Moritzburg near Dresden is one of the most beautiful castles in Saxony. It became known throughout Europe in the 1970s through the Czech/East German fairytale film Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Gifts for Cinderella).
In keeping with the fairytale, the castle turns into a magical fairytale backdrop during the Christmas season. Starting in November, you can learn everything there is to know about the movie and the fairytale Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella. Being the original location for the German-Czech filming of 1973, Moritzburg Castle lets you peek behind the scenes of the fairytale in its winter exhibition.
There is also a lot to see in the castle museum. In addition to the Baroque Exhibition with leather tapestries, furniture, porcelain and the largest collection of hunting trophies, you can admire the Feather Room with August the Strong's four-poster bed. The exhibition on Moritzburg's kitchen and dining culture is also worth a visit. Focal points are the sensational Treasure Find from 1996, a great highlight is the historical Porcelain Quarter in the former royal guest and cloak rooms. Here you will be shown Meissen porcelain depicting hunting, exotic and mythological motifs.
In the large palace garden you can admire a multitude of sandstone sculptures on the balustrade of the terrace relating to Moritzburg’s original determination as a hunting lodge. At the edge of the castle pond lies the Little Pheasant Castle. It has its very own miniature harbour and the only lighthouse in all of Saxony - which is why, during the time of August the Strong, it was used for many parties.
As early as 1542, Duke Moritz of Saxony had a hunting lodge built on a granite dome in the Friedewald Forest, which was rich in wildlife. Built in the Renaissance style, the castle soon became the centre of the Saxon hunting society. In 1661, under the auspices of Elector Johann Georg II, the castle chapel was built, in which regular church services are still held.
In 1723 great reconstruction plans began and the Renaissance building became a Baroque hunting and pleasure palace. Elector Augustus the Strong wanted to celebrate his excessive celebrations and hunts here. His dream of building the "Temple of Diana" with exotic animal enclosures featuring lions, cheetahs and European bisons was only partially realized before his death. The interior design of the seven halls and over 200 rooms was created by the best Saxon craftsmen and artists. An amazing work of art with great architectural clarity and harmony was created.
It was only around 1800, under the great-grandson of the elector, that the surroundings of the castle were further incorporated into the landscape. At this time the Little Pheasant Castle, the harbour and the lighthouse pier at the Lower Great Lake Baernsdorf were built. From 1933 on, the Wettin Prince Ernst Heinrich used Moritzburg Castle as his residence. Ernst Heinrich and his sons buried some of their most valuable art treasures around the palace grounds. These were dug up again in 1996 and you can admire them today in the castle museum.
- The day pass at Moritzburg Castle is €10 making it the cheapest tourist attraction in Saxony.
How to get there
To get to Moritzburg from Leipzig, take motorways A14 and A4 to exit 80-Dresden-Wilder Mann and turn right onto Moritzburger Landstraße. Continue straight ahead to Moritzburg.
Coming from the north, take motorway A13 until exit 21-Radeburg and turn left onto Radeberger Straße. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit and at the next roundabout take the second exit. You follow that road to Moritzburg.