On the Trail of Augustus the Strong

A warm welcome to Schloesserland Sachsen. Baroque splendour and elegant pomp await you. On a weekend trip in Dresden or its surroundings you will discover the celebratory and hunting culture of the Baroque era, on the original sites. Walk in the footsteps of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland and creator of the Baroque atmosphere in the Dresden valley.

Visit the pavilions and hunting lodges of the Saxon Elector Augustus the Strong, which were built by the famous architect Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann. Augustus the Strong extends a hearty welcome to you when you come to Moritzburg Castle, the Dresden Zwinger, Pillnitz Castle and Park, and the Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden.

Moritzburg Castle (A)

Moritzburg Castle takes its name from its first builder, Elector Moritz, but we must thank Augustus the Strong and his builder Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann for the marvellously symmetrical layout and Baroque elegance which is Moritzburg today. From a simple hunting lodge, they created a place of bacchanal merrymaking and a stage for spectacular court festivities. The biggest collection of hunting trophies and the most special Feather Room, among others, can be seen in the palace. The palace was also used as a magical backdrop to the cult film »Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella«. Don’t miss a detour to Moritzburg’s Little Pheasant Castle nearby and Saxony’s only Lighthouse.

Details about Moritzburg Castle

further to station B - the Dresden Zwinger, about 14 km

The Dresden Zwinger (B)

In 1709, State Supreme Builder Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann was commissioned by Augustus the Strong to build an orangery in the garden of the Zwinger in Dresden, where orange trees and other potted plants could be stored in winter. Later it occurred to them that the Dresden Zwinger complex could also be used for court festivities. The Baroque festivity culture was not only for the amusement of the court, but also to show off its wealth and sovereign power. In August 2011, the Zwinger Festival took place for the first time before the grandiose Baroque backdrop of the Dresden Zwinger, and brought the story of Augustus and his mistress, Constantia Countess von Cosel, to the big stage.

Details about Dresden Zwinger

further to station C - Pillnitz Castle and Park, about 11 km

Pillnitz Castle and Park (C)

Augustus the Strong, Elector and King, obtained Pillnitz Castle initially for his famous mistress Anna Constantia, Countess von Cosel. When she later fell out of favour, Augustus had the Mountain and Water Palaces built according to plans of the Baroque architect Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann. In these grandiose palace and park grounds, which are directly situated on the banks of the Elbe river, you can find the 250-year-old Japanese camellia, the orangery, and the palm house which has been re-erected in new splendour.

Details about Pillnitz Castle and Park

Further to station D – Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden Grosssedlitz, about 14 km

Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden (D)

Augustus the Strong and his gardening master Zacharias Longuelune planned a Saxon Versailles at Grosssedlitz. But due to a shortage of money the work had to be stopped, and Poeppelmann’s design for a palace in the grounds was never realised. Whereas the original plan foresaw a Baroque garden of 96 hectares, in the end only 12 hectares were built. But even these 12 hectares make Grosssedlitz the most important garden creation in Saxony. Today the extensive terraced grounds, with two orangeries, fountains, and about 60 sculptures is an admirable work of landscape gardening, which tempts the visitor to come and have a look.

Details about the Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden