Castles in Saxony

Dresden Castle

Dresdner Residenzschloss is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden, Germany. For almost 400 years, it was the residence of the electors (1547–1806) and kings (1806–1918) of Saxony of the Albertine line of the House of Wettin. It is known for the different architectural styles employed, from Baroque to Neo-renaissance. The original castle was a Romanesque keep, built around 1200. The Hausmannsturm was buil ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Dresden, Germany

Neurathen Rock Castle

Neurathen Castle (Felsenburg Neurathen), which was first mentioned by this name in 1755, is located near the famous Bastei rocks near Rathen in Saxon Switzerland. This was once the largest rock castles in the region, but today only the rooms carved out of the rock, passages, the cistern and rebates for the timber of the former wooden superstructure have survived. In the years 1982–1984 parts of the extensive c ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rathen, Germany

Torhaus Dölitz

The Torhaus Dölitz is the structural remnants of an aristocratic residence, the Dölitz Castle in the village of Dölitz, which today belongs to Leipzig . Large parts of the Dölitz Castle and with it the gatehouse were built in the last third of the 17th century. The gatehouse contains a pewter figure museum whose collection, with around 100,000 pewter figures, is one of the three largest publicly accessibl ...
Founded: 1670 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone fa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Königstein, Germany

Albrechtsburg Castle

The Albrechtsburg is a Late Gothic castle that dominates the town centre of Meissen. It stands on a hill above the river Elbe, adjacent to the Meissen Cathedral. By 929 King Henry I of Germany had finally subdued the Slavic Glomacze tribe and built a fortress within their settlement area, situated on a rock high above the Elbe river. This castle, called Misnia after a nearby creek, became the nucleus of t ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Meißen, Germany

Augustusburg Hunting Lodge

The hunting lodge of Augustusburg (Jagdschloss Augustusburg) was built from 1568 to 1572 above the town of the same name on a hill called the Schellenberg on the northern edge of the Ore Mountains of Germany. The castle, which is visible from afar, is a local landmark. In building a new castle, Prince Elector Augustus wanted not just to create a prestigious palace for his hunting trips, but also to underline his le ...
Founded: 1568-1572 | Location: Augustusburg, Germany

Pillnitz Castle

Pillnitz Castle is located on the bank of the River Elbe in the former village of Pillnitz. It was the summer residence of many electors and kings of Saxony. The castle complex consists of three main buildings, the Riverside Palace (Wasserpalais) on the riverfront; the Upper Palace (Bergpalais) on the hillside, both Baroque with Chinoiserieelements; and the later Neoclassical New Palace (Neues Palais), which links t ...
Founded: 1720 | Location: Pillnitz, Germany

Colditz Castle

Colditz Castle is located on a hill spur over the river Zwickauer Mulde, a tributary of the River Elbe. In 1046, Henry III of the Holy Roman Empire gave the burghers of Colditz permission to build the first documented settlement at the site. During 1158, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa made Thimo I the Lord of Colditz, and major building works began. By 1200, the town around the market was established. During the Middle Age ...
Founded: c. 1158 | Location: Colditz, Germany

Moritzburg Castle

Moritzburg is a Baroque palace about 13 kilometres northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden. The castle has four round towers and lies on a symmetrical artificial island. It is named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. The surrounding woodlands and lakes have been a favourite hunting area of the electors and kings of Saxony. The Castle Chapel was built in 1661 under ...
Founded: 1542 | Location: Moritzburg, Germany

Freudenstein Castle

Freudenstein Castle history is closely linked to the House of Wettin. After the discovery of silver in Christiansdorf, Margrave Otto II of Meissen had a castle built in 1168 to protect the silver mines. On 31 July 1312 the castle is first mentioned in a record as a Hus ('house'). After 1505 Duke Henry the Pious mainly resided in Freiberg. During his reign, his sons, later the electors of Saxony, M ...
Founded: 1168/1566 | Location: Freiberg, Germany

