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 existed at that time. Around 1210/30, however, the existence of the castle can be reliably proven on the basis of archaeological finds. The builders were evidently the Lords of Mildenstein.
Since 1610 the castle served as an administrative building for the Electoral Saxon Office of Sachsenburg with Frankenberg. During the Thirty Years War , the first and second outer bailey were destroyed and the castle looted.
From 1864 the castle was used as custody for young female prisoners and in 1867 a penal and correctional institution was established here. The property was only reserved for prisoners until 1926, and from 1914 onwards there were prisoners of war (Russians, including interned academics and students of the Freiberg Mining Academy , Englishmen, Serbs).
Along with Lichtenburg, Sachsenburg was among the first concentration camps to be built by the Nazis, and operated by the SS from 1933 to 1937. The camp was an abandoned four-story textile mill which was renovated in May 1933 to serve as a 'protective custody' facility for dissidents such as Jehovah's Witnesses, who opposed the Nazi regime.
Today the castle restoration is in progress.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.