Wackerbarth Castle (A)
In 1727, Christoph August von Wackerbarth bought 23 field and sloping plots off the local Naundorf peasants. Johann Christoph Knoeffel developed the Baroque setting following Wackerbarth’s requirements, including the manor, the generously laid-out garden with the Belvedere neatly placed amidst the vineyards, so that Wackerbarth could move into his magnificent senior home only two years later after he had retired from his service at court.
Since those times and in a double sense, Wackerbarth Castle has been an 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 at the restaurant, accompanied by a home-grown wine, 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.
Further to Station B – Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden, approx. 30km
Grosssedlitz Baroque Garden (B)
Back in 1719, the Count had already had plans for a retirement home – however, not to be set up in Radebeul, but in Grosssedlitz. Eight years before the construction of Wackerbarth Castle began he had already assigned the building of a castle with a garden to Saxon master-builder Knoeffel. Up to 1,000 soldiers were employed parallel in the development of the area which is characterised by a valley. So the castle could be completed as soon as 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 were performed following Augustus’ ideas. In order to be able to adequately celebrate the feast of the Polish Order of the White Eagle, the layout of the estate needed to be redesigned. During a walk around the estate, more than 60 sculptures decorating the garden can be admired. The figure groups of the »Four Seasons«, the »Four Continents« and the »Four Elements« will be memorable to the visitor.
Further to Station C – Koenigstein Fortress, approx. 16km
Koenigstein Fortress (C)
From 1718 on, Count Wackerbarth also held an office at Koenigstein Fortress. Marienburg Castle which was built in the first half of the 17th century and located at the centre of the fortress held a unique treasure: for a competition with the Elector from the Palatinate, the Count had the giant Koenigstein wine barrel built in 1725 that could hold 238,600 litres. Since 2011, interested visitors have had the chance to explore the replica during a guided tour starting daily at 1pm. However, it is not a construction of wood. An installation of light, glass, steel and music has been embedded into the room commemorating what used to be the world’s largest wine barrel. For refreshment, a glass of BACCHUS wine or grape juice form the Saxon State Winery of Wackerbarth Castle, decorated with the image of the historical giant barrel’s seal, will be served. Then take a walk along the fortification wall again and enjoy the breathtaking views of Saxon Switzerland. Already in the Count’s lifetime those views must have been worth a visit, too.
Further to Station D – Stolpen Castle: approx. 28 km
Stolpen Castle (D)
Count Wackerbarth was also the responsible commander-in-chief for Stolpen Castle. Not only the Hussites, Swedes, Prussians or French have changed the fortress over the years, but also the plague and fires have left their traces. However, the castle has not gained its renown through wars or disasters, but the cabals schemed at the Saxon court, which Stolpen owes its most famous and longest staying resident: Countess Cosel. The mistress once favoured by Augustus the Strong had turned into a political threat to the Elector and came to be incarcerated at Stolpen Castle. During her more than forty years of imprisonment, anything regarding her case was dealt with by Count Wackerbarth’s office. He 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 out to Upper Lusatia and also to Saxon Switzerland.
Christoph August von Wackerbarth was born on 22 March 1662 in Kogel near Schwerin and came to Dresden at the age of 23. The young pageboy soon aroused the interest of Elector John George II by his comprehensive education. The Elector provided him with the means to set out on educational journeys to Italy, Greece and Hungary. He proved to have complex knowledge, above all, in military matters, particularly with regard to the organisation and training of soldiers. The Count was also interested in painting and civil engineering. Under his supervision as General Director and Senior Inspector of all civil and military buildings, he had great influence on the building of the Dresden Frauenkirche and the Japanese Palace. As General Adjutant of the Saxon Army, General Director for Civil Engineering in Saxony and Governor of the City of Dresden, Count von Wackerbarth became one of the most influential people at court and a close confidant to Augustus the Strong. He left traces all over Saxony that can still be seen today. Why not take a stroll in good weather and visit his romantic retirement home Wackerbarth Castle, for example, or Koenigstein Fortress towering high above the Elbe river. Enjoy!