Altzella Monastery ParkThe heritage of the Cistercians
When the waves of Reformation swept over Saxony the German princes who had converted to the Lutheran faith drove the monks out of their monasteries. The ruined monastery grounds remained and now only the echos of the monks and their activities can be perceived. Such was the case in Altzella, too, after the Saxon sovereign Prince Henry the Pious had ordered the secularisation of the Cistercian monastery.
However, Altzella was the cemetery of the noble Wettin family, thus the royal court in Dresden remained interested in the lands. In 1787, Elector Augustus III had erected a mausoleum in early-Classicist style, while his garden architect Johann Friedrich Huebler surrounded the burial place with a landscaped park in the style of the Romantic period.
The manmade landscape, so natural in its appearance, with its old pointed arches, seemingly fixed gables and broken pillars quickly attracted famous names of the German art world of the time, including Caspar David Friedrich and Ludwig Richter, who found inspiration at Altzella Monastery Park.