Castles in Saxony

Schönfels Castle

Schoenfels Castle, surrounded by a rampart and moat, was built around 1200. Its outer, lower and core castles form one of the most well-kept medieval fortifications in Germany. The castle near Zwickau was ruled by bailiffs in the 13th century but was ultimately claimed by the Wettins. The Lords of Weissenbach left a lasting mark on Schoenfels Castle when they modernized it in the 15th and 16th centuries. Some of the prese ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Lichtentanne, Germany

Schlettau Castle

Schlettau Castle dates probably from the 13th century. In the 14th century the castle was extended to a Gothic-style castle palace by the Schönburg-Crimmitschau family. From 1413 to 1536 Schlettau belonged to the Cistercians. After the secularization in 1536 it became the property of the Saxon Electors, who used it as a hunting lodge. The still existing stuctures consist of a Renaissance section (about 1620) and two B ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Schlettau, Germany

Osterstein Castle

Osterstein Castle is the former castle of the town of Zwickau, today it houses the nursing home. First mentioned in 1292, it was badly damaged in a fire in 1403, and demolished between 1404 and 1407 under William I, Margrave of Meissen. It was rebuilt during the reign of Christian I, Elector of Saxony in 1587-1590 as a magnificent Renaissance castle. In the 18th century Zwickau Prison was established in the castle, wh ...
Founded: 1587-1590 | Location: Zwickau, Germany

Grimma Castle

Grimma Castle was founded in the 13th century. The chapel is the oldest part mentioned first time in 1218. The basic structure has been survived, although the tower was demolished in the 18th century and the eastern palace has been altered several times.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Grimma, Germany

Trebsen Castle

Trebsen Castle was probably built by Slavic Gaugraf Bucelinin 991 AD to protect the former Muldefurt, an important trade route. The castle was first mentioned in a document dated in May 1, 1161. In 1494 the knight Georg von Saalhausen demolished the old castle and started building a new more representative castle without a defensive function. Around 1511, the electoral chamberlain Hans von Minckwitz became lord of the c ...
Founded: 991 AD | Location: Trebsen, Germany

Netzschkau Castle

Netzschkau Castle was built by Caspar von Metzsch. The nave with round and square towers was built around 1490 in a construction phase lasting around three years. However, the Metzsch family did not build for themselves; their main residence remained the neighboring castle Mylau. The outside completely restored, rectangular long building with a round tower and a rectangular tower in front is located near the market oppos ...
Founded: 1490 | Location: Netzschkau, Germany

Blankenhain Castle

Blankenhain Castle is a large castle in Blankenhain near Crimmitschau. The castle dates back to the 12th century. It is first documented in 1423 as Wasserburg. Half of it burned down in 1661 and was rebuilt in 1699 (some sources say 1700). In 1765 the castle acquired its current Baroque appearance with mansard roof and domed towers. After World War II, the Soviet regime ordered the castle destroyed, but it was sa ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Crimmitschau, Germany

Hinterglauchau Castle

Glauchau was founded by a colony of Sorbs and Wends, and belonged to the lords of Schönburg as early as the 12th century. Hinterglauchau Renaissance-style castle was built from 1470 on the site of a castle built by the Lords of Schönburg around 1170 and has been the center of their rule for centuries . With the construction of the parts of the building, later called Castle Fordglauchau, the facility was expanded towards ...
Founded: 1470 | Location: Glauchau, Germany

Hartenstein Castle

Hartenstein Castle was called the 'Pearl of the Ore Mountains'. The first known owner was Meinher I von Werben, who was Burgrave of Meißen in 1173. From 1406 the county of Hartenstein with the associated villages, forests and castles was pledged to the Schönburg family. In 1439 Veit II von Schönburg married Anna von Plauen from the Reuss family . This settles the long-standing differences between the two families over ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Hartenstein, Saxony, Germany

Wolkenstein Castle

The Wolkenstein Castle developed historically by joining various older structures together. The tower with living quarters is the oldest part of the castle dating back to the 14th century, which was preceded by fortifications of unknown appearance. The kitchen building was expanded in the 16th century by the current dominating building parts: the South and North wings with gate house. Although much hints to the once neces ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Wolkenstein, Germany


