Stolpen Travel Guide

  • Stolpen
    by german_eagle
  • 3rd yard
    3rd yard
    by german_eagle
  • interior
    by german_eagle

Stolpen Things to Do

  • Cellars

    Most fun for kids is to explore the extensive cellars. They are on two or three floors, created of sandstone and basalt, stairs leading up and down, sort of a labyrinth. You see a few exhibits, but mostly it's about getting lost in the cellars, finding an exit and showing up unexpectedly at some different place.

  • Seigerturm

    "Seigerturm" means Clock tower. This tower was built in the late Gothic era under the Bishops of Meißen, about the same time as Johannes (Cosel) tower. The gables were added in 1560. The rooms were living rooms. In one of those beautiful Renaissance frescos were discovered during the restoration some years ago (see pics 2 and 3).The first clock was...

  • Schösserturm

    The "Schösser" tower was built 1476 - 87, first as the Bishop's residence, later it was turned into offices for the tax collector - which is what "Schösser" meant in medieval times. The local Schösser collected the taxes for about 80 villages and two towns (Stolpen and Bischofswerda) in the region - quite a job! The walls are 3 m thick. You can...

  • Chapel

    This chapel was built 1355 and dedicated to St. Basilius and Sta. Barbara. In 1401 it was re-dedicated to St. Erasmus. Rich donations allowed magnificent decorations and seven altars for the chapel.In 1559 with reformation the chapel was again redesigned as a protestant chapel by excellent craftsmen from Dresden.In 1764 the mobile interior was...

  • Siebenspitzenturm

    This tower was built 1451 - 76 by the Bishops of Meissen. On the ground floor is an old kitchen preserved - probably the herbs kitchen of duchess Anna.Originally the tower had six corners and spires plus one spire in the middle - so it was called seven spires tower. But in the big fire 1632 it lost its spires. They were replaced by a simple cap. In...

  • 4th courtyard

    This courtyard is the oldest part of the castle. It was surrounded by residential buildings of the Bishops of Meissen, which were rebuilt later for the Elector Dukes of Saxony. I read that the rooms with magnificent architecture were wonderfully decorated.From 1764 on the decayed more and more. Napoleon Bonaparte's troops blew up the buildings in...

  • Cosel Tower

    The tower was built 1509 and got the name of the Evangelist Johannes (John), the patron of diocese Meissen. The tower was an important part of the fortifications.In the basement, accessible from the narrow area between the first and second wall that separates the courtyards, were cannons. Its architecture is a final point of the development of...

  • 3rd courtyard

    The third courtyard was also called "cannon yard". As the name indicates, cannons were placed at the walls. In addition some economy buildings like forge, bakery, stables etc. were located in this yard. Two important towers are still to find here: the Johannis (Cosel) tower and the Seiger (clock) tower.

  • 2nd courtyard

    After passing the Kornhaus (and paying the entrance fee) you reach the 2nd courtyard, built in 1518 by erecting the Kornhaus building.Like the 1st courtyard this one also has a cistern. A bridge of stone replaced a draw-bridge of wood, leading across the large cistern. See picture 2, with ice and snow covering the cistern.Pic 3: Walking on you see...

  • 1st Courtyard

    The 1st courtyard is the newest part of the castle, created with building the fortifications (W. C. von Klengel, see previous tip) in 1675.During a long time the courtyard served as herbs garden for the commander of the castle.

  • Kornhaus

    Leaving the 1st courtyard you enter a building which hosts the main guard room, the former stables, the corn house and the torture chamber.This building was erected in 1518. In the stables you can see a beautiful Renaissance hall with vaulted ceiling, where an exhibition on the history of town and castle is presented.Don't miss the torture chamber,...

  • Ev.-Lutheran Church

    The first church at this place was built 1490 - 1500 under Bishop Johannes VI of Meissen. A fire destroyed the interior of this church in 1723. The nave was rebuilt in Baroque style, the choir remained in Gothic style. Most of the works of art date from the 18th century: the altar (1770), the pulpit and the font (1727).Very beautiful are the...

  • Market square

    The market square is quite special: since the town is built on the hillside the square is not flat but sloped. That makes that it looks almost like a theatre, with nice benches (and a monument for the basalt) under the trees on the upper part, where you can sit and watch what is going on on the lower part. The square is surrounded by nice small...

  • Burg Stolpen

    Perched high on a basalt cliff, Stolpen Castle with its distinctive towers owes its fame to Countess Cosel. The repudiated mistress of August the Strong died in that place after 49 years of imprisonment and was buried in the castle chapel. An exhibition recalls her life and imprisonment. The dark dungeons and complex cellars, the torture chamber...

  • The well

    In 1608 Elector Duke Christian II gave the order to build a well, which was of strategic importance for the castle.It took 22 years for the mining workers from Freiberg to finish the well. With 82 meters it is one of the deepest ones in the world in basalt stone.

  • Main Portal

    The main portal consists of a big gate and a small door by the side. The architecture of the portal is typical for the middle of the 16th century (Renaissance).In 1560 the sculptured Saxon coat-of-arms was added. The two knights are a symbol for the connection of the Saxon elector dukes and the Danish Royals.The tympanon (shows Simon's fight with...

