A house with a long history

DoorDark
Our company's headquarters is located on a historic property with a long and impressive past.
The stately house we call home, located on Bernhard-Röcken-Weg (Bernhard Röcken was the managing director of the Diergardt-Mevissen coal mine) is part of the former “Schauenhof” estate, which is among the oldest and largest farmsteads in Bergheim, a district of Duisburg-Rheinhausen.

Bergheim, located near the western bank of the Rhine, owes the “Berg” [mountain] in its name to our Low-Rhenish ancestors, who, in the monotonous, low-lying landscape of the Lower Rhine, referred to the slightest of elevated areas as “mountains”, particularly if they remained dry during flooding.

The “Crölls-Hof”, later referred to as the “Schauenhof” after its owner, Johan Schauen, was first mentioned in writing in 1481 and comprised nearly 130 morgen, which is approximately 33.35 hectars of land. The agricultural buildings and the neoclassical mansion on the property that now house our headquarters were added in 1875.

Until 1911, the land surrounding our headquarters remained, for the most part, in agricultural use. It wasn’t until the acquisition of the property, including our stately headquarters, by the coal mine “Gewerkschaft Wilhelmine Mevissen” that the farmstead transitioned into use as a space for commerce and industry. The mansion and its outbuildings were converted for use as the mine’s administrative headquarters.

According to the plans available in the city archives, significant renovations were made to the property. The former stables, the oil and cabbage mills - even the walk-in ovens - were converted into offices for the mine. The mansion, however, retained its residential function and was used as a prestigious residence for the mine’s director. The home’s original architectural details were thus preserved but for a number of minor cosmetic changes. The picturesque courtyard, which is paved with cobblestones, is reminiscent of a Dutch Beguinage.

The small park that surrounds the estate has been almost entirely preserved in its original state and serves, when the weather cooperates, as a welcome venue for activities during breaks here at Dietmar Dreier. It is here that one is greeted by our centuries-old copper beech, which bears witness to the presence of the Americans at the Schauenhof during the Second World War. Modern day visitors with an interest in historical graffiti can easily locate the inscription “PITTSBURGH 1945” that is carved legibly despite its age into the bark of the tree.

Additional witnesses to this period in time are the numerous air-raid shelters on the property, some of which reach up to three levels underground. Today, these bunkers serve as permanent storage space for the thousands of invoices and other documents we’ve accumulated over years of doing business with publishers and libraries.

We love sharing the unique ambience of our headquarters with guests. You, too, are cordially invited to pay us a visit.

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