Historical Maps

Börln is situated on the southern edge of the Dahlener Heide in the Free State (formerly Kingdom) of Saxony. On 31 December 1999 there were 571 inhabitants. Together with the adjacent hamlets, there are some 870 inhabitants over an area of 15 square kilometres.

Börln lies 5 km from the small town of Dahlen. Börln was absorbed for administrative purposes into Dahlen in 1994 and is now in the province of Nordsachsen. Grimma, to which Börln used to belong, is 35 km away and Oschatz some 15km away. Börln is 50km from Leipzig and 80 km from Dresden. South of Börln lies the Collm, 315m above sea level. At the foot of this hill, it is said, began the history of Börln as here the ancient Slavonic tribes held their parliament.

The place name was spelled in various ways: Borlin 1200, Burlin 1244, Burulyn 1385, Berln 1457, Borulin 1472, Borlen 1505, Borlein 1528, Borlenn 1539, Borle 1550, Börlen 1694 and 1730, since which the current spelling Börln has been retained.

The village is surrounded by forests and fields, ideal for horse riding and farming. At the edge of the village lies the "Hain", a small park with a lake fed by the Lossa stream.

Börln used to be the centre for a number of smaller villages which, in some cases, no longer exist. The central village forms the administrative centre, in which can be found the Schloss (castle), the Pächterhaus (tenant's house) from which the property was managed by the estate's tenant, the old school (now used by Lebensschule Mandala), an ice cellar, a watermill and a water well house. Unfortunately, the historic Brennerei (distillery) was torn down without permission in about 1994.

The village of Radegast also belonged to Börln and the small hamlet of Schwarzer Kater ("Black Tom Cat") is at a crossroad of the old trade routes on the "Hainstraße" including the Butter Route along the Via Regia (ancient trade route) which goes to Großenhain. The largest community is in Bortewitz, which used to be an independent village. Prempelwitz (between Börln and Radegast) and Mark Stolpen (between Börln and Heyda) were lost in history. Only the names remain: "Prempelberg" and "Stolpenteich".

Early Settlement

The first signs of civilisation in the town are from the Bronze Age and many graves can still be found between Schildau and Ochsensaal. On the border of the river between Börln and Bortewitz, a farmer once found an urn, evidencing this theory. The area was originally settled by Slavs and German settlers arrived between the 4th and 8th centuries. The last Slav tribe to live in the area was called the Daleminzier.

In 929 Burg Meißen was erected and colonisation occurred under King Heinrich I. The name of Börln goes back to Slavonic times. A member of the founder family is mentioned in a record of 1198, on the occasion of the consecration of the Cistercian (later "Marienpforte") Nunnery in nearby Sitzenroda. Gunther, filius (son of) Zlabori was the last aristocratic witness to the consecration. The name Zlabori is the genitive and means the Slav Bor.
In this record the Nunnery's land possessions are also mentioned, including the neighbouring estate of Zlabori in Belthelin which is nearby to the village of Frauwalde next to Börln.
The place name Börln refers today to a slavic origin probably named after a wendish aristocratic manorial estate owner. A member of this, the likely founding family, appears in a certificate dated 1198, on the occasion of the consecration of the church of the Cistercian Nunnery of Sitzenroda. In this document "Gunther, filius (son of) des Zlabori", was named as the last aristocratic witness to the consecration. The name "Zlavbor" is the nominative and means "a famous warrior". In this certificate the possessions of the Nunnery are listed as follows:

"2 and 1/2 hoofs in the village of Ducluwitz also the Zehnde, as well as the seat of Zlabori of Belthelin...". According to this, the Slav Bor brought his manorial estate at Belthelin, located next to the sister village of Frauwalde, as a donation to the Nunnery on its foundation in 1161.

In the 12th Century mention of this family which owned the manorial estate and gave its name to the village of Börln ends. In the historical description of the administrative area of Oschatz of 1817, page 211, it was noted:

"The line of owners started in 926 with the knight who was granted Börln for life by King Heinrich I. The first mention in records which can currently be accessed is a representative of the owner family of Börln in a document regarding the consecration of the church of the Cistercian "Marienpforte" Nunnery in Sitzenroda of 1198. The owner of Börln at that time was Petrus dapifer (steward), attendant of the bishop.

Owners of the Manor of Börln

1200: Petrus miles de (von) Borlin. On 26 April 1200 during a Landthing (parliament) in Kolmitz (also Collmnitz, today Collm), Markgrave Dietrich confirmed to the Altzella Abbey the ownership of two "Hufen" (ancient measurement of farming land; one Hufe = 7-25 Ha.) of land in Ottwig (Otterwig) in the parish of Zschaitz to Petrus de Borlin and the other in Birmenitz belonging to Laudo von Döbeln. The oldest aristocratic family in Börln - von Borlin - was not mentioned again in the future. The family most likely continued to exist though. In the 14th Century there was a person of this name who was Domherr (Canon) in Meißen.

1307: Knight von Bernsdorf, who owned property in Silesia.

It is known that the seat of the the von Bernsdorf family was in a village of the same name near Schweinitz. Other properties owned by the family were the manorial estates of Glaubitz near Riesa, Ottwig near Zschaitz and Börln. The family had a special relationship to the Cistercian "Marienpforte" Nunnery of Sitzenroda. Up until the 16th Century we find members of the family in the service of the Bishops of Meißen and the Archbishops of Magdeburg. In the 16th Century the Saxon line of the von Bernsdorf family appears to have become extinct. Owing to the small number of documents and certificates surviving from the Middle Ages, there is only scant knowledge today of the female and male members of the family of the Knights von Bernstorff or Bernsdorf. Their connection to the southern German line of the von Bernsdorf family appears to have been lost in the late Middle Ages. At this time the Bavarian/Austrian line became extinct too. The ownership relationships in Saxony and Silesia may not be viewed independently. Therefore a listing of all of the known members of the family at that time follows in date sequence.

1327: The Slav language was replaced by German as the sole official language. At the latest after the Hussite invasions through Saxony, to which the majority of the population fell victim, the Sorbian language lost its importance. Between 1428 and 1431 the Sorbian language was done away with as the judicial language in the Meißen Region. In the area of Mühlberg the language was dispensed with as late as 1694 as a result of the Thirty Years' War. In the region of Zwickau, Altenburg and Leipzig, on the other hand, the Sorbian language was dispensed with in 1327. To the west of the River Pleiße the Sorbian influence was in any case quite weak.

1335: Jeschke von Bernsdorf, Silesia
1359: Heinrich von Bernsdorf
1371: Heidenreich and Helwig von Bernsdorf
1371: 31st March, Helwig von Bernsdorf
1385: Heinrich and Conrad von Bernsdorf
1385: Descendants of Heinrich von Bernsdorf named: Gerhard, Heyde, Gottschald, Albrecht
1385: 21st January, Cunradi or Conrad von Bernsdorf
1385: Barbara von Bernsdorf, nun in Sitzenroda
1395: 28th February, Gerhard von Bernsdorf

1430: The Hussite War caused much damage to the village. The Rittergut (manorial estate) is believed to have been ruined for a long period. It cannot be said with certainty that there was a fort or castle in Börln at this time. Nevertheless, some remains of the moated fort dating from about 1100 are still to be found in the castle cellars.

1431: 28th December, Nickel and Heinrich von Bernsdorf
1440: Nickel von Bernsdorf
1443: Martin von Bernsdorf sold Börln which included half of Frauwalde, Schönewasser (which was between Bortewitz and Ochsensaal), Knatewitz and Meltewitz to three brothers named Nischwitz.
1460: Hans von Nischwitz the Younger, son of Konrad, is mentioned as owner.
1462: In the same year, the tenure was given by Elector Friedrich of Saxony to Christoph von Nischwitz, together with the villages of Bortewitz, half of Knatewitz with the small church, Meltewitz and two deserted villages with Frauwalde and Schönewasser.
1466: The Elector Ernst and Duke Albert of Saxony gave the tenure to Hans and Christoph von Nischwitz.

