The Old Forge / Dairy were erected some 100 years ago as the estate compound’s own farm buildings. The clinker construction, 50 metres in length and approx. 10 metres in width consists of two two-storey buildings which are connected by another one-storey building which used to be the place where the horses were shoed. In GDR times, one of the buildings was still used as a forge for some time; later on it was converted into flats and a hairdressing salon.
The Trebnitz Castle Association bought the empty building in the late 1990s with the goal of preserving it as part of the estate compound. Its long decay during the preceding years was visible in the shape of rotten ceilings, collapsing roof parts, flaky walls and spreading dry rot.
The refurbishment of the complex of buildings finally began in 2011. The Technical Secretariat of the Viadrina Euro region in Gorzow approved 1.35 million Euros in subsidies for the German-Polish meeting place in Trebnitz. Along with the Association, various trusts contributed the necessary excess. In total, 1.6 million Euros were made available. The refurbishment kept the overall structure of the complex. The connecting building was converted into a modern seminar room with large yard-facing windows. The facade was preserved in its entirety and cleaned up.
The two buildings now house 17 rooms with modern facilities and a total of 25 beds on the ground floor and the upper floors. The new building is meant to improve the conditions for international youth encounters significantly. The smaller rooms meet the requirements of tutors, workshop leaders and project managers. As there is a ramp for one part of the buildings on the yard side, the complex is also accessible for the disabled.
The opening of the Old Forge was celebrated with a ceremony on 12 June 2013. Guests included Gunter Fritsch, president of the state parliament of Brandenburg, Gisela Mehlmann, Ministry of Economics and European Affairs, Sylwia Pedzinska, director of the Joint Technical Secretariat in Zielona Gora, Gernot Schmidt, head of the district Märkisch Oderland and many residents from Trebnitz and the surrounding area.
Radio essay about the Old Forge from Raphael Jung (in German):
061213 – Alte Schmiede Trebnitz