Meißen Things to Do

  • Meissen Cathedral
    Meissen Cathedral
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  • Meissen Rathaus
    Meissen Rathaus
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  • Albrechtsburg
    Albrechtsburg
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Most Recent Things to Do in Meißen

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    SAXONY WINE ROUTE

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2013

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    Along the Saxon Wine Route

    Another beautiful part of the Elbe Valley, is the Saxon Wine Route. For 55km, the route takes you through Germany's smallest wine-producing region.

    As the vineyards are located on the hillsides, it is particularly delightful! Vineyards are found near Pirna, then in Pillnitz and beside the many Palaces near Dresden.
    Heading towards Meissen from Dresden, the vines are growing on terraces on the Radebeul and Coswig slopes.

    We saw this by car, but just imagine what it would be like lazing away on the deck of a Paddle steamer as it cruised along the Elbe, past these vine-clad terraces and vineyards intermingled with romantic villages with whitewashed vintner's cottages and Wine Taverns, perhaps a soaring church steeple, oh, I want to go back and do this by Paddle steamer!
    Of course your welcome to stop and try a drop and buy that bottle to have with your evening meal.
    White wines, soft dry red and sparkling wines are produced in the area.

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    • Wine Tasting
    • Road Trip

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    CYCLE THE ELBE CYCLE ROUTE

    by balhannah Written Dec 13, 2013

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    Cycling alongside the River Elbe near Meissen

    The Elbe Cycle Route begins at Bad Schandau and finishes at Cuxhaven on the coast.
    Where-ever we went in Germany, we saw excellent cycle paths beside rivers. Nice and flat, it looked a wonderful way to see the scenery.
    For me, it was interesting to find, the Elbe Cycle Route has been voted the most popular in the country 8 years in a row by members of the German Cyclists’ Federation.
    The Elbe is Germany’s second-longest river, so if you follow the whole route, you will have travelled 840kms!
    It is very scenic around here and further on where the sandstone outcrops of the Saxon Switzerland National Park is in Germany. The route runs through the Elbe valley and interesting towns and cities like Hamburg as you make your way to the coast.

    WHAT TO EXPECT:
    SCENERY: Vineyards, Woodland, Heathland, Marshland, Sandstone Outcrops, Orchards, Castles cities & towns and the North sea coast.
    THE ROUTE: It looked to be mainly flat going on an asphalt surface, quite often alongside or very close to the Elbe. Be prepared for headwinds when cycling downstream.

    .

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    FRAUENKIRCHE

    by balhannah Updated Dec 13, 2013

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    Frauenkirche

    The Frauenkirche or "Church of our Lady," is a late gothic hall Church that's more than 800 years old and has the world's first Carillon made of Meissen porcelain.
    During the day, the Carillon can be heard playing starting at...
    6.30am with "The voice calls us,"
    8.30am - "We praise you,"
    11.30am - "Big God the sky,"
    2.30pm - "Boast of internal glory" and "We are to Pray,"
    5.30pm - "A mighty fortress is our god,"
    8.30pm - "Praise, the powerful King."

    The Chapel "Our Lady," is mentioned in the year 1205
    The entrance is on the north side of the Church, located 3 metres from the south entrance to the market. Inside there are some very old pieces that have survived from medieval times.

    Outside, is the Baroque Tower Dome. The tower houses the Tower Gallery .
    Since 1929, the world's first tunable chimes made of Meissen porcelain hang in one of the Gothic Windows of the Tower. Entry to the Tower is via a spiral staircase, 193 steps to the top of the Tower for a beautiful view of Meissen.

    ENTRANCE FEE TO THE TOWER
    Adults 2 euros Concession 1 euro

    OPENING HOURS.
    May - September Mo - Sat: 10 am - 4 pm
    Fri and public holidays 2pm - 4pm

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    WALK THE HISTORICAL CIRCUIT

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2013

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    View over Meissen
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    The historical circuit took me to the "Upper promenade" that ran along the outer walls of the storehouse, Albrecht Castle and the cathedral. There are outstanding views from here over the Elbe valley and the old town of Meissen. The track is only 500metres and along the way are many information boards telling the history of the path and about Castle Hill.
    The trail is accessible during regular opening times of the castle.

    If you can, DO IT!