  • Entrance of the castle

    The entrance of the castle as you see it today - Torhaus (gate house) - was built 1675 by the famous architect W. C. von Klengel (Dresden).The Torhaus served as accommodation for the guards (since 1634 the castle had a garrison). The draw-bridge is unfortunately not preserved.After 1874 the Torhaus hosted apartments.

  • City gate

    The Niedertor, also called "Dresdner Tor" is the only remaining city gate. Built in medieval times, this gate was still closed each day at sunset until 1800.


Stolpen Restaurants

  • Burghotel

    The most fancy (haha!) place in Stolpen. It is a 3star hotel (if I recall correctly) with a nice restaurant and beautiful terrace. Proper service, good local food. I especially liked the venison with red cabbage and dumplings.Update: I was back in Dec 2013 for some cake and tea - excellent. The cake was from a local bakery (Göhler) and yummy, the...

  • Bakery/Cafe Am Tor

    A very nice place to have coffee and cake is the local bakery with cafe right at the entrance to the old town. The name "Am Tor" refers to the location by the "Niedertor", a former city gate. They have a cosy, nicely decorated room but also tables outside - you can sit in the shade there and do some people watching :-)Very friendly staff. Prices...

  • Local food again

    Same deal like with the Garküche. It is an old restaurant with basic food, some more choices than the Garküche. Prices are similar.A place for locals.


Stolpen Transportation

  • Cycling

    Stolpen's topography is not exactly friendly to bicyclers: The town is located on a hill with rather steep slopes. And as it is a historic town, many alleys are paved with cobblestones, also a hassle for cycling.However, you can ride your bike in the surroundings, especially along the valleys. The villages that belong to the municipality Stolpen,...

  • Railway

    Another option to get to Stolpen by public transportation is the train. Stolpen is one the train route Pirna - Neustadt (Sachs) - Bad Schandau. The leg Pirna - Stolpen is not overly exciting (countryside, rather flat) but especially beyond Neustadt and closer to Bad Schandau the trip is quite scenic with views of the National Park Saxon...

  • Car

    If you're committed to your car, then you can of course drive to Stolpen. For the countryside around the town including the cute village Lauterbach e.g. the car is a good option anyway.Stolpen is only 5 km from the major road B6 Dresden - Bautzen - Görlitz. From Dresden's outskirts you drive about 20 minutes. From Pirna the road is rather windy and...


Stolpen Shopping

  • Kunsthandwerkerhaus Ratags

    One thing you certainly will NOT expect in Stolpen and surroundings is an Original Erzgebirge manufacture and store. Sounds odd. But it is true. The place is run by Mrs. Heider and her husband many years ago got his training and degree in the Erzgebirge mountains. I am torn about this place - it's more mass production than classy, high quality...

  • Goat cheese

    There is a goat ranch with about 100 animals in Lauterbach, about 2 km northeast of Stolpen. All their products are organic (bio in German). Upon request you can get a tour of the ranch or watch the cheesemaking. In their little shop you can buy other organic vegetables and products also. Opening hours of the shop: Tuesday and Friday 2 pm - 6...

  • Stolpen Hotels

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Stolpen Local Customs

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    by german_eagle Written Jan 12, 2015

    Every year on 3rd Advent weekend (both days) a Christmas market takes place in Stolpen. Don't expect a big market with lots of stalls - it's quite small, there is ONE stall selling Stollen, ONE stall selling original Erzgebirge Christmas items, ONE stall selling Moravian stars ... but of course several stalls selling Glühwein, Bratwurst, waffles, and so on.

    What makes the market special is the setting: Most stalls are on the lower part of the beautiful historic Markt square, some more stalls are on the upper end of the same square, right in front of the town's museum, in which a special Christmas exhibition takes place - including a demonstration of manufacturing original wooden Erzgebirge Christmas items and a model train show, a big hit with the children.

    Music is live on the market, local brass band and local choir. Santa Claus shows up with sleigh and horses, not reindeers. The market is finished with a service and Christmas carol singing (local choir plus visitors) in the parish church. If you are lucky and there's snow - I'd say one out of three years in the last decade - then you're in for a wonderful experience. See travelogue and video!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Museum Visits

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Stolpen Tourist Traps

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    by german_eagle Updated Mar 27, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "Burgimbiss" is the name of the fast food/snack shop in the castle. Not clean, too expensive, awful food.

    Fun Alternatives: Bring your own picnic or go to a restaurant in town (see my restaurant tips).


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Stolpen Off The Beaten Path

  • Helmsdorf

    The village Helmsdorf, only about 3 km from Stolpen's centre, is part of the same municipality. It was first mentioned in 1247 and has about 900 inhabitants. It is a lovely village with lots of old farmhouses, stretching along the valley of the Wesenitz river.There are a couple of minor sights in Helmsdorf: St. Katharinen church from 1473 was...

  • Lauterbach

    Lauterbach is a quaint village about 3 km away from Stolpen which belongs to the municipality. It is nothing particularly exciting, but a good example for a rural place in Saxony. Beautiful farmhouses, well taken care of, a goat ranch where you can buy goat products (organic), and a parish church.The church is small but beautiful. The eastern part...

  • Parish church Stürza

    The nearby village (about 5 km) has a very beautiful church, not to miss if you're in the area. The church is usually open during daytime in summer.The choir is late Gothic style, the nave is from the 17th century. The massive fortified tower is from 1630/31.The balconies have paintings, the lower ones depict scenes from the old testament (17th...


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