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

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ryan Chapman (2 years ago)
Tours end at 5. I got there at 6. The stores were closed but the river was pretty. I came to the castle after visiting the ? tower on the top of the hill. The surrounding area is really pretty.
Abrar AbZ (2 years ago)
One of the best places near Dresden to spend time with friends and family. Golden hour photographs will surely come out good. Recommended.
Achim Neu (3 years ago)
Wonderful park and little summer castle in front of the city premises of Dresden. A bit sad that a lot of castle buildings still to be renovated after so many years, but pretty good shape from the outside and along the river Elbe.
Anette Maro (3 years ago)
Impressed chateau of King August directly at the river. You can go by feet a wonderful way from the Blue Wonder Brigde until Castle of Pillnitz. There are coffee, ice and lunch....
Frank Lenhard (4 years ago)
Pillnitz is one of the most beautiful spots around Dresden that you can visit all around the year. The entrance fee into park is well worth it. The flowers, trees and vegetation is breathtaking. The red squirrels are busy and the river Elbe going gently buy is just a Amazon scenery.
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