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    ALBRECHTSBURG CASTLE

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2013

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    Albrechtsburg
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    "Where is the hill on which three castles grow, along its side three waters flow?"
    The answer is Meissen! The three rivers are the Elbe, Triebisch and Meisa.

    Albrechtsburg is believed to be the first German palatial building and a masterpiece of late-Gothic architecture.
    For a long time, the Castle remained empty, that was until "August the Strong" decided to move Meissen Porcelain into the Palace.
    Known as "white gold," there is plenty of porcelain exhibitions in the castle rooms. Since 2011, all floors of the castle are open to the public permanently. The exhibition covers architecture, murals, interior design, historical documents and much more set out over five different levels. I looked at the website photos of the inside of the Castle and was quite impressed.

    ENTRANCE FEE FOR PERMANENT EXHIBITION
    8euros / Reduced 4 euros
    Special exhibition
    2 euros / Reduced 1 euro

    COMBINATION TICKET
    9,00 EUR | reduced 4,50 EUR
    2 adults + 4 children 18,00 EUR
    1 adult + 2 children 10,00 EUR

    Free admission for visitors on their birthday
    Free admission with schloesserlandPASS

    Opening hours:
    Mar to Oct | daily from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
    Nov to Feb |daily from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
    24th and 25th Dec closed
    1st Jan from 11 am to 4 pm
    13th to 24th Jan 2014 closed

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    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    STATUE OF HENRY I

    by balhannah Updated Dec 12, 2013

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    King Henry 1st

    I found the statue of King Henry I by the Franciscan convent which is now a city museum. It was built in 1863, and shows King Henry 1 with the Castle he founded in his hands. This Castle was built high on a rock in the Elbe Valley and is known as Castle Misni.
    Fresh water runs through the fountain, coming from the towns water system, so quite ok to fill up the water bottle.

    So who was Henry I?

    He was German Heinrich der Vogler (born 876—died 936) who was known as Henry 1st or "Henry the Fowler," the first German king.
    He was the son of "Otto the Illustrious", becoming a Duke of Saxony when his father died in 912, and then King of Germany from 919 until his death. His eldest son was the first of the Holy Roman emperors - Otto I the Great (936–973).

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    MEISSEN RATHAUS - [Town Hall]

    by balhannah Written Dec 12, 2013

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    Meissen Rathaus

    Located in the Market square is the late Gothic Town Hall. The building looks quite lovely with its decorative gables and a sundial on the front of the building. It was built between 1470 to 1486 and since then, has been renovated.
    Inside, the council hall and registry office are often open to the public.
    The Rathaus is the oldest of its kind in Saxony.

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    MEISSEN CATHEDRAL

    by balhannah Written Dec 11, 2013

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    Meissen Cathedral
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    Once again, I see some tall church towers, these belonging to the medieval Cathedral of Meissen. This Gothic cathedral was constructed between 1260 -1425, how-ever the twin steeples were not added until 1909. Most of the Cathedral is the same as when it was built in medieval times. The Princes Chapel is where the famous Wettin family are buried.
    I walked around the Cathedral enjoying seeing the interesting Gargoyles watching over me, the old doors and the religious sculptures, then I went inside.

    THE CATHEDRAL IS OPEN FROM

    April to October daily 9 - 6PM
    Guided tours: 10am 11am 12.30pm 1.30pm 2.30pm 3.30pm 4.30pm.
    Except on Saturdays and Sundays
    Tower tours 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm Guidance package Cathedral / Albrecht Meissen

    Space-sound splendor Prince
    April to October every day except Sunday and public holidays 11.30 am in cathedral

    Lunchtime organ music: April to October daily 12 noon except on Sundays and public holidays

    Opening times from November to March Daily 10 - 4pm

    Guidance package "Space & Sound"
    April to October, Monday to Saturday (except public holidays)
    Beginning: 11.00 clock - Cathedral Tour & Lunch organ music
    Duration: about 60 to 90 minutes
    € 7.50 pp, reduced 6,00 € *

    Guidance package "Space - Sound - Prince splendor"
    April to October Start: 11:30 clock - Cathedral tour, lunch organ music, leadership Albrecht Castle
    Duration: about 90 minutes
    € 12.00 per person, concessions € 8.00, children up to age 5 Age: free pass

    May to October, Monday to Saturday
    Beginning at 12.30PM - Cathedral Tour & Tower Tour on the nodular tower
    Duration: about 90 minutes
    € 6.00 per person, concessions € 6.50

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    • Religious Travel
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    Spaargebirge

    by german_eagle Written Oct 28, 2013

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    In the outskirts of Meißen, about 2 km upstream from the old town, is a small mountain ridge on the right bank of the Elbe river - the so called "Spaargebirge." It only rises about 100 m above the river level, and yet, it is a landmark. It is a very nice area for some leisure walking/hiking, with nice little glens, viewpoints, many vineyards and wineries, some wine taverns/restaurants.

    Pic 1 and 2 were taken on a weekend of the open wineries, last weekend in August a couple of years ago. You can see the vineyard "Schwalbennest" is right above the Elbe river providing beautiful views. Next to the river runs the Elbe cycling trail, off the (busy) road.

    Pic 3 was taken in 2013, last Sunday in October. The weather did not really co-operate, but I could clearly see Dresden and the mounains of Saxon Switzerland in the far distance. This picture and the following ones were taken from Boselspitze, the southernmost viewpoint of Spaargebirge. There is also a Botanical Garden right there, run by the Dresden Tech University.

    Pic 4 was taken from Juchhöh, another viewpoint on the western side of Spaargebirge. From here you have great views of Meißen with some vineyards in the foreground and the castle hill plus cathedral as landmark in the background.

    Pic 5 shows a restaurant with viewing tower between Boselspitze and Juchhöh, built 1888/89. I didn't bother going up since the weather was not too good. But the panoramic view must be fantastic.

    I had parked the car by the Elbe cycling trail at Kapitelholzsteig/Vincenz Richter winery (free). From there I walked up via Kapitelholzsteig, first turned south to Boselspitze, then back to the restaurant on pic 5 and continued to Juchhöh viewpoint from where I walked down to Niederspaar district, a settlement with some old wineries and now favourite residential area. Via Rodelandweg I went to Bauernhäus'l wine tavern (see restaurant tip) where had coffee and cake, walked via Alte Spaargasse to the Elbe cycling trail and along the river back to the car. Along the road by the river is also a bus service, the stop by the parking is called "Kapitelholzsteig."

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    Parish church Naustadt

    by german_eagle Updated Oct 8, 2012
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    This little gem is in a small village, only a few km south of Meißen's old town. It was built 1591-98, the steeple (which you can see from far away as the church is located on the highest point of the left bank plateau above the Elbe river) is from 1717.

    The choir has a post-Gothic net-shaped vaulted ceiling. On the left side is the patronage box of the Miltitz family. The sandstone altar (1606) is a donation of Magdalene von Pflugk, incorporating an epitaph for her husband, Ernst Wilhelm von Miltitz. It's an excellent work of art, slightly changed in 1817 in the style of that era. The pulpit, like the altar and the baptismal font created by Hans Köhler, is from 1596 and also very ornate and donated by the Miltitz family. The baptismal font (pic 5) from 1597 is also made of sandstone and has colourful depictions of children with the Arma Christi at the foot, and scenes from the bible (like Flight to Egypt) at the hexagonal font.

    Showpiece of the church is the epitaph for Alexander von Miltitz (1657 - 1738), who was administrative official in charge of the court in Dresden (Oberhofmarschall). It was created by Johann Joachim Kändler, an excellent sculptor and busy at the famous porcelain manufacture in Meißen (pic 4).

    The church is usually open in summer. If not, contact the vicarage in Röhrsdorf:
    Ev.-Luth. Pfarramt in Röhrsdorf
    Pfarrer Christoph Rechenberg
    01665 Klipphausen, OT Röhrsdorf, Kirchberg 5

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    Martinskapelle

    by german_eagle Written Oct 8, 2012
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    This small chapel is in a somewhat remote location, on a hill called "Plossenberg" above the old town (left bank), but vis-a-vis the castle hill.

    It was built in the 12th century, the Romanesque style of the architecture is pretty well preserved despite the damages in the Hussite wars and the following restoration (1437) of the interior. In 1683 the interior was again redesigned. The northern windows are still Romanesque, ditto the southern portal. The altar is said to have nice carved, colourful figures (St. Martin, John the Evangelist, St. Urban, from about 1500) but was away undergoing restoration when I visited.

