Scharfenberg Castle

Klipphausen, Germany

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 west, dating from 1220. The castle is first mentioned in 1227 in a church document in Meissen and it is in the control of the Bishop of Meissen.

In 1390 it is controlled by Bernhard von Maltitz and in 1403 Dietrich von Miltitz. The castle remained in the ownership and control of the Von Miltitz family until the Second World War. During this time the castle was badly damaged in the Thirty Years War. As a result large sections of the inner castle date from the late 17th century.

The castle was again besieged and successfully defended against the Swedish army in 1706 during the Great Nordic War.

In 1783 an accidental fire destroyed the timber built north side of the courtyard. The timber-built south side survives.

In the early 19th century, during the period of the Grand Tour, Scharfenberg became an established Romantic destination, and the architecture was altered to enhance this Romantic image. During this period the Von Miltitz family were great patrons of artists and several famous artists were commissioned to paint the castle. These included Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, Christian Gottfried Körner , Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué , Johann August Apel, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Thomas Fearnley, Johan Christian Clausen Dahl and Caspar David Friedrich.

For various reasons the castle fell empty during the Second World War. It was occupied by various persons displaced by the war in a hostel fashion and was under state control under the Soviet regime. This continued into the 1950s. Although the castle is relatively large it is far from any city and is not a good area to house workers.

In the 1960s it opened as a museum, but was generally only of local interest in relation to its neighbouring cities. It still had a residential function and an artist community linked itself to the building, also keen to preserve the castle. These included Achim Freyer, Emil Nolde, Achim Heym, Andreas Reinhardt, Karl-Heinz-Schäfer and Otto Walchau.

Through the 1970s and 1980s it was used for civil defence purposes, partly due to its strategic views over the River Elbe.

At the reunification of Germany in 1989 all state functions ceased. It was sold privately. Today it is a hotel.



Your name


Founded: c. 1200
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam Romuald Kłodecki (3 years ago)
This place is pure MAGIC! Amazing experience, incredible people! Every artistic soul should try this place!
Miriam (3 years ago)
We celebrated our wedding at Schloss Scharfenberg. The atmosphere of this location was simply perfect for this kind of celebration. The spacious rooms individually, fondly furnished and clean. The catering and staff professional and very friendly! The food was very delicious and plentiful. For us it was the perfect wedding at the perfect place. Thank you very much that we could enjoy this special day at Schloss Scharfenberg!
Tobias Sauer (4 years ago)
K. Szameit (4 years ago)
We were at Schloss Scharfenberg for a wedding and stayed overnight. A lovely place combining medieval style and cosiness. The wedding arrangements were unique and lovely,the bride and groom didn't have to worry about anything. Food was delicious and carefully prepared. I also loved our room which was individually furnished as we're all the rooms. A very enjoyable experience
Karina Alarcon (4 years ago)
Lovely. Would love to come back in summer. Everyone is very nice
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I. 

The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.

The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.