"Weesenstein and its castle" Weesenstein by german_eagle

Weesenstein Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 149 photos

There are so many castles, palaces and gardens in Saxony - some of them are famous and well known (not to say crowded) tourist attractions, others are off the beaten path, hidden gems.

One of the latter is castle Weesenstein, only a few km southeast of Dresden. It is located in one of Saxony's most beautiful valleys, the Müglitztal, at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains. Its setting on a rock above the river adds to the fascination.

The castle was first mentioned in 1318 as a property of the counts of Dohna, in 1406 the counts of Bünau became the owners. In 1575 the change from a fortified castle to a residential castle started. After devastations by Swedish troops in the 30-year war it was reconstructed in the 18th century. In 1830 it was bought by the Saxon Royal family. It became the favourite place of Prince Johann, later King Johann (1801 - 73), well-known as translator of Dante Alighieri's "Divina Commedia" into German under the pseudonym "Philaletes".

A specialty of the castle is that - due to its history - the residential apartments and representation halls are located at lower floors than the stables, the kitchen etc. - the castle was constructed from the upper to the lower level over centuries.

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In August 2002 a terrible flood hit Saxony. Within 24 hours about 400 litres (16 inches) of rain fell on the main crest of the Erzgebirge mountains. The flood devastated the villages and towns down the valleys.

The small town Weesenstein experienced the worst case. Dozens of houses were destroyed, some people died. In dramatic rescue operations many inhabitants could be rescued. But their homes - houses and households - were lost. Due to its location high upon the hill the castle was not affected, only the garden was devastated.

When visiting Weesenstein today you will rarely find traces of that horrible flood. You will just wonder about the empty places to both sides of the river. Just imagine that there were houses on those grounds - until the flood came.

  • Intro Updated May 18, 2013
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Reviews (15)

Comments (13)

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    A beautiful place in summer and winter! I like the ceiling of the chapel.

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    I remember that flood. It was so odd for The Netherlands to have the danger of water coming from the east, instead of from the sea. The dilemma currently is that the sluices at Haringvliet (I can see this body of water from my window right now and the sluices themselves are also very near) are to be opened slightly, partly to prevent such floods happening in France and Germany. However, in doing that, the agricultural soil around here will go salty, thus ruining it. So you see how things are connected. Interesting, huh?

    • german_eagle's Profile Photo
      May 19, 2013 at 2:07 AM

      Umm, yeah, I realise we could have this discussion here. Thanks for the link, I watched it. It sounds like a very complicated matter. I understood a bit of it ... I can imagine how tricky it must be to find a balance between the economy ("The ports must be accessible.") and the protection from floods. Sheesh. And all the money that is needed. From what I understood all the countries along the Rhine came to an agreement, I guess also about finances (hopefully).

    • ATLC's Profile Photo
      May 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Well, thanks for the discussion. It helps me to work on my Hellevoetsluis page (my former hometown Brielle was also a long process) and this topic is interesting to share. Especially since I live 50 metres from the Haringvliet (water, not the dam).

  • ronaldpk's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2007 at 6:40 AM

    I wonder if the Dohna family is the same that owned the once famous palace in Schlobbiten, Ost Preussen.

  • sandysmith's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2006 at 10:57 AM

    we saw the Whit festival and the wedding reception was held here :-)

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2005 at 12:16 PM

    What an interesting castle and excellent pics, Ingo ! Thanks a lot for the guided tour !!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2005 at 2:24 PM

    Beautiful photos in your travelogues and tips! Have they decided not to rebuild those areas near the river that were badly damaged and might be in danger of being flooded again?

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2005 at 7:24 AM

    You make me more and more interesting in Germany, my neighbor country :-)

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2004 at 9:43 AM

    I have only seen a tiny bit of Germany but thought what I saw was wonderful, very clean and well looked after

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2004 at 1:34 PM

    How interesting that there are both a Protestant and a Catholic chapel in the same castle! And that's quite an impressive antler chandelier in the Knight's Hall!

  • May 13, 2004 at 12:58 AM

    Amazing Castle. Your travelogues prove it!!

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