon Perbandt (born in 1860) was a Royal Prussian Major in “Duke Wrangle” Cuirassier Regiment (East-Prussian #3). He also was a Knight of the Order of Malta and significantly contributed to the Langendorf successes of his father. His passion and main care were focused on the livestock breeding society named “East-Prussian Dutch Livestock Breeding Society”. From 1916 to 1929 he chaired the Society and was a passionate and extremely successful breeder.
His wife Johanna (1869-1958) inherited Langendorf after his death. Johanna’s family name was fon Ter, and she was a granddaughter of Albrecht Ter. She lived in Langendorf with her second son George fon Perbandt (1895-1969), a local captain, her daughter Jutta fon Perbandt who helped to run the estate, and younger son Sklode fon Perbandt who was a state employee. In the next generation, two sons of Albrecht: Albrecht and Sklode who were born from the marriage with Clara fon Bassevitz (1899-1956) from Fukshefen should have become the heirs of the estate. However, both of them never returned from the battles of WWII where they were drawn while still being very young men.
The estate had its own ferry that transferred agricultural workers to the pastures and meadows on the Southern bank of Pregel and the nearby railroad station Gros-Lindenau. There was a commercial river terminal, which allowed moderately large ships to bring in both passengers and cargo from Konigsberg and Tapiau. The dairy and meat production that blossomed during a number of decades were a major part of the Langendorf’s establishment. From the middle of the 19th century there was a dairy factory that produced dairy sugar and through the end of WWI was making dry milk along with other conventional dairy products. All houses on the Langendorf estate territory provided accommodations to 34 families of agricultural workers. The houses and other property belonging to the workers spread out for more than a kilometer on the Northern bank of Pregel.
During the final years of the Soviet history the central part of the Langendorf estate together with the main castle was used as a parking facility for trucks and heavy machinery. Most of the structures were virtually destroyed. A large part of the estate was covered by concrete panels and dumps. Some parts of the castle building were destroyed by fire and unsuccessful restoration attempts resulted in the loss of the second floor and the main architectural beautification – the towers.