Castles, baroque gardens, monuments - Saxony is rich in natural and cultural treasures. Visitors can explore this cultural heritage at their leisure and in beautiful surroundings. We present 12 of these fascinating places.

Liebethal reason

Robert Sterl House

Käthe Kollwitz House

Garden City Hellerau

House makeup

Göschenhaus

Robert Schumann House

Weesenstein Castle

Rammenau

Baroque Garden Großsedlitz

Seifersdorf valley

Via Regia

1

Musical: The Liebethaler Grund and the largest Wagner monument in the world

Even Richard Wagner appreciated Saxony's beauty. On the one hand, the cities; after all, Wagner was a constant in Dresden's musical life. But he was also attached to nature, and time and again the composer was drawn to the countryside. In 1846 he spent his summer vacation in Graupa, where he wrote large parts of his opera "Lohengrin". Today, the Wagner sites recall this time: The Lohengrinhaus exhibits furniture and documents from Wagner's time, and in the hunting lodge his life and work are documented in a modern, multimedia way.

A trip to the largest Wagner monument in the world is especially recommended. For this, one follows in the steps of Wagner, who himself liked to take a hike in the Liebethaler Grund. A monument was erected here in his honor, showing the composer as a Grail knight surrounded by five allegorical figures that embody the elements of his music: the spherical, the lyrical, the Dionysian, the tragic and the demonic. www.wagnerstaetten.de

This is how you get to the largest Wagner monument in the world by train and bus: Plan arrival.

2

Picturesque: The Robert-Sterl-House in Struppen

The Saxon painter and graphic artist Robert Sterl is one of the most important German representatives of Impressionism. On his travels with fellow artists, he transformed his impressions into works of art. In particular, the Volga impressions of his trip to Russia are among the most vivid artistic depictions of the pre-revolutionary period. But his portraits also brought him fame, so that he became one of the most sought-after "documentarists" of musical life in Dresden was. In 1906 Sterl received a professorship at the Dresden Academy.

He fell in love with the Saxon Switzerland and finally acquired his own studio and residence in Naundorf in 1919 - today's Robert Sterl House, which has been taking care of and processing the estate as a museum and research institution since 1981. The paintings of the artist are shown here in a historical ambience, and many special exhibitions offer exciting insights into Sterl's life. In addition, the house, picturesquely situated on the slopes of the Elbe, is a popular starting point for hikes through Saxon Switzerland. www.robert-sterl-haus.de

This is how you get to the Robert-Sterl-Haus by train: Plan arrival.

3

Authentic: The Käthe Kollwitz House in Moritzburg

Käthe Kollwitz was an important German graphic artist and sculptor whose works are appreciated and cherished worldwide. But this was not always the case: Under the Nazi state, her artwork was defamed as "degenerate" and removed from public collections. She continued to work in her studio and created masterpieces that still move and captivate viewers today.

Today, there is only one place that has survived war and destruction and where the artist's personality can be authentically experienced: the Käthe Kollwitz House in the Rüdenhof in Moritzburg. Due to the increasing bombing of Berlin, Käthe Kollwitz fled the city in 1943 and came to Moritzburg in July 1944 at the invitation of Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony. She lived there until the end of her life. Since 1995, the house has been set up as a museum and provides an overview of the five decades of her artistic work. At the end of the tour are the rooms she lived in and where Käthe Kollwitz died. www.kollwitzhaus.de

This is how you get to the Käthe Kollwitz House by train: Plan arrival.

4

Functional: The Garden City Hellerau in Dresden

Today, there are so-called garden cities in many major German cities. They grew out of an idea that was originally implemented at the beginning of the 20th century - as was the case in Hellerau, once a suburb of Dresden, today part of the Saxon capital. The garden city became the outstanding center of the reform culture after 1900. Already in 1909 it was created on the northern outskirts of the city on the initiative of the furniture manufacturer Karl Schmidt, the owner of the Dresden German Workshops for Craftsmanship.

His idea: He wanted to design a form of settlement and community for his workers and employees as an alternative to the high-density residential quarters in the rapidly growing metropolises. Even today, the residential buildings combine a typified construction method with aesthetic demands - to be seen as row houses with idyllic gardens. www.dresden.de

This is how you get to Hellerau by train: Plan arrival.

5

Modernity: The Schminke House in Löbau

Another architectural highlight can be found in Löbau: the Schminke House. Hans Scharoun designed it in 1930 for the Löbau noodle manufacturer Fritz Schminke. Just 26 years after its completion, this piece of modernist architecture, which was considered revolutionary, was registered as a historical monument and finally listed in 1978. It is one of the four outstanding examples of the "New Building" and "International Style".

The implementation is extravagant and functional at the same time. The curved body with terraces, exterior staircase and numerous round porthole windows are reminiscent of a ship. In the living area, the rooms flow smoothly into each other, generous glass surfaces include the garden as an extended living space. The interior design is functional and at the same time diverse thanks to a play of form and color. Today, the Schminke House is open to visitors for guided tours and events, among other things. www.stiftung-hausschminke.eu

This is how you get to Haus Schminke by train and bus: Plan arrival.

6

Poetic: The Göschenhaus in Grimma

Traces of the great poets and thinkers can be found in Grimma. It was here that Goethe publisher and book printer Georg Joachim Göschen purchased a horse farm in 1795 and used it as a summer home for his family. It was not long before the first writers, artists and publishers came to appreciate the beauty of the place and chose the Göschenhaus as a popular meeting place.

