History

History

Oldest view of the castle – 15th century; painted around 1700
Oldest view of the castle – 15th century; painted around 1700

According to archaeological finds, the history of Weesenstein Castle began over 800 years ago. As a medieval fortification, it was first mentioned in a document in 1318 as »Weysinberg, dem huse«. At that point in time, Weesenstein belonged to the directly imperial burgraviate of Dohna.

The burgraves of Dohna

The burgraves of Dohna are considered the first owners of the original castle.
The burgraves of Dohna are considered the first owners of the original castle.

According to archaeological finds, the history of Weesenstein Castle began as a medieval fortification over 800 years ago. It was first mentioned in a document in 1318. As a result of the so-called Dohna Feud (Dohnasche Fehde), Weesenstein became margravial fiefdom of Meissen and, for more than 350 years, the permanent residence of the Bünau family (Familie von Bünau).

Here you can find more information about the burgraves of Dohna at Castle Weesenstein

The von Buenau family

Picture of Rudolf von Buenau, early 17th century
Picture of Rudolf von Buenau, early 17th century

Over twelve generations – from 1406 to 1772 –, the von Buenau family ruled over Weesenstein. Guenther von Buenau received the castle from Margrave William I of Meissen for his merits in chasing off the Dohna burgraves. Mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Weesenstein lineage ranked among the most influential and wealthiest aristocratic houses in Saxony.

Here you can find more information about the von Bünau family at Castle Weesenstein

The von Uckermann family

Painting of Johann Jacob von Uckermann
Painting of Johann Jacob von Uckermann

The war in which the von Buenau family suffered severe losses helped a family of commoners to rise to nobility, prestige and wealth: the von Uckermann family. Contrary to the zeitgeist, a woman, Johanna Christiana von Uckermann, wife of Hessian Privy Councilor and Post Intendant General Johann Jacob, acquired Weesenstein Castle in 1772. 

Here you can find more information about the von Uckermann family at Castle Weesenstein

The Wettins

Prince John; painting by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein
Prince John; painting by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein

In 1830, King Anton of Saxony acquired the castle and manor of Weesenstein. He awarded the castle the rank of a royal house. The most well-known owner of Weesenstein, however, was his nephew, later King John of Saxony, whose great reputation up to now is less that of a statesman than that of a philosopher and scientist. Under the alias of Philalethes – friend of the truth –, he created a translation of “The Divine Comedy” by medieval scholar Dante Alighieri, which still in our day is regarded an unrivaled scientific achievement.

Here you can find more information about the Wettins at Castle Weesenstein

The castle lords of the 20th and 21st centuries

Children’s summer camp of the Dresden State Art Collections. Weesenstein 1955
Children’s summer camp of the Dresden State Art Collections. Weesenstein 1955

After the Saxon royals had sold the castle and manor of Weesenstein to the industrial magnate Alwin in 1917, silence descended on the castle. There were increasing marks of decay. Bauer’s heir was not in a financial position to maintain the castle and sold it. In 1933, the National Association of Saxon Homeland Protection acquired the Weesenstein property with the help of donations from the population and, one year later, founded the museum that still exists today.
In WW II, the rooms of the castle served to accommodate numerous treasures of art from Dresden. After 1945, responsibility for the castle and park was with the Weesenstein community. Today, the Weesenstein Castle and Park are the property of the Free State of Saxony.

Here you can find more information about the Weesenstein castle lords of the 20th and 21st centuries

Contact

Weesenstein Castle

Museumsladen

Am Schloßberg 1 | 01809 Müglitztal

Property of State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony, non profit

+49 (0) 35027 626-0
weesenstein@schloesserland-sachsen.de

Opening hours

April to October

  • daily: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

November to March 

  • Tue - Sun: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Closed on Dec24 and Dec25

Subject to modifications.

Ticket rates

  • Full rate 6,00 EUR
  • Reduced rate 3,00 EUR
  • Full rate: EUR 6.00
  • Reduced rate: EUR 3.00 
  • 2 adults and up to 4 children: EUR 14.00
  • 1 adult and up to 2 children: EUR 8.00
  • Group rate (15 people and more): EUR 4.50 per person
  • Group rate for school students: EUR 2.00 per person
  • Weesenstein Castle annual ticket: EUR 12.50 (entitles you to visit the castle museum and to purchase reduced rate tickets for events or guided tours)

Guided tours

  • Audio guide: EUR 2.00

Free admission:

  • Children aged 5 or younger
  • People visiting the castle on their birthday
  • Accompanying adults of severly disabled people (entry »B« iin the disability pass)
  • Tour guides
  • Tour bus drivers accompanying a tour group
  • 1 accompanying adult per 10 pupils
  • Journalists for reporting purposes each with valid identification
  • Holders of the schloesserlandPASS

Subject to modifications.