Stolpen Castle

Burg Stolpen is a castle built on top of the Schloßberg. The first defensive works were built about 1100 and it was first documented in 1222. Owned by the Bishop of Meißen for nearly 350 years, it passed to the Electorate of Saxony and was expanded in Renaissance style. By being converted into a fortress in 1675, Stolpen received increased military importance. After the end of the Augustinian Age in 1763, the garrison w ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Stolpen, Germany

Kriebstein Castle

Kriebstein Castle rises above steep crags over the River Zschopau. Within the topographical grouping of hill castles it is classified as a spur castle because it lies on the extreme end of a hill spur surrounded on three sides by the Zschopau that flows around the spur in a large bow. From 1384, the von Beerwalde family erected Kriebstein Castle as a residential and noble ruling seat. In 1400, the construction of ...
Founded: 1384 | Location: Kriebstein, Germany

Lichtenwalde Palace

Lichtenwalde Palace and Park is a magical place in Central Saxony that charms visitors with a wide range of water features: 335 historical fountains are spread across the baroque garden, all interconnected in an ingenious circuit. In spring, guests can experience a symphony of rustling leaves, bubbling fountains and fragrant flowers. The subtle design of Lichtenwalde Castle and Park makes it one of the prettiest baroque e ...
Founded: 1722-1730 | Location: Lichtenwalde, Germany

Sonnenstein Castle

The Sonnenstein Castle is a castle in Pirna housed a mental hospital, which operated from 1811 to the end of World War II in 1945. During the War, it functioned as an extermination centrefor the Third Reich Action T4 program. It was shut down following the war, and reopened in 1970. Sonnenstein was built after 1460 on the site of a former medieval castle. Sonnenstein castle was used as a mental home since 1811. Am ...
Founded: 1460 | Location: Pirna, Germany

Albrechtsberg Palace

Albrechtsberg Palace is a Neoclassical stately home above the Elbe river in the Loschwitz district of Dresden. It was erected in 1854 according to plans designed by the Prussian court and landscaping architect Adolf Lohse (1807–1867) at the behest of Prince Albert, younger brother of the Prussian king Frederick William IV. After Prince Albert and his wife Rosalie had died, their younger son Count Frederi ...
Founded: 1854 | Location: Dresden, Germany

Rochlitz Castle

Rochlitz Castle lies in the west of the town of Rochlitz. It was built on the site of an imperial castle, erected in the second half of the 10th century, which fell into the possession of the Wettin margraves in 1143. Its appearance, which includes several Romanesque wings, is considerably influenced by its remodelling into a margravial schloss in the fourth quarter of the 14th century. Further conversions and additions ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Rochlitz, Germany

Hartenfels Castle

The early Renaissance Hartenfels castle dominates the town of Torgau. It is the residence of the Saxon electors and the political and administrative centre. The castle chapel was designed especially for Protestant worship services and was consecrated by Martin Luther himself. History The fortification already stood on the banks of the Elbe during the Slavic period. It was developed into a castle in the mid-10th century ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Torgau, Germany

Oybin Castle

The romantic ruins of Oybin cliff-top castle and monastery are of the most important monuments in Upper Lusatia. The complex is situated at the foot of the sandstone table mountain at the edge of Kurort Oybin spa town. The castle was probably built during the 13th century as a guard station next to an important trade route connecting Bohemia and Lusatia. According to legend it was established by Chvala of Lipé, who disco ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Oybin, Germany

Ortenburg Castle

Ortenburg castle in Bautzen stands on the site of 7th century fort enlarged by Henry I in the 10th century. In the 15th century the castles was rebuilt in the late-Gothic style by Matthias Corvin, King of Hungary, following two devastating fires. The tower on the north wing still bears a relief representing the king. In 1698, at the height of the Baroque period, three Renaissance gables were added to the castle.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Bautzen, Germany

Schwarzenberg Castle

Schwarzenberg Castle was based on a medieval fortification and together with St. George"s Church dominates the scene of the large county town of Schwarzenberg.  The castle was probably founded in the 12th century as a fort and was the original base for the settlement of Schwarzenberg and its vicinity. The former castle was given its present appearance by a conversion into a hunting lodge for the Electorate o ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Schwarzenberg, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.