Pillnitz Castle

Pillnitz, Germany

Pillnitz Castle is located on the bank of the River Elbe in the former village of Pillnitz. It was the summer residence of many electors and kings of Saxony.

The castle complex consists of three main buildings, the Riverside Palace (Wasserpalais) on the riverfront; the Upper Palace (Bergpalais) on the hillside, both Baroque with Chinoiserieelements; and the later Neoclassical New Palace (Neues Palais), which links them together on the east side. The buildings enclose a Baroque garden and are surrounded by a large public park.

Today, the palace houses the Arts and Crafts Museum of the Dresden State Art Collections and a Palace Museum. The buildings surround a Baroque flower garden, whose centrepiece is a pond with a large fountain. From this, a chestnut-lined allée approximately 500 metres long runs parallel to the river bank, flanked by small rectangular hedged parterres.

History

As early as the 14th century, a modest residential fortress existed on the site of today' castle. It was enlarged in the 16th and 17th centuries to a four-winged building. The château was acquired by the Wettin dynasty in 1694 when Elector John George IV of Saxony bought it as a present for his mistress, Magdalena Sibylla of Neidschutz. Both died soon afterwards. In 1706, John George's brother Augustus II the Strong gave the facilities to one of his numerous mistresses, Anna Constantia of Brockdorff, only to rescind the gift after she fled to Berlin in 1715. Augustus II then ordered the château to be converted into an oriental summer palace for riverside festivities, necessitating extensive rebuilding.

Starting in 1720, the first church and buildings were replaced by elaborate Baroque palaces designed by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Zacharias Longuelune. First, in 1720/21, the Riverside Palace (Wasserpalais) was constructed on the river bank to plans by Pöppelmann. The upper staircase built on the Elbe side in 1722 was supplemented in 1725 by water stairs forming a gondola dock, designed by the French architect Zacharias Longuelune. In 1723/24, an almost identical complement to the Riverside Palace, the Upper Palace (Bergpalais), was completed. At the same time, a garden was laid out between the two palaces. Construction continued until 1725, with a focus on the Chinoiserie style. Augustus apparently then lost interest in his renovated palace, shifting his focus to other locations.

In 1765, Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, a greatgrandson of Augustus the Strong, made Pillnitz his summer residence. At the time, an English garden with an English pavilion, a Chinese garden with a Chinese pavilion and an artificial ruin were added. When the Countess' palace at Pillnitz Castle burnt down in 1818, Frederick Augustus asked his architect, Christian Friedrich Schuricht, to design a new palace at the same location. The NeoclassicalNew Palace (Neues Palais) was completed in 1826.

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Details

Founded: 1720
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alice Cz. (3 years ago)
A peaceful walk in the park. Wonderful flowers
Радослав Симеонов (3 years ago)
Very beautiful place. Perfect for walking in the nature. The palace is nice from outside.
Carlyle Sutphen (3 years ago)
We only took a walk around the grounds and left the museums for another day. The giant 230 year old camelia was unfortunately still in its movable winter housing but very impressive nonetheless. All the other exotic plants were beautiful and educational. We recommend the iced coffee in the Cafe outside. You can start the tour, go get an ice coffee and continue your tour, your ticket is good all day.
adrian catalin (3 years ago)
Probably the most beatiful castle around Dresden!on the banks of the river Elbe..with an amazing inner garden! My place to visit in the summer when looking to lay down a blancket and enjoy the silence and the sun! Totally recomend it!
Gary Holmyard (4 years ago)
On a scale of small to huge, this HUGE. So much to see inside and out, the largest camellia in the world, beautifully manicured grounds (too big to be a garden!) waterfront location and good quality eateries. A must do when visiting this part of Germany. STEEPED in history.
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