Besides the house, it is above all the garden that inspires: The 4,300 square meter Göschen garden is varied, several terraces invite you to linger and there is a theater stage. In addition, Göschen had a pavilion built for his wife in the form of a temple. The beauty of the property remained, the Göschen garden is today the only classicist private garden from the time around 1800, which still exists in Saxony. The house can be visited in conjunction with a guided tour, the visit to the garden is free during opening hours. www.goeschenhaus.de 

This is how you get to the Göschenhaus by train and bus: Plan arrival.

7

Close to home: The Robert Schumann House in Zwickau

Robert Schumann was an artist whose 46-year lifeline runs right through Saxony. The composer grew up in Zwickau, met his wife Clara, also a composer, in Loschwitz and together they shaped the musical life in Dresden and Leipzig. He remained loyal to Saxony and always developed in his environment.

The diverse interests and creative work of the artist couple Clara and Robert Schumann are documented today in the house where Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau. The museum has the largest collection in the world with more than 4,000 manuscripts, paintings as well as possessions of the famous artist couple. www.schumannzwickau.de

This is how you get to the Robert Schumann House by train: Plan arrival.

8

Magnificent: Weesenstein Castle near Dresden

High above the valley of the Müglitz, southeast of Dresden towers the picturesque Weesenstein Castle, which has constantly evolved in the course of its existence. The ensemble goes back to a medieval complex and grew from the rocky plateau further and further down the valley over the years. Despite the extensive reconstructions and extensions, the overall picture is largely baroque, with older Renaissance details as well. Weesenstein Castle is rightly considered one of the most beautiful castle complexes in Saxony, its high tower completing the majestic picture. The rooms of the castle are splendidly decorated, especially the banqueting hall with its precious wallpaper and the castle chapel, which was completed in 1741.

The picturesque picture is complemented by the fascinating gardens. They were designed according to the French model, even the riverbed of the Müglitz was diverted so that it crosses the park and divides it into two wings. Natural water features and a waterfall make it a romantic destination. A symmetrical network of paths leads through both parts of the park to various adventure areas. A variety of roses and flowerbeds adorn the part of the park near the castle, while in the surrounding area, shady avenues of linden trees and paths lined with hornbeam hedges lead to architectural gems. www.schloss-weesenstein.de

This is how you get to Weesenstein Castle by train and bus: Plan arrival.

9

In love with tradition: Rammenau with castle and village center

Rammenau is nestled in the gently rolling landscape of western Upper Lusatia. There is much to discover here, such as evidence of the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who saw the light of day here. A highlight is the approximately 300-year-old baroque castle Rammenau on the outskirts of the village. The former knight's estate was rebuilt from 1721 into a stately summer residence in baroque architecture with classicist decoration and is open to visitors.

Visitors can learn a lot about the tradition of the village and the region in the tourist information in the village center. The building is at the same time a restored old smithy with adjoining blacksmith store and show smithy. Here, old craftsmanship can be admired and purchased, including many products made of linen. Incidentally, linen production has a long tradition in the region, which is celebrated and cultivated annually during the International Upper Lusatian Linen Days. www.barockschloss-rammenau.com

How to get to Rammenau by train and bus: Plan arrival.

10

Splendid: The Baroque Garden Großsedlitz

The baroque garden Großsedlitz near Dresden is an absolute highlight of courtly baroque garden art - even though it was only laid out as a fragment and the palace projects of Count Wackerbarth and Augustus the Strong could never be realized.

With Johann Christoph Knöffel, Zacharias Longuelune and Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, the outstanding protagonists of courtly architecture in Saxony at the time worked together in its planning. Terraces and lawns are framed in elegant architecture - there is much to discover in "Saxony's Versailles". www.barockgarten-grosssedlitz.de 

This is how you get to the Baroque Garden Großsedlitz by train and bus: Plan arrival.

11

Expressive: Garden Art in the Seifersdorf Valley

There is more garden art, which is close Dresden wants to be admired: In the Seifersdorfer Tal, north of the royal seat, the builder Christina von Brühl had an existing stream valley transformed into an atmospheric landscape and refined with art starting in 1781. Originally, the Große Röder had cut the valley into the terrain, exposing rugged cliffs and creating dark forest sections and lovely meadowlands.

Small buildings and numerous monuments finally made the landscape a sentimental scenery of great expressiveness. It is one of the oldest and undoubtedly most beautiful gardens preserved from the Age of Sensibility. Today the landscape garden is under nature and monument protection. tinathal.org

How to get to the Seifersdorfer Tal by train and bus: Plan arrival.

12

Leading the way: The ecumenical pilgrimage route "Via Regia

Pure tranquility, variety and a certain amount of adventure: From Goerlitz a pilgrimage trail leads to Vacha in Thuringia. It is a special route, because here you follow the medieval trade route "Via Regia", the "Royal Road", which connected Eastern and Western Europe. Once upon a time, not only merchants traveled this path; knights, kings and pilgrims also followed it.

If you want to follow in their footsteps, follow the yellow shell on a blue background - the orientation sign for the ecumenical pilgrimage route. There are many exciting stops along the route: Görlitz, Bautzen or Leipzig and in between wonderful fields that leave plenty of room for relaxation. 

In addition, the route passes several churches worth seeing, for example the Kamenz church of St. Just with a wonderfully painted altar room in 15th century decor or the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Even today, people in the old Christian tradition declare themselves willing to take in pilgrims and offer them a roof over their heads for the night. Anyone wishing to walk the entire 460-kilometer route should plan on three to four weeks. www.oekumenischer-pilgerweg.de/

How to get to Görlitz by train: Plan arrival.

Cover photo: The 18-hectare Großsedlitz Baroque Garden is considered an outstanding example of French horticultural art © Sylvio Dittrich

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