The prominent location on the hilltop was already occupied in the middle ages. The Knights of Schellenberg built their castle here. Later the grounds became property of the Dukes and Electors of Saxony. The medieval castle Schellenburg burnt down in two fires in the early 16th century. In 1567 Elector August of Saxony decided to build a new palace...more
... that's what Augsutusburg is nicknamed. The palace is located on a ridge which rises notably higher than the surrounding hilly landscape. Palace and town overlook a wide area and can be seen from far away. With some imagination the white palace with its towers, chimneys and roofs looks indeed like a crown placed on top of the highest hill.There...more
Hunting was an important activity in court life, hence a topic suitable for a palace museum like this. The museum in Hasenhaus begins with an exhibition of historcial arms and hunting trophies like stag antlers and such, but it soon changes towards topics of ecology and zoology. Various specieses of huntable wild animals are presented in dioramas....more
A visit to Augustusburg can easily fill most of a day. The palace complex contains several museums and other attractions. I am describing them in separate tips, so this here is an overview of what there is to do with links to the individual tips:# A guided tour of the palace takes you into the historical rooms of Lindenhaus, into the renaissance...more
The exhibition in the cellars is rather scary but it meets the taste of many tourists, it seems. In the former prison cells instruments for torture and punishment are presented. Even more than the middle ages, the 16th and early 17th century were infamous for the use of these horrible devices. It is incredible what humans can do to each other.more
Hasenhaus, the House of the Hares, is the Southwestern corner of the palace complex. It has been named after the topic of the frescoes that once filled all rooms on the three floors: the war of the hares and the hunters, which the hares win at first, and finally the hunters' revenge which sets the world right again. Only parts of the series are...more
The large hall in the upper storey of Hasenhaus is a unique example of 16th century illusionistic painting. It has been turned into the interior of the mountain of Venus by night. The light is dim and the eyes have to get accustomed do the darkness first. The large room is like the entrance hall to a cave. On one side the cave seems to open and...more
The motorbike museum was founded around 1960 by initiative of the motorbike factory in Zschopau. It occupies the Küchenhaus, the southeastern corner, and the adjacent side wing towards the economy courtyard. The rooms on two floors offer enough space to present the history and technical development, beginning with the invention of the bicycle by...more
The Carriage Museum shows a collection carriages, sleighs and other horse-drawn vehicles from the 18th and 19th century that were (or may have been) used by the Saxon court and its servants. The most splendid pieces are thwo "berlines", one with the Saxon crest on the doors, for noble court members or even the electoral family. Don't miss this...more
A sufficient supply of water is essential for a castle or palace. First plans were pumping water up from a spring on the hillside but soon the planners decided to install a well. The old well of the former castle was not of use, hence a new one had to be dug. The new well was to be placed in the middle of the economy courtyard. Digging the well was...more
The palace chapel is of significance to art historians who are dealing with early protestant church architecture but I am sparing you the details... It is located in the eastern side wing and accessible only with guided tours. It was designed by Erhard von der Mehr in 1568 during the planning process of the palace, and completed until 1572. The...more
Guided tours of the palace include three locations which are not accessible on your own: Lindenhaus, the palace chapel and Brunnenhaus (well house). The tour begins in Lindenhaus, the northwestern corner of the four-winged complex. Inside Lindenhaus, some rooms have preserved their original frescoes, although faded in time, and the open fireplaces....more
We had to walk up frum the train station because the funicular wasn't running, and after the steep ascent I was down and out. We needed a place for a rest and a coffee and a snack. This bakery was the first option we came across. Restaurants were not likely to be open yet on a Monday morning, so we stopped here. In theory this is just another...more
The restaurant within the palace qualifies as an okay place to grab a bite in between visits to the various attractions. Augustusburg has enough to offer to fill a day, so a lunch break in between will be desirable. The restaurant is a typical German place with what we call "gutbürgerliche Küche" and the typical German restaurant atmosphere. The...more
If the funicular does not run, walking is the only way to reach Augustusburg and the castle from the train station down in the valley. On the map, the distance looks harmless. Locals will tell you that the walk takes half an hour.Phew.Rather calculate 45 minutes, and a steep ascent uphill all the way. If you are not in perfect shape, this is quite...more
Augustusburg, located high up on a ridge above the Zschopau valley, is connected with the bottom of the valley where the train station is by a funicular. This is the easiest way to reach the town and in fact the only public transport carrier up. The bottom station is next to the train station Erdmannsdorf-Augustusburg on the DB Erzgebirgsbahn, just...more
We spotted this signpost outside a house in market square. It points into two directions which are useful to know.
To the left: "Up the hill"
To the right: "Down the hill"
This makes me wonder if the locals really do not notice whether they are walking uphill or downhill, or if they consider tourists too dumb to notice. In fact this vital information is impossible to overlook even without the signs. The market square is, as the second photo shows, quite steep. It has an inclination of 14%. Nobody who walks there would have the slightest doubt where is "up" and where is "down"...
Not exactly a danger but a warning about a nuisance! In case you plan to visit Augustusburg on a Monday, be aware that the funicular does not run on Monday mornings. The first one is the 13:20 one. Read the timetable carefully. If you arrive at Erdmannsdorf-Augustusburg train station down in the Zschopau valley on a Monday morning you are stuck. There is no bus up, there is no taxi or AST phone number. The only way to reach the town and the palace is on foot, and that means a hike of at least 45 minutes (not 30 as they tell you) up a very very steep forest trail. Not much fun. In heavy rain it's even less fun.
Augustusburg palace is one of the few sights in the area which is open on Mondays, a big plus for this place. It is alien to us why they do the weekly maintenance checkup of the funicular on this particular day of the week which could attract a lot more visitors than other weekdays because of these extraordinary opening hours, and why there is no bus or shared taxi offered as alternative.
Since the palace and everything in it is Augustusburg's main attraction I am classifying the town as "off the beaten path". The shortest way from the top station of the funicular to the palace gates leads through some gardens and along the church, so unless you take the slightly longer way via market square you won't see much of the town.
There is not that much to tell about it, to be honest. The most striking feature of the market square is its steepness (14%). There are some restaurants around the square but don't expect anything upscale. Not all houses are in good shape - it hurts to see a house with an elaborate renaissance portal almost in ruins.
The neoclassical church should be of interest. It was closed, though, and does not seem to have regular opening hours apart from the Sunday services.