I don’t really have any memories of the fairy tale castles in Saxony. What I remembered were the photos I so meticulously, almost religiously, glued into my photo albums years ago. I have always loved taking photos and telling the stories connected to them. But this time I no longer had to try and retract stories from the back of my mind. I got to actually relive them. Over fifteen years later (gosh, writing that makes me feel old). I went to see the seven famous fairy tale castles in Germany and they were all pretty much in one spot: Saxony. And here’s how you can see them as well within just three days!
Gold, Feathers and a Cinderella Shoe
I am sure you all know about the fabled fairy castle on which Disney modelled his princely Cinderella abode. Well, you won’t find that here. What you will get instead is a whole area covered in lavish castles that are generously decked in gold and pastel, overlooking exotic botanical gardens and a quaint river (unless it floods, then it’s not quaint at all). And to see them all and experience their glory, I teamed up with Saxony Tourism for this sponsored trip and started right with my hotel: it was an actual castle.
Despite all of my many travels, so far I had never sat in a breakfast parlour overlooking a neo gothic terrace and private wine slopes of a city that dated back to 1206 (at least it was mentioned for the first time in that year) from a room in which a duke had lived. Life felt pretty spectacular at Eckberg Castle and I was all ready and set to go out and explore. The first thing on the agenda was to see Moritzburg Castle. It is a place close to the hearts of Germans as its image flickers over every TV screen come Christmas time. It features in the Czech-German co-production of a Cinderella retelling. And it’s great every time.
Not for those with Allergies
There were rooms with the linings and beddings made out entirely of feathers. High walls were covered in antlers, some of which were disfigured ones, which August had a particular liking to so that he even shot at stags just so the antlers would crook crooked. He was a crazy man. And walking through the rooms and hearing the stories, it all seemed so unreal. He was a rich elector of Saxony but since he had enough cash to spare and ambitions to match. Basically, he bought himself the crown of Poland after he had travelled throughout Europe to teach himself architecture. To pass the time between king duties, he had a harem of eleven official mistresses and dozens of unofficial lovers by his side. To top it all off, he planted castles all over the place.
How did you like this little part of fairy tale castles in Saxony? There are many more, so check out part two!
I would like to thank Saxony Tourism for organising and funding this trip through Saxony. As always, my opinion is entirely my own.