Moritzburg Castle

Moritzburg, Germany

Moritzburg is a Baroque palace about 13 kilometres northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden. The castle has four round towers and lies on a symmetrical artificial island. It is named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. The surrounding woodlands and lakes have been a favourite hunting area of the electors and kings of Saxony.

The Castle Chapel was built in 1661 under the auspices of Elector John George II and consecrated Catholic during the coronation of Augustus the Strong to become the King of Poland. To this day, regular services are held in that chapel.

But Elector Augustus the Strong had yet other plans with Moritzburg Castle. In 1723, major works began to convert it from a Renaissance building into a Baroque hunting and pleasure palace. Here, the Elector wanted to celebrate his excessive feasts and hunts. His dream was to build a 'Temple of Diana', surrounded by exotic animal enclosures with lions, cheetahs and European bisons. Opulent banquets or naval battles staged on the castle pond were also part of this. Architect Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann was commissioned with the project. He had further ponds and animal enclosures created – the pheasant-breeding place east of the castle is testimony to this fact. The best Saxon craftsmen and artists collaborated in the providing the interior in the seven halls and more than 200 rooms. The entire piece of art is of great structural clarity and harmony with the landscape. After the death of Augustus the Strong, the conversion remained unfinished.

As late as in 1800 only, the area of the castle was further integrated into the landscape by a great-grandson of the Elector. The Little Pheasant Castle, the harbor and the lighthouse pier were built at the Lower Great Lake Baernsdorf. From 1933 on, Moritzburg Castle was used as a residence by Wettin Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony until 1945, when the Wettins were expropriated. Some of their most precious art treasures were buried in the castle park by Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony and his sons, but for a few exceptions, these were detected by the Soviet troops and carried off. Only in 1996, several boxes with jewels and gold ornaments on the outside were unearthed by amateur archaeologists and idenmtified as Wettin treasure. Today, Moritzburg is a renowned meeting place for lovers of Saxon Baroque and Meissen porcelain.

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Details

Founded: 1542
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Reformation & Wars of Religion (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

James Marment (17 months ago)
Must see. Beautiful summer palace of the saxony royals. Lovely village, easy parking, walks in the woods. Plenty of places to take photos.
saba sarfraz (17 months ago)
Beautiful place and amazing view. Highly recommended
Vanitha Thangavelu (17 months ago)
Castle is surrounded by very big lake with beautiful view. Very good place to visit during summer and for some phorographd. Walking and cycling is very good choice around the castle path and castle garden. Inside there is an castle museum, you can spend few minute inside as well. I would recommend this place during summer.
Wine Food Travel (18 months ago)
A Fairy-tale Castle
Anitra S (20 months ago)
The inside tour was such a waste and I don NOT recommend. It was not the experience we were hoping for. We had hoped to see how beautiful the inside would be set up as if a Royal family lived there. Such a disappointment. However the outside is very beautiful!!
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