    Remarkable is the pulpit from 1516 with a painting: a skull, snakes coming out of they eyes, below a coffin and a ribbon with inscription "INRI/1516". Worth a look is also the Romanesque relief at the triumphal arch, depicting two horizontal canes on which pilgrim's bags hang, in the middle an open book.

    On the outside (don't remember which facade) you can see a cannonball, a relic from the battle of 1813, when the French fired from here at the Russians on the other bank of the Elbe river.

    Nowadays the Martinskapelle serves as cemetery chapel and is only open at ceremonies or special occasions like European Heritage Day. Or ask for the key at the vicarage in the old town.

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    Johanneskirche

    by german_eagle Written Oct 7, 2012
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    Most tourists see the old town on the left bank and totally miss the sights on the right bank. Granted, it cannot compete with the picturesque medieval old town, but it has some interesting sights of its own.

    One of them is the Neo-Gothic parish church, Johanneskirche. It was built 1895-98 according to plans of Theodor Quentin. The ground-plan is that of a Greek cross, has a centralizing appearance and impresses the visitor with its unconventional materials and decoration, foreshadowing Art Nouveau style, so the fresco at the triumphal arch by Sascha Schneider and altar and pulpit (caramic products by local manufactures).

    The church is open on weekdays in summer.

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    Town Hall

    by german_eagle Written Oct 7, 2012
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    The large town hall is the dominating building at the Market square. It was erected 1472-80 by Nickel Steinbach under the influence of Arnold von Westfalen's innovative architecture at the Albrechtsburg castle. I had the chance to join a guided tour on European Heritage Day in 2010, shortly after the thorough restoration was completed.

    Most impressive is maybe the huge roof with 5 floors height. The wooden framework is almost completely preserved. Amazing (pic 5). 50,000 roof-tiles in historic rhombic shape were manufactured to replace the old original ones.

    Very beautiful is also the very large hall on the first floor with three pillars in the middle, supporting a massive beam and the wooden ceiling, all originally preserved from the end of 15th century (pic 3). With about 600 sqm it was the largest secular room in Germany in the 15th century. On pic 4 you can see the fresco on the eastern wall of this hall and the adjoining "chamber of stone" with cellular vault.

    If there are no guided tours offered that you can join, have at least a look into the entrance hall (pic 2). When they restored the town hall they found those large pillars and arches on the ground floor and restored them. Originally that was the market hall.

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    Schloss Batzdorf

    by german_eagle Written Oct 6, 2012
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    The complex of buildings that were mostly erected in the 16th/17th century goes back to a small medieval castle. The main house and the neighbouring one that has a large hall inside were built 1570. Pretty much structure of that era is preserved, you cannot see much of it as the Schloss contains several apartments. The families who live there don't mind if you walk around on the grounds, though. Just don't be too nosy and don't enter the apartments (the doors are often open).

    There are often events/festivals in the Schloss. Quite popular are the Pentecost Festival, the classical concerts in the large hall, the Christmas market (3rd Advent weekend), the Baroque music festival (last week of August).

    Worth a visit are also the exhibits that take place in the former chapel from the 17th century (interior modern). The gardens are very nice, too, and you're welcome to spend time there.

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    Schloss Siebeneichen

    by german_eagle Written Oct 6, 2012
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    In 1550 Ernst von Miltitz built a castle in Renaissance style on the hill above the river, about 2 km south of the old town of Meißen. In 1748 the castle was redesigned in Baroque style, the courtyard with arcades was enclosed by a Baroque wing where the entrance now is. Not very much of the interior is preserved; most interesting are the wooden ceilings (pic 4) and the arcades in the courtyard, also the views of the park and the vineyards across the river. Remarkable is that Schloss Siebeneichen was one of the most significant places in the romantic era in Saxony: Heinrich von Kleist, Novalis and J. G. Fichte e.g. spent time here, discussed their ideas and works.

    There is a nice park around the Schloss, designed 1816 - 18/enlarged 1830 - 42, thus one of the earliest English parks in Saxony.

    The Schloss is used as a place for further education for teachers nowadays; it is open only on special occasions, the park is always accessible.

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