Hohnstein Castle

Hohnstein, Germany

Hohnstein Castle is located on a hard sandstone slab, 140 metres above the Polenz valley and is the major landmark of the small town. It was probably built around 1200 or earlier as a Bohemian border fortress for the Margravate of Meißen to defend it against Saxony. In 1353 the castle went into the possession of the Bohemian nobleman, Hynek Berka z Dubé, whose coat of arms with crossed oak branches decorates the entranceway to the second courtyard. In 1443 the Berkas of Dubá lost the estate through exchanges and purchase, only mentioned for the first time under their name, to the Electorate of Saxony under Frederick the Humble, although it remained a Bohemian fief until 1806. The Wettins used it as a base for hunting and for salmon spearing (Lachsstechen).

In the succeeding centuries the castle acted alternately as a seat of administration (electoral Amt), a court and a prison. The original wooden structures were gradually replaced during the 17th and 18th centuries by the present stone buildings and even successfully withstood a Swedish siege in 1639.

After the dissolution of the Amt in 1861 the castle served as a men's correctional institute (Männerkorrektionsanstalt) and from 1919 as a juvenile prison.

In 1925 the mighty castle became a youth hostel. In the years 1933/34 a concentration camp was established here for so-called protective custody prisoners (Schutzhäftlinge), in practice 5,600 political prisoners. During World War II a prisoner of war camp was housed in the castle and, after the war it was a refuge for displaced persons. From 1949 it was extended to become the largest youth hostel in the GDR. In 1953 the National Science Museum for Geology, Botany, Zoology and Ecology of the countryside was established here. In 1997 the castle was turned into a Friends of Nature house and youth guest house, to which the museum belongs today.

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Address

Markt 1, Hohnstein, Germany
See all sites in Hohnstein

Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Morgan (2 years ago)
Fantastic location for hiking and exploring the area. 15 mins drive from Bastion. Staying in the Castle is fun, the rooms are basic but clean roomy and comfortable.ack of WiFi in the rooms was a challenge as the phone signals in the area are week as well. Friendly and helpful staff. Remember this is a tourist attraction so some of the rooms will have lights shining in the widows as the castle is lit up at night. I visited off season, but I can imagine that it could get busy in the summer months.
Steffi Berlin (2 years ago)
A visit to Burg Hohenstein. There is a parking lot right in front of the Burg. It has only limited parking spots and is free. There is an entrance fee to the Burg. Inside you will find old artifacts from back when it was still intact. Take a climb up the tower and it will offer you fantastic views over the Polenztal. Inside the Burg there is a restaurant and Cafe. You can sit inside and outside with nice views down into The Valley.
Dmitry Vinogradov (3 years ago)
Very nice place, one of the "must visit" places in the Sächsische Schweiz!
Jordan Coetsee (3 years ago)
Awesome free breakfast, beautiful views. Will definitely return!
Yvonne Menekshe Ikram (3 years ago)
For 1 adult and 2 kids I payed 120,- for 1 night including breakfast and dinner. Now comes the shock: we took the very simple food from the buffet but for 6 euros per person it seemed fair. Then the waitress came asking us what we’d like to drink. We took 3 glasses of water . When we got up to leave after dinner she called on us saying we’d had to pay for the water: 7.20 Euro ! No one had told us that beforehand and there was no menu for the drinks with prices whatsoever. A complete rip off! I’ll certainly never come back!
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