1472: Dietrich von Schleinitz the Elder (13th great grandfather of Roderick Hinkel), Under-Marshall of Duke Ernst, sometime Upper Court Judge and Lord Steward to Duke George, purchased Börln with Bortewitz and Frauwalde. His grandfather Heinrich von Schleinitz, Lord of the Manors of Schleinitz, Seerhausen, Dahlen, Saathain and Watschwitz (Jahnishausen), Knight (recorded 1408 - 1466) , Lord Steward of the Elector Friedrich the Meek, died in 1449 and was buried in the von Schleinitz Chapel in the St. Afra Church in Meißen (Photo: right). Dietrich's uncle Hugold II von Schleinitz (above right) was Kunz von Kauffungen's brother in law.
In the "Vollständiges Staats-Post-Lexicon" of 1827 it is written that "Dietrich von Schleinitz who died in 1511 sold in 1505 a part of the Dragenwald to the Bishop and had the Upper Court of Knatewitz and Prempelwitz as well as the estates of Dahlen, (Dorn)Reichenbach and Skassa.

1522: Dietrich's son Heinrich von Schleinitz, of Börln, Radegast and Luppa.
1525: Haugolt von Schleinitz
1529: Christoph von Schleinitz
1530: Heinrich von Schleinitz

1534: Hans von Schleinitz, son of Dietrich, owner of the manorial estates of Dahlen, Mark Schönewasser, Schmannewitz, Ochsensaal. Heyden, Koßbroda, Zwochau, Daberwitz, Börln, Malkwitz, Frauenwalde, Ganzigk and Tragen.

1554: 15th September, Elector August sold under an instruction of March 1553 the village of Deutschluppa including the ruin of Radegast, as well as rights to Belthelin on the right side of the stream of Frauwalde with tenure, income and judicial rights to Heinrich von Schleinitz.

1558: 11th August, his sons Heinrich and Wolf Abraham von Schleinitz together received tenure from the Elector August.

1558: Heinrich von Schleinitz is the owner of Dahlen, Heyde, Saathain, Ragewitz, Stauchwitz, Seerhausen.

1564: Heinrich is sole owner of Börln, in the same year he sold the High, Middle and Pheasant Hunt in the Wood of Schönewasser to the Elector.

1585: 14th April, Heinrich von Schleinitz died, the funeral service was held by Minister Paulus Schubart.

1586: 10th February, his inheritors are his four sons Heinrich, Wolf Dietrich, Georg and Hans.

1592: 21st August, the brothers sell 35 acres of Tragen (Letter of Tenure of 12th May 1602) to their cousin Georg von Schleinitz of Radegast. The von Schleinitz family came into huge wealth through silver mining in Freiberg. They purchased neighbouring estates, 1505 the hamlet of Radegast. The von Schleinitz family was one of the most renowned aristocratic families of the time. They fell from power, according to legend, when they lost their money by gambling and losing a bet on their fields.

1605: The four von Schleinitz brothers sold their possessions in Börln, Bortewitz and Frauwalde to Hans Christoph von Cottwitz.

1607: Georg von Schleinitz of Radegast ordered a register of inheritance for income and military service of his subjects in the villages of Wendish-Luppa and Deutsch-Luppa.

1607: Georg von Schleinitz sold Radegast, Wendisch-und Deutsch-Luppa to Hans Christoph von Cottwitz.

1607: Hans Christoph von Cottwitz, Chamberlain in the Prussian House of Lords, was Lord of the Manors of Börln and Radegast. He also purchased Jahnishausen. An old map dated 1617 shows the foundations laid for the castle. In 1620 it must have been finished, as a hunting castle.

1620: The Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony swapped the manorial estate of Wellerswalde with Hans Christian von Cottwitz for Börln including Radegast and adjacent villages. One reason for this was the Hunt. Large tracts of forest in the neighbouring Dahlener Heide remained intact. The Elector appointed an administrator. He was responsible for ensuring that necessary funds were raised. This burden was not easy for the villagers to bear.

