Castles in Saxony

Bieberstein Castle

Bieberstein Castle is located on the left bank of the river Bobritzsch in Bieberstein, part of Reinsberg municipality. A nobleman Günther von Bieberstein who named himself after the castle was first mentioned in a document of 1218. A bergfried with square footprint reminds of the medieval castle which was later transformed into an early modern castle. The latter was joined to the medieval bergfried into a contiguous bui ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Reinsberg, Germany

Wiesenburg Castle

The Wiesenburg Castle is located in the Wiesenburg district of Wildenfels, on a hill overlooking the eastern shore of the Mulde river. The castle protects the bridge across the Mulde to Schönau and Wildenfels. Today"s castle arose out of a medieval castle, the construction of which probably began around the year 1200. The castle was first mentioned in a document dated 1251. The building was expanded in the 14th C ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Wildenfels, Germany

Lauterstein Castle

Archeological investigations have shown that the Lauterstein castle was built in the second half of the 12th century. It was first mentioned in writing in 1304 when a document named a Johannis in Lutirstein of the ministerial family of Erdmannsdorf in the castle. Its purpose was the protection of a medieval trade route between Leipzig and Prague across the Ore Mountains. The family of Schellenberg became lords o ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Marienberg, Germany

Jagdhaus Breitenbrunn

The electoral hunting lodge Breitenbrunn (Jagdhaus) in the Ore Mountains community of the same name was converted from a watchtower, which was probably built in the 13th or 14th century, is now a ruin under monument protection and is a landmark of the place. After a Vorwerk of the Schwarzenberg rulership was first built and later a settlement was built, the watchtower was converted into a hunting lodge, accommodation and ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Breitenbrunn/Erzgebirge, Germany

Belgershain Castle

Belgershain Castle history spans to the 11-12th centuries. The swamp castle, which was built in the 15th century, was surrounded by a moat and served to protect the Via Regia Lusatiae Superioris trade route passing nearby. By 1600, the complex was converted into a residential palace. The interior got its shape in the 17th century. A spiral staircase and a hall with cross vaults behind it are remarkable. The door frames ma ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Belgershain, Germany

Wiedersberg Castle

Wiedersberg Castle was built around 1200 to protect the route from Plauen to Hof. The first documentary evidence dates from 1267. The castle is considered the ancestral home of the barons Wiedersperger. The castle was expanded after 1300 and fell into disrepair from 1500. In the 16th century, a mansion in the Renaissance style was built in the valley in the local area. Today the ring wall and gate tower remain, as well as ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Triebel, Germany

Purschenstein Castle

Purschenstein Castle in Neuhausen/Erzgebirge was built in the late 12th century, around 1200, probably by Boresch I (Borso). The toll and escort castle protected a salt road running from Central Germany to Bohemia. This long-distance trading route, also called the Old Bohemian Track (Alter Böhmischer Steig), ran from Leipzig past present-day Neuhausen and over the Deutscheinsiedler Saddle towards Prague. After nume ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Neuhausen (Erzgebirge), Germany

Mühltroff Castle

Mühltroff castle was probably in the 10th to 11th centuries to strengthen the rule of German Emperor, the knights to protect against attacks by the Sorbs with their fixings mortgaged founded. In 1357 the Plauen bailiffs had to hand over the castle to the Wettin margrave brothers Balthasar and Wilhelm , who then enfeoffed various vassal families with it. In 1380 the castle was burned down in the Guttenberg feud. From 194 ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Mühltroff, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

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.