Christoph August von Wackerbarth was born on March 22, 1662 near Schwerin and came to Dresden at the age of 23. When, for his comprehensive education, the young pageboy aroused the interest of Elector John George III, he provided him with the means to set out on educational journeys to Italy, Greece and Hungary. Von Wackerbarth proved to have extensive knowledge, above all in military matters. The fact that he was also well versed in painting and civil engineering is testified by his work as General Director and Senior Inspector of all civil and military buildings. As General Adjutant of the Saxon Army, General Director for Civil Engineering in Saxony and Governor of the City of Dresden, Count von Wackerbarth was a close confidant to Augustus the Strong.
Wackerbarth Castle (A)
After Christoph August von Wackerbarth had bought 23 field and sloping plots off the local Naundorf peasants in 1727, he commissioned Johann Christoph Knoeffel to develop a Baroque estate following Wackerbarth’s own ideas and requirements, including the manor, the generously laid-out garden with the Belvedere. Two years later he moved into his pompous retirement retreat.Since those times, Wackerbarth Castle has been of double attraction to connoisseurs and lovers of the Mediterranean art of living. The romantic location nestling in the Radebeul vineyards with its production of excellent wines and sparkling wines provides pleasure to all senses. Enjoy a delicious meal with a home-grown wine at our restaurant and embark on a thrilling tour of the wine and sparkling wine manufactory. At the end, you can find anything on wine and its pleasure while taking a relaxed stroll through the winery market. There you will also find interesting details about the Count in an exhibition on show until October 31. At the annual exhibition of Wackerbarth Castle, you may have a look into the original edition of the Count’s biography published in 1738.
Further to Station B – Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden, approx. 30km
Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden (B)
The Count had actually had plans for his retirement seat in Grosssedlitz. In 1719, he assigned Saxon master-builder Knoeffel to build a palace with garden near Pirna. The castle was completed In 1720 and the Upper Orangery in 1721. This seemed to have left an impression: since shortly after, in 1723, Augustus the Strong bought the castle and garden off the Count by way of a secret contract. Count Wackerbarth remained the official principal-builder, but conversions became necessary for a new concept to adequately celebrate the feast of the Polish Order of the White Eagle.
During a walk around the garden estate, more than 60 sculptures can be admired, including the figure groups of the »Four Seasons«, the »Four Continents« and the »Four Elements«.
Further to Station C – Koenigstein Fortress, approx. 16km
Koenigstein Fortress (C)
From 1718 on, Count von Wackerbarth also held the office as High Commander of Koenigstein Fortress. Competing with the Elector from the Palatinate, the Count had the giant Koenigstein wine barrel built in 1725 that could hold 238,600 liters. Since 2011, interested visitors have had the chance to explore the unusual replica during a guided tour starting daily at 1pm: it is an installation of light, glass, steel and music in commemoration of what used to be the world’s largest wine barrel. Wines form the Saxon State Winery of Wackerbarth Castle are served for refreshment.
Further to Station D – Stolpen Castle: approx. 28 km
Stolpen Castle (D)
Count von Wackerbarth was also the commander-in-chief for Stolpen Castle.
His term of office also saw the incarceration of Countess Cosel. The mistress once favoured by Augustus the Strong had turned into a political threat to the Elector and King of Poland and was therefore held captive at Stolpen for almost 50 years until her death. Count von Wackerbarth is said to have been a true gentleman having conceded arrest privileges to her behind Augustus the Strong’s back. Even today, visitors will enjoy breathtaking views from Countess Cosel’s chambers out to Upper Lusatia and also to Saxon Switzerland.