The Schlosserland Saxony has a lot to offer – I was recently able to see this for myself. Each of the many castles has its own exciting story to tell and is special and worth seeing in its own way. The agony of choice on this castle tour in Saxony was between the traditional wine castle with a real prince, the oldest castle in Germany with a porcelain manufactory, the castle in which once ruled a fat man, a one-eyed man and a revolutionary or the diverse hunting and pleasure palace. Which is your dream castle?
Proschwitz Castle – the traditional wine castle
Once upon a time there was a castle where a prince happily resided with his princess, where lavish parties were celebrated and whose lands produced top quality wines..
What sounds like part of a fairy tale is reality in Schloss Proschwitz , family seat of the Prince and Princess zur Lippe. However, as in fairy tales, the drama before the happy ending was not absent. What is now one of the most traditional aristocratic residences in Saxony and Saxony's largest private winery, originated in the early 18. Century from a medieval manor. During the Second World War the castle was confiscated by the NSDAP, plundered and the family zur Lippe was expropriated, imprisoned and expelled to the West. After the war, it served first as an emergency shelter, then as a pulmonary sanatorium and, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, as a rehabilitation center for mentally handicapped children and adults. It was not until the 1990s that Georg Prinz zur Lippe, the son of the old prince, was able to reacquire first the vineyard and then, in 1997, the castle from his parents.
Nowadays Proschwitz Castle is again the residence of the zur Lippe family, a model for controlled environmentally friendly viticulture and a cultural center. Approximately 90 hectares covers the winery Schloss Proschwitz, which annually produces half a million bottles of Proschwitzer top wines. Up to 10 function rooms are used to hold numerous events such as concerts, corporate events, private parties and the annual Christmas market.
When visiting Proschwitz Castle, you should definitely take a short walk to the Proschwitzer Weinbergshauschen, from which you have a beautiful view of the vineyards and Albrechtsburg Castle. By the way, this view was awarded with the title " Saxony's most beautiful wine view 2016.
For those who want to enjoy the Proschwitz vineyard ramble in style with a picnic, the courtyard cafe located next to the castle& Hoftheater zu Proschwitz have come up with something special: Various picnic basket arrangements, each with a bottle of "Prinz zur Lippe" wine and small appetizers are available to choose from. Also otherwise the two hosts of the Hofcafe& Theater , Jeanette and Thomas Ender, with full verve and a lot of creativity at work. The two former opera singers are in the midst of realizing their dream – to transform an old farm with a potato barn into a farm theater with a cafe. The court theater is still under construction, but the cafe with a small farm store already exists and there is no lack of cultural and musical events. Definitely have a look!
If you want to taste the Proschwitz wines directly at their place of origin, you should go to the listed winery Schloss Proschwitz in Zadel, 5 km away. Here you can taste in the Vinothek not only the wines but also the liqueurs and even vinegar from own production. Private wine tastings are also available upon request. If you can't drive after the tasting, check into one of the estate's cozy guest rooms or apartments.
Tips for Proschwitz Castle
- The exterior of Proschwitz Castle in Meissen can be visited, the interiors can unfortunately only be visited during events (for example, at the Christmas market)
- Proschwitz Castle regularly hosts winery tours, wine evenings and special events. All info in the calendar of events of Proschwitz Castle
- The Hofcafe& Hoftheater is located at Proschwitzer Strabe 12 in Meissen and can be reached at [email protected] accessible
- All information about the listed winery Schloss Proschwitz can be found here, everything you need to know about accommodation can be found here
- If you wish, you can walk the 6km path through the vineyards from the castle to the winery (or the other way around) (1.5 hours walking time), spectacular views guaranteed
- A great experience report about the visit of Proschwitz Castle and a meeting with the princess can be found at Monika& Petar from TravelWorldOnline
Albrechtsburg – the cradle of Saxony as a trendsetter
The cradle of Saxony, Germany's oldest castle, the first European porcelain manufactory and Saxon acropolis – Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen knows how to trump with one or the other title.
