Explore famous Castles in Saxony on these Castle Tours in Germany
We like castles and palaces in Saxony very much. These three baroque castles in Sachsen should know everyone who likes locks.
- The Dresden Zwinger impresses with its orangery.
- Wackerbarth Castle in Radebeul offers excellent wines.
- Castle Moritzburg offers a great location as a moated castle.
Castles attract us magically. On the one hand, they are full of stories, on the other hand they impress with their architecture. Art lovers and history lovers are right there. The three baroque castles on our journey through the castles of Saxony all originated in the time of Augustus the Strong. He either had them built for himself, like the kennel and Moritzburg Castle. Or they were built by his subjects, who showed themselves in his ministries. This includes Schloss Wackerbarth. Especially exciting is that each of these locks fulfills other purposes.
Baroque castles in Saxony and August the Strong
Elector Augustus the Strong lived at the time of the French Sun King. As usual in his days, he undertook a journey through Europe as a young man. He also got to know the Palace of Versailles. From then on, he dreamed of building a similarly magnificent castle in his native Saxony. In addition, he lacked a royal crown as king. He fixed this blemish, when he was crowned King of Poland.
In order to finance the buildings that arose during his reign, a fortunate circumstance came to his aid. Elegant porcelain has been known in Europe for a long time. Nobody on this continent could produce it alone. Until the time of August the Strong, the valuable tableware was imported from China. The Chinese have been making porcelain for centuries. However, they guarded the secret of its production like a state treasure.
August wanted to furnish his locks splendidly. However, waiting for the shipments from China made him impatient. Therefore, he had research into how to produce the "white gold". By chance, a farmer discovered white earth on his field and with it the previously missing ingredient for porcelain production: kaolin. From then on the zeal of Augustus the Strong knew no bounds. With the profit that the products from the Meißen porcelain factory made for him, he built one castle after another.
The Orangery in the Zwinger in Dresden
The Zwinger in Dresden was the first stop on our journey to the Baroque castles in Saxony. In fact, the Zwinger was never completed. The plans of August the Strong went far beyond what can be seen today. Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful baroque gardens that we have seen so far. The Orangery in the Zwinger has been wearing its name rightly since 2017 again. At the time of August the Strong 800 orange trees stood in the park. Currently there are 76. Like in earlier times they have been planted in transportable wooden containers. And as they did then, they are transported to a shelter at the end of the summer. In the time of August, these were the arcades that enclose the orangerie of the Zwinger. Today it is the Orangery of the baroque garden Großsedlitz in Heidenau.
Oranges and bitter oranges were considered as a sign of power during baroque times. They were compared to the golden apples of the Hesperides, which the Greek mythical hero Hercules stole from their garden. A ruler, who owned orange trees, could compare himself with Hercules. The statue of Hercules, who carries the globe on his shoulders, sits enthroned above the pavilion in the Orangerie of the Zwinger.
As in the time of August the Strong, the Zwinger Orangery is open to the public. This is not without danger for the orange trees. Even the gardeners of earlier times complained about the behavior of ignorant visitors. Currently, gardeners are responsible for the orange trees. These observe strictly, what is good for the plants or what harms them.
Zwinger in Dresden
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Wackerbarth Castle in Radebeul, one of the smaller Baroque castles in Saxony
Wackerbarth Castle is quite different. It is also one of the baroque castles in Saxony. The palace was built by Field Marshal and Cabinet Minister Imperial Count August Friedrich von Wackerbarth, who was in the service of August the Strong. He had bought the vineyards. Below these he settled in his retirement home Wackerbarth's Rest. Today Wackerbarth Castle is owned by the German state of Saxony. It is run as a state winery and the castle is used for events. If you want, you can marry in the rooms of the castle. But you should sign up early. The castle is in high demand for weddings.
This doesn't surprise us. The castle lies in a park like no other. In the middle of the vineyard above the castle the Belvedere can be found, a pavilion used for events. At the top of the ridge of the vineyards is another viewing pavilion, from which the view sweeps across the Elbe over the countryside. Behind the castle there is a pond, whose fountain provides a fresh spray on this hot summer day.
Wackerbarth Castle is a place for gourmets. In the restaurant Schloss Wackerbarth a lunch with fresh asparagus awaits us. In addition there's sparkling wine and wines from the winery. After a tour of the park and the castle, we taste the wines in the champagne and wine cellar of the castle. We end our visit to this flagship winery in the wine shop of the castle, which provides a great choice of local wines.
01445 Radebeul / Dresden
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Castle Moritzburg, Hunting lodge of Augustus the Strong and one of the Baroque Castles in Saxony
Castle Moritzburg shows us a different kind of Saxon castles. This castle, like the Zwinger, was owned by August the Strong. Only that nobody lived here all year round. Castle Moritzburg was a hunting lodge. For this reason, the courtly company from Dresden moved with the entire court to Moritzburg on hunting trips. On the ground floor of the castle, we see one of the kitchen trolleys, in which all kitchen utensils and the valuable porcelain and silverware from Dresden were brought.
Moritzburg Castle is particularly impressive because of its location in the middle of a lake. As we learn, the court of Augustus the Strong celebrated magnificent festivities here. Even a ship was used in this lake for the amusement of the elector's guests. But we do not see anything of that anymore. Instead, some wild geese leave their quiet tracks in the lake.
This is what a Courtly Visit to the Hunting Lodge looked like
While storm clouds gather on the horizon and the wind dispels the sultry heat of the day in the late afternoon, we enter the castle. There we learn how the courtly society was hosted. The court came here from Dresden at regular intervals. The journey took about two hours by coach. In the large castle kitchen food for August the Strong and his guests was prepared. Up to fifty courses were sometimes on the menu. For one meal, mind you. One of the ways, in which August showed his power, was to have his subjects watch him at his meal.
The furniture we see in the castle today has been brought here from Dresden. In the times of August the Strong, it was part of the baggage that was prepared for his arrival. Most of the rooms in the castle were empty. Only hunting trophies, which August himself had killed, hung on the walls. Among them are antlers, which he received in the course of his reign as gifts from state guests. This explains the elk and reindeer antlers in the reception hall of the castle. The paintings, you see in the halls today, have just been hung there.
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Conclusion - the Baroque Castles in Saxony are worth a visit:
A visit to these castles not only shows us different baroque castles in Saxony. In addition, it gives an insight into the courtly life in the 17th and 18th century. In addition, since the castles are close to each other, you can also visit them very well on a short stay. They are also great destinations for excursions from Dresden.
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Arrival by plane, car, bus and train
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Dresden has its own airport. It is also possible to travel by train
Accommodations in Dresden
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Excursions and tours in and around Dresden
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Source: own research on site by the baroque castles in Saxony on invitation of castles Saxony. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline