The Schwanenkrug – a country inn with history and tradition
Hospitality has run in the family for generations
Even as long ago as in 1782, Schönwalde / Glien already had a village inn called the Dorfkrug. It was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt between 1784 and 1785. For financial reasons, the ruling monarch Frederick the Great permitted it to be rebuilt 2000 paces closer to the city of Spandau. That is why the new inn, the Neuer Dorfkrug, as it was henceforth called, was built where it still stands today.
The sign of the Neuer Dorfkrug inn featured the image of a swan. From 1790 onwards, the inn therefore became known as the Krug zum weißen Schwan - the "White Swan Inn".
In those days, when HP still stood for actual "horse" power, the inn at the main road between Spandau, Fehrbellin and Ruppin was a way station on the route towards the old post road to Hamburg, which passed through Bötzow and Henningsdorf, for example. It was a place where exhausted and hungry travellers, and also the coachmen and their horses, could take a break.
They were also served plenty of good food and drink to give them strength for the rest of their journey. Day trips to the country first became fashionable amongst Berlin's bourgeoisie at the beginning of the 20th century. Anyone who could afford it dressed in their Sunday best and explored the countryside around Berlin, which had already grown into a busy metropolis by then, in a horse-drawn carriage. Country inns became popular destinations for day trippers looking for rest and relaxation, and the Schwanenkrug was no exception.
The beautiful old village inn has had a chequered history. In 1974, when Germany was still divided into two countries, the GDR declared the Schwanenkrug a listed building of historic interest. The Schuknecht family took over the running of the state-owned inn in 1984.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of the two Germanies, the Schuknechts acquired the Schwanenkrug in 1990. For the first time in over two centuries, the inn was privately owned, and has been ever since. It has now firmly arrived in the 21st century; much has changed yet some things have stayed the way they were in the good old days. People looking for rest and recreation still come here to enjoy the beauty and quiet of nature.
Schönwalde's picturesque rural landscape offers many opportunities for the pursuit of outdoor leisure activities. Various designated hiking and cycling paths such as the Havellandradweg or the Mauerweg lead directly through Schönwalde. A memorial commemorating the years when Germany was divided by the Wall was erected by the stone bridge that separates Schönwalde from Spandau in 2007.
The Waldwichtelpfad, an educational nature trail, starts directly in the village. Interested visitors can increase their natural history knowledge along the circular route.
A long walk in the countryside makes you hungry - time to visit the Schwanenkrug to enjoy one of the hearty and traditional German dishes made from fresh regional ingredients served by the inn.
The "Swan", as people call it affectionately, has been popular with many generations for its good and freshly prepared food. The inn's owner and manager Dennis Schuknecht says: "We want our guests to feel thoroughly comfortable at the 'Swan'; we want them to enjoy the peace and quiet, and to leave their worries behind. Families, business travellers, hikers, day trippers or cyclists: we bid all of our guests a warm welcome!"
Before leaving, you should pay a visit to the Hirschkopfeiche, an ancient oak tree and its "family" directly opposite the Schwankenkrug. If you listen carefully to the rustle of the leaves, you might even hear it tell some tales from long, long ago…
Dennis Schuknecht and Team