Hubertusburg is a Rococo palace in Saxony. It was built from 1721 onwards at the behest of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, and after his death served as a residence of his son Augustus III. The 'Saxon Versailles' is chiefly known for the signing of the 1763 Treaty of Hubertusburg that ended the Seven Years' War. The palace is located in the municipality of Wermsdorf near Oschatz. The extended W ...
Founded: 1721 | Location: Wermsdorf, Germany

Mildenstein Castle

Mildenstein Castle is located on a spur above the river Freiberger Mulde, at the northern edge of the town of Leisnig proper and opposite the village of Fischendorf. The castle was probably built in the 10th century. However, it was first mentioned only in 1046 when Emperor Heinrich III gifted the Burgwards of Colditz, Rochlitz, and Leisnig to Agnes of Poitou. In 1084 the castle was enfeoffed by Emperor Heinrich IV to Wip ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Leisnig, Germany

Rabenstein Castle

Rabenstein Castle is the smallest medieval castle in Saxony. It is located in the Chemnitz suburb of Rabenstein and belongs to the Chemnitz Castle Hill Museum. The hill castle Rabenstein was first mentioned in 1336 in a document from Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor in which he promised it as a fief to his son-in-law Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, in case the line of Waldenburg were to die out without male h ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Chemnitz, Germany

Klippenstein Castle

The history of the Klippenstein castle dates back to 1289 when it was first mentioned as 'Castrum Radeberch' in official records. From 1543 to 1546, Moritz of Saxony had the castle converted into a hunting lodge and residential palace. It is also among the most significant surviving examples of sovereign architecture built during the reign of Moritz Elector of Saxony, a famous ruler from the House of Wettin. Me ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Radeberg, Germany

Plauen Castle

Plauen Castle was built around 1250 as the seat of the bailiffs of Plauen. From 1466 it served as the Electoral Saxon official seat, burned down in 1548, was rebuilt around 1670 as a secondary residence of Saxony-Zeitz , served again after 1718 as the Electoral Saxon official and court seat and from 1852 as a prison. In April 1945, the large area was significantly destroyed by air raids, along with large parts of the ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Plauen, Germany

Sachsenburg Castle

Sachsenburg Castle rises near Frankenberg, Saxony, on a rock over the Zschopau river. The castle complex, which was built in the early 13th century at the latest, was converted into a castle in the 1480s. The complex is one of the few examples of a completely preserved late Gothic residential palace in Saxony. The Lords of Sachsenburg were mentioned for the first time in 1197. It is uncertain whether a castle already exi ...
Founded: c. 1210 | Location: Frankenberg, Saxony, Germany

Scharfenberg Castle

Schloss Scharfenberg has a panoramic view over the Elbe valley. It has a long-established link to many artists as a Romantic subject. Some records link the castle to Henry the Fowler and dates it from 938 AD. However there is no evidence to support this claim. The original castle dates from around 1200. of which some of the western boundary walls and entrance gate remain. Archaeological digs found a circular keep to the ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Klipphausen, Germany

Wildenfels Castle

Wildenfels Castle was built in the late 12th century. From 1602 to 1945 it was owned by Solms-Wildenfels counts. Thanks to its many cultural treasures, the castle is today a national attraction at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains. These include the castle gallery, banqueting hall, wedding room, former count’s library and various museum rooms. Another highlight is the “Blue Salon”, which was named after its wall ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Wildenfels, Germany

Elsterberg Castle

The ruined castle Elsterberg was preceded by another castle, about 400 meters from the current ruin, above the confluence of the Tremnitzbach in the Elster. In the period from 1200 to 1225 the Lords of Lobdeburg built a new castle complex , which with 1.5 hectares of built-up area was one of the largest fortresses in Saxony. According to legend, the two castles are said to have been connected to each other via underground ...
Founded: 1200-1225 | Location: Elsterberg, Germany

Voigtsberg Castle

The oldest part of the Voigtsberg Castle is a 22m high tower built around 1200. The castle was extended with two other towers and St. George"s Chapel in 1300-1330 and later with bastions agains the firearms. The original castle was destroyed in 1632 during Thirty Years" War and rebuilt later.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Oelsnitz, Vogtland, Germany

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Château de Foix

The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.

In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.

The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.

From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.

As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).

Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.

Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.