Quast (aristocratic family), Part 1


First documented notice

Quast is the name of an ancient aristocratic family from the duchy of Anhalt. Their eponymous ancestral home was located near Lindau (in the district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany). The name Quast first appears in documentary records with the person of Ulricus Quast in 1315, with whom the direct familial line begins.


The family was among the first aristocracy that appeared in the Mark Brandenburg following the expulsion of the Wends, in which the House of Quast were involved. They owned knightly manors in Leddin near Neustadt (Dosse), Protzen near Fehrbellin (60 km NW of Berlin), as well as Vichel, Damm, Garz and Kudow (all near Temnitztal in the Ostprignitz-Ruppin district, in Brandenburg, Germany).

Today the family consists of two lineages:

  • Garz stone tower house, the living quarter from the 13th to the 17th century.

    Garz stone tower house, the living quarter from the 13th to the 17th century.

    the lineage of Garz with its ancestor Albrecht von Quast, mentioned in a certificate of indebtedness issued by Friedrich I, Prince-elector of Brandenburg in the year 1414. This lineage in turn is divided into the two branches of Garz and Vichel.

  • the lineage of Radensleben (today part of Neuruppin), whose ancestor was Henning von Quast († 1609). In 1566 Henning von Quast acquired the knightly manor of Reddern (Lower Lusatia), but sold it again already in 1569.

Patrilineal lineage of the Garz branch (excerpt)

  • Albrecht v. Quast on Garz (* before 1479).
  • Christoff v. Quast on Garz (son of Albrecht)
  • Joachim v. Quast on Garz and Küdow, comital Lindow’scher councilor, councilor of the Kurmark (electoral march) of Brandenburg (*before 1524, † before 1551) (son of Christoff)
  • Albrecht v. Quast on Garz (*before 1550, † 20.04.1592 in Friesack) (son of Joachim)
  • Henning v. Quast on Garz and Küdow (*before 1592, † before 1510) (son of Albrecht)
  • Otto v. Quast on Protzen, Garz, Stöffin, Dolgow. Commissioner of the district Ruppin (* 1597, † 09.04.1657) (son of Henning)
  • Alexander Ludolf v. Quast on Orotzen, Radensleben, Stöffin, Dolgow, Wulkow. Commissioner of the district Ruppin, cavalry captain of the Kurmark (electoral march) of Brandenburg, capitular of Haelberg (* 30.05.1632 in Garz, † 21.10.1692 in Protzen) (son of Otto). Also noted for 1682 as the patron of the town of Protzen.
  • Cuno Albrecht v. Quast on Protzen, Leyden and Königsberg, Polish-Saxon captain of the infantry (* 15.05.1663 in Protzen, † 17.05.1705 in Dahlem, buried in the church of Dahlem) (son of Alexander).

Coat of arms

Coat of arms of the house of Quast.

Coat of arms of the house of Quast.

Five golden candleholders with lit candles on a blue shield (arranged 2, 1, 2). A blue wing with three golden candleholders with lit candles (arranged 1, 2) on the helmet covered with blue and gold (here: red) blankets.

Entry in the “Neues preussisches Adels-Lexicon” (New Prussian Lexicon of Aristocracy)

Quast, the gentlemen of.

An ancient lineage that already appeared in the Margraviate of Brandenburg among the first aristocracy, right after the expulsion of the Wends. This family was also propertied in Anhalt and in Pomerania. Their eponymous ancestral estate is situated in Anhalt. Within the margraviates they possessed the knightly manors of Leddin, Protzen, Vichel, Damm, Gartz Kudow and so on.

From this house came Albrecht Christoph von Quast, secret counsellor of war (Geheimer Kriegsrat) and Major general of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, governor and chief captain (Oberhauptmann) of Spandau Citadel, commander of a cavalry regiment, master on Gartz, Damm and so on. He died September 19, 1669 in Spandau, childless, although he had been married twice, namely first with Elisabeth von Görne, and after her death with Katharina von Rössing.

In Prussian service recently stood the Privy Council and Knight von Quast. Two members of this family earned an Iron Cross during the liberation wars*.

(* The armed conflict in Central Europe from 1813 to 1815 by which the French domination under Napoleon Bonaparte over large parts of the European continent was ended.)

– Neues Preussisches Adels-Lexicon, Band 4. Leipzig 1837, p. 73.

Garz Castle as an example of a knightly manor

Garz Castle is located on the east side of the former knightly manor in the homonymous place in the Temnitz-lowlands. Garz belongs to the municipality Temnitztal in Ostprignitz-Ruppin in Brandenburg. The manor is a listed building.

Although first mentioned in 1364 in documentary records, the village of Garz is probably much older. Presumably it was built in the first decade of the 13th century on a Slavic settlement site. The name could be derived from the Slavic gard or gord for castle.

Whether the village was already owned by the house of Quast when it was founded is not fully clear. The lords of Quast in Garz are verified documentary in various branches since 1419. The best known member of the family should be Christoph Albrecht von Quast (1613-1669). He was General sergeant and governor of the fortress of Spandau.

Presumably in the 13th century the Lords of Quast built a stone tower house, which was used well into the 17th century for residential purposes. With the construction of a new mansion in 1705 the tower lost its importance and was henceforth used mainly as a warehouse.

Garz Castle around 1865 - Collection Alexander Duncker.

Continue to Part 2 of this series

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