1635: 28th September, Dr. David von Döring, Privy Councillor and Chamber Councillor at the Saxon Court purchased Börln. At this time he was already the owner of the manorial estates of Selingstädt, Großsteinberg, Böhlen, Mühlbach, Mutzschen, Trautzschen, Lampertswalde, Wellerswalde and Dahlen. The Enoblement Decree issued by the Imperial Roman, also Hungarian and Bohemian Royal Majesty, etc. Ferdinand II, by his high imperial goodness and mercy, elevated to the aristocracy David Doring JC. Lord of Böhlen, Sehlingstadt, Mühlbach and Lamperswalda, Electoral Saxon Privy Councillor and Mining Councillor, his legitimate heirs and their heirs on 17th/27th September 1630. Von Döring was a big spender. While the farmers suffered from need and pain during the Thirty Years' War, he accumulated untold riches. When he died on 14th September 1638 in Böhlen and was buried in Hohnstädt, he left amongst other possessions, 17 gold and 71 silver likenesses he had had made of himself; 362 gold and silver mugs, 22 gold chains etc. Source: "Neuen deutschen Adelslexikon".

1638: David Ernst von Döring became the owner of Börln. He was Captain of the Cavalry in the Electorial Army and died in 1641.

1641: Christian von Döring inherited amongst other things the Manor of Börln. At the same time he was the owner of Lampertswalde, Grasdorf near Taucha etc.

1646: His brother Ernst von Döring (born 1622) came into the possession of Börln. He also owned Ochsensaal and Lampertswalde. He was an Imperial Baron of the Holy Roman Empire and Canon of the Monastery of Zeitz. In 1656 he married Anna Magdalena von Grünrad from Wiederoda in the presence of royalty in Börln. She died on 10th September 1663 and was buried in the church in Börln on 14th September. Ernst von Döring died on 6th July 1678 at Schmöllen and was buried on 10th July in Börln in the aristocratic crypt in front of the baptismal font.

1678: Ernst Friedrich von Döring, second son of Ernst, born on 20th December 1659 was the Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Court Justice and Appeals Councillor, later Privy Councillor and Chancellor of the Monasteries of Naumburg and Zeitz. He died on 31st December 1726 at Zeitz and was buried in the Klosterkirche church there.
1727: The sons Ernst August and Christian Friedrich von Döring together possessed the Manor of Börln.

1738: Ernst August, sole owner of Börln and Radegast. He was the Court and Judicial Councillor and Senior Inspector for the estates of Count Barby. In 1752 his stepmother, Maria Eleonora née von Bartensleben, died at Zeitz on 14th May, Midday at 3/4 to 12 o'clock. On 18th November 1872 she was interred in the crypt in Börln. On 29th April 1760, Ernst August died in Börln and was laid to rest on 2nd May in the von Döring crypt.

1760: His four children Friedrich August, Ernst Gottlob, Christiane Elisabeth Eleonore and Carl Wilhelm von Döring (who married a member of the previous owner-family Christiane Caroline Friederice von Schleinitz) were owners of the Manor of Börln with Radegast. The sons were wards of Christoph Dietrich von Ploetz of Dörschnitz, Grubnitz and Ragewitz. The daughter was a ward of Wilhelm von Eckstädt.

1772: 8th April. Lieutenant Ernst Gottlob von Döring entered into an agreement with his siblings and took over the inheritance in Börln and Radegast. According to legend, a wealthy shepherd in the employ of the von Dörings wanted to purchase the estate but his attempt was not successful.

1776: Christoph Dietrich von Ploetz acquired Börln and Radegast from his son-in-law Ernst Gottlob von Döring.

1777: 13/22 January. Martin Matthias von Pfister (born 27.4.1732 in Lindau) purchased Börln with the adjacent villages. He died on 28.4.1782 in Köthen. One of the family acquired great wealth as a banker in Vienna and purchased manorial estates in the following years and was raised to the aristocracy. Martin Matthias von Pfister moved to Saxony in the middle of the 18th Century. His three sons were created barons by the Saxon Imperial Vicariate in 1790.

