Das Erbe der Guldenburgs

Das Erbe der Guldenburgs is a German television series that originally aired on ZDF from 1987 to 1990 and revolves around the destiny of the Guldenburgs, a wealthy aristocratic family, and their nouveau riche enemies, the Balbecks.

Das Erbe der Guldenburgs
Genrefamily drama
Created byMichael Baier
StarringChristiane Hörbiger
Brigitte Horney
Wolf Roth
Iris Berben
Wilfried Baasner
Jochen Horst
Katharina Böhm
Ruth Maria Kubitschek
Sigmar Solbach
Susanne Uhlen
Sydne Rome
Country of originWest Germany
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Production companyNeue Deutsche Filmgesellschaft
Original networkZDF
Original release29 January 1987 (1987-01-29) –
19 May 1990 (1990-05-19)

While panned by critics during its original run, the show was very popular with the audience. However, reviews have been more positive in recent years, acknowledging its strong female characters and juicy dialogues.


Martin Count von Guldenburg, head of an old aristocratic and seemingly wealthy dynasty known for its brewery, celebrates his 60th birthday on the family's estate north of Hamburg.

Shortly after, he dies in a car accident however, leaving behind his wife Christine with huge debts and the bitter realization that he had betrayed her with his Italian mistress Carina di Angeli for years. That relationship even produced an illegitimate son.

While Christine tries to save the family empire, she not only has to fight its worst enemies, the Balbecks, a nouveau riche clan owning a big brewery in Hamburg, but also her stubborn mother-in-law Hertha, the dowager countess; her estranged stepson Thomas; and Achim Lauritzen, her dysfunctional stepdaughter Evelyn's shady husband.

Cast and CharactersEdit


  • The majority of episodes were shot in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, but filmimg also took place in other European countries and even Rio de Janeiro. While Wotersen Castle was used for exterior shots of the fictional Guldenburg Castle, a mansion later belonging to music producer Dieter Bohlen served as the backdrop for the Balbeck estate.
  • Brigitte Horney died only two days after finishing the filming of season 2. As she played one of the leading characters, scripts for season 3 had to be rewritten.
  • The show was a big ratings success for public network ZDF, garnering up to 18 million viewers, and is considered one of its last blockbusters before the rise of privately owned networks in Germany.

See alsoEdit

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