Castles Saxony

Rauenstein Castle

Rauenstein Castle guarded the crossing over the River Flöha along the road from Freiberg to Annaberg. The castle is first mentioned in 1323, although from archaeological investigations it is postulated that it had been built by around 1200. The first lords of Rauenstein were the Schellenbergers. After several changes of ruler, the castle went into the possession of the Electorate of Saxony in 1567. The Amt of Ra ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Pockau-Lengefeld, Germany

Scharfenstein Castle

The original structure of Scharfenstein castle was built in 1250. It is suspected that the von Waldenburgs ordered its construction, but only its first owner occupant is known for certain. When, in the 15th century, Greifenstein Castle was destroyed, Scharfenstein also took over the guardianship of Thum, Ehrenfriedersdorf and Geyer. As a result, its value increased, so that in 1439 the Elector acquired the area from the ...
Founded: 1250 | Location: Scharfenstein, 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

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

Gnandstein Castle

Gnandstein castle was built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century, probably only with a rectangular groundplan and a residential tower. Parts of the present building still date from this early period. The external walls were extended several times. During the Thirty Years" War the castle was attacked by Swedish troops and partly destroyed. Shortly before the end of the war the south wing burned down afte ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gnandstein, Germany

Wildeck Castle

Wildeck Castle was built originally in the 12th century, by only the keep is left from that. Prince elector Moritz of Saxony had the medieval fortress re-designed into a hunting lodge between 1545 and 1547. The building is characterized be the tower “Slim Margarethe” with its curved roof hood and its dominant gables. Up until the year 1911, different hunting administrations had their seats at Zschopau’s castle. At t ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Zschopau, 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

Hainewalde Castle

The  original Hainewalde water castle, built under rule of the family von Nositz, was located north of the terraces of the new castle. The only remain of the old water castle, which was demolished in 1780, is the gate lodge with his west-side Renaissance-portal. Schloss (New Castle) was constructed in 1750–1753, along with its Baroque gardens, under the rule of the Kanitz-Kyaw family. It was renovated in 1883, the ...
Founded: 1750-1753 | Location: Hainewalde, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.