Archaeological finds indicate that people already lived in the area of present day Brodowin during the Bronze Age. “Brodewin” was first formally mentioned in 1258. The name probably refers to a settlement located on Gottweswerder Island in Brodowin Lake.
The Margraves of Brandenburg gave “Brodewin” to the Lehnin order of the Cistercian monastery (south west of Potsdam). Their condition was that a new monastery called “Mariensee” should be built on Pehlitzwerder Island in Parstein Lake. The order discontinued the construction in 1273 and chose a site further west called “Koryn”. Today, Chorin monastery still attracts visitors from around the world. The impressive field stone foundation of the abandoned “Mariensee” monastery remains on Pehlitzwerder Island.
The present village of Brodowin was founded by Dutch and German farmers who were brought to the sparsely populated Uckermark region by the Ascanians (a Swabian – Franconian princely family). In 1335 Brodowin belonged to the estate of Chorin monastery. The monastery was secularised in 1542 and the electoral prince moved into the estate. In 1557 the inhabitants of Brodowin consisted of the chairman of the farmer’s cooperative, a priest, 10 full farmers and 19 peasant farmers of which 7 were potters.
In the 17th century the 30-year war and the Pest almost completely depopulated Brodowin. The situation did not improve until around 1691, when Huguenots, Protestant refugees from France, settled in the devastated Brodowin.
Brodowin suffered the effects of a destructive fire in August 1848. Numerous farms, as well as the church on the village green, were destroyed. Subsequently King Friedrich Wilhelm IV provided the renowned architect and builder, Friedrich August Stüler, with a donation to rebuild the church. In this way the little village of Brodowin received its clearly visible landmark – the neo-Gothic brick church on the village green. During this time numerous “three sided courtyards” were established which are still visible today. Some of the farmers – who lived on the village green before the fire – settled in Ziegenberg, a then newly founded area of Brodowin.
Plagefenn, Brandenburg’s first nature conservation area was initiated in 1907 under Max Kienitz, the manager of Chorin forestry. It is situated around the Large and Small Plage Lake south of Brodowin. Its area of 178 hectares consists of a landscape rich in moors, forests and lakes. Its central zone is a wilderness area which is left to its natural development and is thus protected from any human influences.
As a symbol of Christian resistance to the Nazi regime, the ‘secret’ Confessing Synod of the CONFESSIONAL CHURCH (CK) of the Margraviate of Brandenburg took place in Brodowin’s church on 10 November 1937.
The Confessional Church was an opposition movement of Protestant Christians against bringing the doctrine and organisation of the German Protestant Church (GPK) into line with National Socialism.
The CK reacted to the attempts to enforce conformity, first with a delimitation of its teaching, organisation and training, later also with political protests.
From December 1935 the work of the Confessional Churches was officially forbidden. However, it was still carried out in secret.
The state tried to suppress the Confessional Church through various laws and regulations. Violations of these laws were severely punished. The confessional synod of the church province of Mark Brandenburg and Grenzmark discussed the difficult situation in secret on 10 November 1937 in Brodowin.
Confessional circle synods took place before the Brodowin Synod. In order not to be discovered by the Gestapo, the synod took place in the remote church in Brodowin. Confidentiality could be the reason why there is no longer any documentation available today on their convocation, agenda, participants, speakers and reports. But they could also have been destroyed in the war.
Only the following four decisions are still pending:
1. further development of the Confessional Churches
2. question of the collection
3. word to the youth
4. letter to the Protestant High Council of Churches and the Consistory.
On 17.11.2007 the events of 1937 were solemnly commemorated in the church in Brodowin and a commemorative plaque was unveiled.
After World War Two refugee families coming from the East made Brodowin their new home. Like elsewhere in Soviet occupied zones, they moved into newly built “Neubauernhäuser” (new farmers’ houses). These were one-storey buildings which accommodated farmers as well as their cattle. Hay and straw were stored beneath the roof. These new farmers (“Neubauern”) worked the fields that were redistributed during the land reform. In 1955 some of Brodowin’s “Altbauern” (old farmers) merged with “Neubauern” (new farmers) for the purpose of common production. In later years the Brodowin agricultural cooperative was founded.
In the GDR Brodowin made itself a name through the “Brodowiner Kirchensommer” (Brodowin Church Summer Festival). From 1981 onwards, the protestant minister, Eberhard Rau, organised musical evenings, talks, discussions and craft presentations that took place on several weekends in the summer. Pastor Andreas Lorenz, his successor, continued this tradition. Due to the initiative of author Raimar Gilsenbach, artists, scientists as well as ecologically and culturalliy interested people have been coming to the village since 1980 as part of the “Brodowiner Gespräche” (Brodowin Conversations). In 1991 this resulted in the accredited union of Eco-village Brodowin e.V. (Verein Ökodorf Brodowin e.V.)
1258 Brodowin is mentioned in official documents for the first time, probably as a settlement on Gotteswerder Island
1273 The construction of “Mariensee” monastery is discontinued, the monks move to Chorin
1335 After the present-day village of Brodowin was founded, its estate belonged to Chorin monastery
1542 The monastery is secularised
1557 Brodowin is home to 1 farmer’s cooperative chairman, 1 pastor, 10 full farmers, 19 peasant farmers, of which 7 are potter
1691 French protestant refugees (Huguenots) settled in Brodowin which was ravaged by the 30 year war and the plague
1848 Brodowin is almost completely destroyed by a fire storm.
1853 The construction of the new church is completed. It was donated by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV and constructed according to the plans of Friedrich August Stüler
1907 The Plagefenn nature reserve is established as the first conservation area in Brandenburg.
1937 the ‘secret’ Confessing Synod of the CONFESSIONAL CHURCH (BK) of the Margraviate of Brandenburg takes place on 10 Nov. in Brodowin’s church
1945 Refugee families from the East find a new home in Brodowin
1955 The amalgamation of farmers for joint production is a forerunner to co-operatives that were founded later (LPG)
1980 The first “Brodowiner Gespräche” (Brodowin Conversations) take place due to the initiative of
Author Raimar Gilsenbach
1981 The “Brodowiner Kirchensommer” (Brodowin Church Summer Festival) is organised for the first time
1991 Brodowin eco-village is founded and formerly registered