From the wooden fortification built in 929, from which the Wettin dynasty ruled the border region of Meissen and thus founded the "cradle of Saxony", arose in the 15th century the castle of Meissen. In the 16th century, under the direction of Arnold of Westphalia, today's Albrechtsburg Castle was built. The masterful building with innovative architectural solutions was Germany's first castle building . The majestic location at the point where the Elbe, Triebisch and Meisa flow around a steep cliff also helped it to the nickname "Saxon Acropolis".
In the 18. In the 16th century, Augustus the Strong found the isolated location of the castle to be the perfect place to maintain the strict porcelain secrecy and established a porcelain manufactory in Albrechtsburg Castle. From here, the "white gold" began its triumphant march through Europe and the whole world. It took 153 years for the porcelain manufactory to get its own building and the castle was extensively restored to its original state.
Today, Albrechtsburg Castle houses a museum whose permanent exhibition presents the history of the castle with the use of modern, interactive media and fascinating exhibits.
Until November the special exhibition "A treasure not of gold" about Benno of Meissen, Saxony's first saint, takes place. Numerous miracles are attributed to him, the greatest of which is the so-called fish miracle. You can learn all about it and the background in the exhibition. Incidentally, the choice of Albrechtsburg Castle as the exhibition venue also has historical reasons: Benno's place of work is just a few steps away, in Meissen Cathedral, which is also located on the castle hill. In addition, the celebration of the canonization of Benno, 400 years after his death, took place in Albrechtsburg Castle.
If you want to stretch your legs a bit after visiting Albrechtsburg Castle, you should make your way to the Bennokanzel or to "Saxony's most beautiful wine view 2016" at the Proschwitzer Weinhauschen (accessible via the cat steps). The view of the Albrechtsburg is beautiful and worth the small climb!
Tips for Albrechtsburg Castle
- Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen is open daily throughout the year, March – October from 10:00 – 18:00, November – February from 10:00 – 17:00 (except 24./25. December), admission to the castle and the permanent exhibition 8,- €, reduced 4,- €
- The special exhibition "A treasure not of gold" runs until 5. November and costs 6,- €, reduced 4,- €
- Albrechtsburg Castle also offers regular events and special tours, which can be found in the Albrechtsburg calendar of events
- Dining tip: The Domkeller, just a few steps from Albrechtsburg Castle, offers a wonderful panoramic view of Meiben (there is a terrace on the other side of the building) and a special Benno menu on the occasion of the Benno von Meiben exhibition
Rochlitz Castle – the experience with all senses
Fat, one-eyed, revolutionary . As soon as you enter the castle, these three words jump out at you and make it clear that Rochlitz Castle is anything but ordinary.
The slogan of the permanent exhibition points to three characters in the castle's history – Dedo, "the fat one", Wilhelm, the one-eyed one and Elisabeth von Rochlitz. The former drove the settlement of the Umlade and died from the consequences of a failed cosmetic surgery. Wilhelm initiated the conversion of the defiant castle into a residential castle and strengthened the rule with an iron hand against the power ambitions of the Bohemian neighbors. As a follower of Luther's ideas, Elisabeth von Rochlitz introduced the Reformation in the town and played a leading role in Saxony's princely reformation.
The special thing about Rochlitz Castle is that the history is presented here in a vivid and interactive way, even that you can touch it. So you can see the famous plaster carvings of Princes Ernst and Albrecht from the late 15. The visitors can not only enlarge and have their pictures explained on a screen, but also try their hand at drawing a plaster carving themselves. Or how does it feel to wear a real knight's armor or a medieval costume? Just try it on is the motto here! The Hauptmannstube has a special surprise in store – a virtual journey through time! With the help of virtual reality glasses you can experience one and the same room in the change of 850 years, from Romanesque to Gothic, Renaissance, Classicism, the GDR and today – all documented by building researchers and restorers. Madness!
The icing on the cake can be experienced in the castle kitchen dating back to 1398: the preparation of a 3-course menu at the medieval cooking course ! With boiling cauldrons, crackling fire and stories from bygone times, we actually feel a little taken back in time. And our meal – green core soup, boeuf bourguignon and a dessert of apricots, red currants and home-made whipped cream – is a unique taste experience!