European Youth Hostel at Colditz CastleFortress of youth
It has been almost a thousand years since the first reference was made to a castle at Colditz. The fortress on the Zwickauer Mulde is one of the oldest in Saxony. Today, one wing of the castle is occupied by the Europa Hostel Schloss Colditz thereby filling one building with international life behind walls which have not always been witness to joy and happiness.
In 1404, after Colditz had changed hands several times, it came into the possession of the Wettins, who established an official residence here. One hundred years later a fire wiped out both the town and the castle. The following three centuries saw extensive rebuilding and the blooming of Colditz, which came to an abrupt end at the end of the eighteenth century as the court at Dresden decided that the castle was no longer suitable for the times, sold off the contents and paved the way for it to be used in a more mundane way.
The once noble building was used as a home for the poor, as a mental institution and a prison camp. It became world-famous during the Second World War, when high-ranking officers of the western allies were imprisoned here. Afterwards the castle was used as a hospital, driving out the spirit of its inglorious past.
This comprehensive reformation is now over as, thanks to the European Youth Hostel, cheerfulness and hospitality have returned to Colditz. This is why the modern hostel, which is almost as beautiful as a hotel, has become a popular place to stay for visitors from all over the world.