Seminar and leisure residence
The Breibach estate holds a long and interesting history. The newer inhabited part of the estate was a popular rural guesthaus until the middle of the 20th century. From 1936 until 1956 it frequently welcomed a very famous guest. It was such that HRH Princes Alice of Greece and Denmark, née Battenberg (Admiral Mountbatten's daughter) stayed at the 'Landgut Breibach' for recreational purpose. She was the mother of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinborough and mother-in-law of Her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth. She was born on 25th of February, 1885 at Windsor-Castle and died on 5th of December, 1969 at Buckingham Palace, London.
She made friends with her hosts, the Markwitz family, who settled down in Kürten after Reinhold Markwitz, a social democrat with a jewish business partner, was forced under the pressure of the Nazis to give up his notary and lawyer's office in Duisburg.
Alice, who relinquished all her titles of nobility after the war on her own will, saved jewish families from their persecutors and therefore she was bestowed posthumously in Israel at Yad Vashem (most renowned memorial of the Holocaust in Jerusalem) the title of the Righteous among the Nations. “Her son HRH Prince Philip saw to her being buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem according to her will.
When Lady Di and Prince Charles in 1987 made their visit to Cologne the royal aircraft flew an extra turn over the Bergische Land and the Breibach estate.
The gravesite of the Markwitz family lies uphill of the Breibach estate alongside the former forest nature trail; that forest area was a donation by Reinhold Markwitz to the township.
Another frequenter at 'Landgut Breibach' was Albert Borschette, born in Luxemburg, a diplomat and littérateur, who was as EC-commissary and as an European from the very start also the name giver to the conference center in Brussels. 'Uncle Bo', like he was just called in Brussels, loved the Breibach valley and was a friend to Paul and Else Stockmann, who lived there.
From 1982 until 2006 the estate was property of the Protestant church of Cologne, that modernized the building and altered it into a vacation and guest house.