Sights Close By

History

The Castle Estate

The imposing residential tower centers in the castle
The imposing residential tower centers in the castle

Kriebstein Castle is a combination of tower and ring castle on an oval footprint. The monumental residential tower of a height of 45 m rises from the highest rock cliff. Its late medieval little bay towers and the ridge turret form the unmistakable roof silhouette of the castle. The tower-like gate house, the ring wall with the utility wing, the kitchen building and chapel wing huddle around the residential tower. To the east, there are the Gothic Hall and the rear castle. The end-to-end upper floor from the 17th century embraces the entire building complex.

A castle emerges on the Kriebstein rock

The Kriebstein Room from the 15th century
The Kriebstein Room from the 15th century

From 1384, the von Beerwalde family erected Kriebstein Castle as a residential and noble ruling seat. At that time, they already owned the towns of Waldheim and Hartha. In 1400, the construction of the buildings and the extensions leaning out over the steep rock were completed. When Dietrich von Beerwalde died in 1408, the Kriebstein property fell to his widow Elisabeth and later to his daughter Klara.

Gothic Conversions

The Gothic Hall with its characteristic cross-ribbed vaults
The Gothic Hall with its characteristic cross-ribbed vaults

The second era of importance in the castle’s architectural history began in 1465 when Hugold III von Schleinitz acquired the castle. He assigned Gothic reconstruction and extension works to Arnold von Westfalen, the court master builder and architect of Meissen Albrechtsburg Castle. The utility wing with the New Ballroom and the Water Chamber, the so-called rear castle and kitchen building were given their characteristic appearance in that time. This building effort gave Kriebstein Castle the footprint that is still visible today.

The von Arnim family takes possession of the castle

Historical image of the gate side dating from 1803
Historical image of the gate side dating from 1803

After Hugold von Schleinitz’s death in 1490, ownership of the castle changed frequently.

Only the last third of the 17th century saw a revival of building activities under the rule of the von Schoenberg family. Floors were added to the buildings attached to the residential tower and to the gatehouse as well as the stairwell. In 1825, Hanscarl von Arnim of the House of Planitz near Zwickau acquired the castle, which remained the property of the von Arnim family until 1945.

Neogothic Redesign

Large Banquet Hall in neo-Gothic style
Large Banquet Hall in neo-Gothic style

Court master builder Carl Moritz Haenel redesigned Kriebstein Castle from 1866 to 1868 in neo-Gothic style. Beside partial changes in dividing rooms, two floors were removed from the utility wing. Also, the north fortification wall lost its wooden battlement. A supporting buttress secured the ring wall and the original half-timbered structure of the kitchen building was replaced by a solid building.

The Castle Estate

Drawing of Kriebstein Castle from around 1830
Drawing of Kriebstein Castle from around 1830

In 1930, parts of Kriebstein Castle were opened to the public and performed elaborate restoration works. At that time, Kriebstein Castle earned its reputation as “Saxony’s dream of a knight’s castle”. After the Arnim family was expropriate in September 1945, the castle was at first used for residential purposes and then by the forestry administration. The museum has been in operation since 1949. Since 1 January 1993, Kriebstein Castle has been in the ownership of the Free State of Saxony.

The legend of the faithful lady of Kriebstein

Painting on the legend of the faithful lady of Kriebstein
Painting on the legend of the faithful lady of Kriebstein

In 1415, during Shrovetide, Knight Dietrich von Staupitz and his men took possession of Kriebstein Castle. Margrave Frederick the Belligerent laid siege to the castle. After a long time, mainly the women did not endure life in the castle. Staupitz’s wife begged the Margrave whether at least the women be allowed to leave the castle with the most precious belongings they could carry. When he granted permission, Frederick the Belligerent was certainly on the understanding they meant their jewelry. But, then, he was truly amazed when, the next morning, the castle gate opened and the ladies were carrying out their husbands on their backs. The Margrave was so touched by the artful deed of the faithful ladies of Kriebstein that he pardoned Staupitz, who had actually deserved to be killed.

Learn more about Knight Staupitz.

 

 

Contact

Kriebstein Castle

Susanne Tiesler

Kriebsteiner Straße 7 | 09648 Kriebstein

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

+49 (0) 34327 952-0
kriebstein@schloesserland-sachsen.de

Admission & opening hours

Admission:

  • 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 13.50
  • 1 adult and up to 2 children: EUR 7.50
  • Group rate (15 people and more): EUR 4.80
  • Group rate for school students: EUR 2.40
Photo and video permit 
  • EUR 2.50
Free admission:
  • Children aged 5 or younger
  • People visiting the castle on their birthday
  • Accompanying adults of severely disabled people (entry »B« in the disability pass)
  • Tour guides
  • Tour bus drivers accompanying a tour group
  • One accompanying adult per 10 school students
  • Media workers (valid identification required)
  • Holders of the schloesserlandPASS
Subject to changes.

Opening hours

February to March

  • Tue - Sun: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

April to October

  • Tue - Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat, Sun: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

November

·         Sat/Sun/public holidays 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

December to January

  • closed, except for special events

Mon: closed (except on public holidays)

Last admission half an hour before closing.

Outside opening hours, visits are possible on request. 

Subject to changes.

Subject to modifications.

Further information

Here you can find more information on the history of the castle, its owners and a cross-section of the residential tower