1782: The eldest son Baron Jacob von Pfister took over his father's inheritance. His siblings were Marens Matthias and Susanne Regine (born on 21.8.1766 in Köthen), married at Schloss Börln in 1791 to Caspar Heinrich Dam von Schönberg. Thereafter resident in Schloss Thammenhain (where their great-great-great-grandson Baron Rüdiger von Schönberg was born, expelled at the age of five along with all other aristocrats but in the 1990's was able to purchase the family castle) and Georg (who lived at Ragewitz) were paid out. In 1800 the castle was greatly extended by Baron Jacob von Pfister. A large Pächterhaus (tenant's house) and the distillery were added in 1800. Baron Jacob von Pfister died on 21.1.1833 in Dresden.

1833: Johanne Baroness von Pfister née von Hermann managed the estates further.

1838: Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda (1805 - 1872), Royal Saxon Chamberlain, purchased the Manor of Börln for 180,000 Taler.
1872: Count Ludwig von Zech-Burkersroda (1853 - 1927), Royal Saxon Chamberlain, inherited Börln, Radegast and Kötzschau.

1927: Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda (1885 - 1946), until 1940 Ambassador to The Hague, was taken from Börln to Bautzen in 1945 by Russian soldiers where he died as far as can be established on 19th January 1946.

1945: Expropriation - Manorial Estate broken up. See the page "Von Zech-Burkersroda Family".

1990: The castle was owned by the Province in 1990.

2003: The castle with side buildings and the moat - the original moated fort core - and a small part of the castle park (20,000 m²) were sold to Roderick Hinkel, a 13th great grandson of Dietrich von Schleinitz who purchased the Manorial Estate of Börln in 1472.
The Noble Slav by Rembrandt, 1632. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony 1585 - 1656
David Doring by Lucas Kilian, 1630. Dresden State Art Collection, copper engraved cabinet, inv. no. A 1986, 2; Leblanc; Singer 6931
Relief oval copper medals with gilding remnants 1633, of the Electoral Saxon Councillor Dr. DAVID DÖRINGK IC IN..., the Court Financier in 3/4 profile. Reverse: PATIENTA REMEDIUM OMNIUM MALORUM, coat of arms with three-tailed lion and palms as well as knight's helmet with rich decoration. Merseburg 4495 =42,58g=II
Caspar Heinrich Dam von Schönberg and his wife Susanne Regine née von Pfister. Ancestors Gallery, Schloss Thammenhain
Portrait of the Court Chamberlain Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda. 1841, by Louis Ferdinand von Rayski. Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
Roderick Hinkel in Torgau on 23rd July 2003, according to the notarial deed - as his 13th great grandfather 531 years before him - owner of the old core of Börln.
Heinrich von Schleinitz †1449 Lord of the Manors of Schleinitz, Seerhausen, Dahlen, Saathain and Watzschwitz. Tombstone St. Afra Church in Meißen
Armorial bearings of the von Schleinitz family
1717 Seelingstädt near Trebsen. Medal 1717, on the 72nd birthday of the Knight Johann George Joachim von Döring. Six and four lines of text. 35 mm. 14.37 g. RR. The jubilee shown on this medal is in connection with the building extensions to the local church. As lord of the manor he had a private gallery added to the south side of the church in 1717.
Text and all images unless specifically mentioned Copyright (C) 2016-26 Roderick Hinkel
Hugold II von Schleinitz Lord of the Manors of Schleinitz and Seerhausen †1435. Tombstone, St. Afra Church in Meißen. In the Latin inscription he is described as "a Friend of Peace" (amator paces).
Extract from "Sächsischer Meilenblätter", 1807. Reproduced with the permission of the Staatsbibliotheks zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Extract from "Sächsischer Meilenblätter", 1879. Reproduced with the permission of the Staatsbibliotheks zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Extract from "Sächsischer Meilenblätter", 1992. Reproduced with the permission of the Staatsbibliotheks zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Slavonic Period

926: N.N. a Knight
1161: The Slav Bor
1198: Gunther, son of Bor, recorded as the last aristocratic witness to the consecration of the church of the Cistercian Nunnery of Sitzenroda. The origin of the first part of the name "Sitzen" is derived from Count Sizzo III von Schwarzburg-Käfernburg, who is said to have founded the settlement. He was a 24th great-grandfather of Roderick Hinkel's and died on 19th July 1160.

German Period


Extract of a map dated 1617, Copyright: Hauptarchiv, Dresden
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Armorial bearings of the von Bernstorff family