Stern Hunting Lodge
The Soldier King as Hunter
Frederick William I of Prussia had an unpretentious royal hunting lodge built near Potsdam from 1730–32. It was located near the star-shaped convergence of sixteen pathways in the Parforceheide, a woodland landscape the king had developed especially for deer hunting.
The hunting lodge built in the style of a Dutch middle-class house is still preserved almost in its original condition. In its interior the unchanged wood-paneled hall, the bedchamber, the adjutant’s room, and a kitchen can be viewed. The lodge is administered by the Förderverein Jagdschloss Stern-Parforceheide e.V. preservation association and is open to visitors during special events.
The lodge premises also includes a caretaker’s house, stables, and other outbuildings constructed at the same time as the lodge. Through the donations and efforts of the association the historical oven on the grounds was restored in 2011, in keeping with historic preservation guidelines. It is now used to bake bread once again.
The Parforceheide with its spoke-like pathways was impacted in the 19th and 20th centuries by a progressive infrastructure (including the Teltow Canal, railway and autobahn) and residential development in Potsdam (Stern, Drewitz and Kirchsteigfeld). Nonetheless, the Stern Hunting Lodge remains a small green oasis in the midst of Potsdam’s urban space.