Annaburg Castle is a Renaissance castle built in the 16th century in Annaburg (Saxony-Anhalt) and was the hunting seat of the Electors of Saxony.
The present castle was built by Elector Frederick III of Saxony, also known as Frederick the Wise, on the site of an older castle and was called Lochau. It was used from around 1500 as a hunting lodge and retreat villa and had an elaborate garden. Frederick died in Lochau in 1525.
Elector August I of Saxony had Frederick the Wise’s palace demolished in 1571 in order to erect a building on the same site between 1572 and 1575 that was planned as a residence and hunting palace, and as a widow’s residence for his wife Anna. Some of the material for the new building was obtained from demolished castles at Schweinitz and Prettin. The complex is considered an important architectural work of the Saxon Renaissance. The castle was repeatedly plundered during the Thirty Years’ War.
The castle complex is divided into two stylistically different and completely independent buildings, namely the front castle and the rear castle, as well as other purpose built outbuildings supporting the estate.
A chapel in the Great House decorated in part by artists Lucas Cranach the Younger, Hans Schroer and Caspar Perzsch was destroyed in 1874.
What to See at Annaburg Castle
Front Castle The front castle consists of a three-wing complex of plastered brick buildings with high hipped mansard roofs and round-arched gates.
Rear Castle A second three-wing complex with a connected gallery building consists of a kitchen house in the southeast, the gatehouse in the northwest and the large house in the northeast. The construction in this form is characteristic of the palace buildings under Elector Augustus of Saxony.
Stair Tower In the courtyard, with a cavalry staircase from 1585.
Barracks A Neo-Renaissance building from 1880/1881.
Hospital A late baroque, plastered, half-timbered building with a massive ground floor built in 1780.
Hunting Lodge Later the Tiergarten forester’s lodge.
Office Built in 1578 for the administration of the Electoral Saxon Office Annaburg, replacing an older building from 1429.
Something Special to do Here
Try to come during the holiday season for the Christmas market at the castle. Small and intimate, with refreshments, mulled wine and music.
How to get to Annaburg Castle
By Car, about 40 minutes driving time via route 187 east from Wittenberg.
By Train, from Wittenberg-Lutherstadt RB51 5 stops to Annaburg train station, about 25 minutes. Walk 15 minutes from the station to the castle.
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