Lauenstein Castle (A)
The castle rests high on a rock, towering over Lauenstein town below. It is a gem of Saxon Renaissance architecture. Around 1600, its builder, Guenther von Buenau, had a three-winged castle estate erected there, which has comprehensively been reconstructed and restored over the past three decades. Today, the main castle building accommodates the Eastern Ore Mountain Museum. An exhibition that not only displays hunting arms provides an insight into hunting in the Eastern Ore Mountains. Also numerous trophies and animal preparations are on show. One of its highlights is the falcon show presenting a diverse programme throughout the year. Interesting insights are provided by an exhibition on George Baehr, the builder of Dresden’s Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady, who grew up in Lauenstein.
Further to Station B – Klippenstein Castle and Museum, approx. 54 km
Klippenstein Castle (B)
Klippenstein Castle that was mentioned for the first time near the end of the 13th century, has certainly witnessed an eventful history. In 1543, Duke Moritz had what was a castle back then converted into a hunting lodge. This is still proved by the princes’ stairs that allowed horsemen to ride up directly to the somewhat higher core castle. Duke Moritz liked staging large hunts there, for there was plenty of game in the extensive forests back then. In the second half of the 18th century, the castle was generally designed as it appears today. Since that time, the property has mainly been used as official seats of institutions. In 1953, a museum of the local history was set up. It has been reconstructed extensively and newly designed as the Castle Museum. It has on display historical furniture and weapons as well as evidence of the industrial history of Radeberg and of everyday life.
Further to Station C – Moritzburg Castle, approx. 28 km
Moritzburg Castle (C)
The fabulous moated castle situated in the vicinity of Dresden attracts visitors from near and far. Not only Elector Moritz, but also Augustus the Strong staged large hunts there and celebrated glittering festivities. The castle equipment is devoted to the topic of court hunting and shows many rooms with original leather tapestry. There are more than 70 red deer antlers in the dining room, some of which are between 250 and 400 years old. It is therefore regarded to be one of the most important collections in the world. In the Hall of Monstrosities, abnormally changed antlers, including a 66-pointed specimen, can be admired. Also the collection in the Porcelain Quarter picks up the topic of hunting again. Mainly Meissen porcelain is on display there, depicting hunting motifs and figures of animals, i.e. items matching the original determination of Moritzburg as a hunting lodge.
During wintertime, an exhibition is on show on the castle premises about the cult movie of “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella”.
Further to Station D – Augustusburg Castle, approx. 79 km
Augustusburg Castle (D)
It is not by chance that the castle buildings which can be seen from afar are also known as »The Crown of the Ore Mountains”. Although more than 400 years old, its imposing building structure still makes an impression on us from a distance. Commissioned by Elector Augusts, “the Father”, and completed in 1572, it soon came to be used as a hunting lodge. Some insight into the development and technology of hunting weaponry from the 17th through the 20th centuries is provided by the Augustusburg Arms Collection. The exhibition on game and birds focuses on the castle’s use back then as a hunting residence. With the help of modern information systems and descriptive dioramas, the interested visitor is acquainted with these animals in their habitat. From Easter through the end of October and from Tuesdays to Sundays, the hunting and falconry centre presents its masters of flight.
Hunting horns resounding, dogs howling, horsemen galloping through the underbrush – the hunt is on! And this has not changed over the centuries at all.
In our day, hunting is still of special attractiveness to many – for its closeness to nature, for the quiet of the forest and for becoming one with the flora and fauna. For ages, hunting has been part of the human nature, not only in search for food, but also for entertainment. In Saxony, as it was also the case in many other principalities, the forest belonged to the sovereign, and so did all animals living in it.
If you move attentively and quietly through the forest, you can discover and experience many things:
you will not only hear the twitter of the birds, but you can also read the various tracks.