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Germany, 6 Days

Saxony - land of castles and palaces: Augustusburg, Klaffenbach, Lichtenwalde, Nossen, Moritzburg, Heidenau, Pirna, Bad Schandau, Dresden and Wechselburg

Tour-Code:
 GER - 30206


  • Itinerary

    Day 1: After your arrival, drive to Augustusburg hunting palace of August the Strong, who lived in the residence within hunting grounds it in the 18th century as the last of the Electors of Saxony. The palace is also called "Crown of the Ore Mountains" because of its grandeur and beauty. Go on a guided tour of the palace. Continue to the moated castle of Klaffenbach, a charming gem of Renaissance architecture. After a coffee break go on to Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein Castle houses the Daetz center of international wooden sculptures and the world's largest collection of more than 700 exhibits of every continent. Drive to the hotel in/near Lichtenwalde. Check in to hotel for 4 nights.

    Day 2: Lichtenwalde. Go on a stroll through the castle grounds, and then continue to Saxony's most magnificent castle: Kriebstein Castle set in wild and romantic scenery above the Zschopau River. The rock beneath the castle separated from the rising hinterland by an artificially deepened moat. Kriebstein Castle combines features of a tower castle and a ringwork castle on top of an oval foundation. As a classic tourist magnet, the castle and museum offer numerous events. Guided tour of the castle and - if desired - the museum. After the guided tour continue to the Cistercian Altzella Abbey in Nossen, one of the greatest and oldest buildings of Northern Germany's Brick Gothic. Built from 1270 to 1300, the abbey contains a number of Romanesque and oriental elements, however, it was finished predominantly in Brick Gothic style. Depending on today's weather, have a picnic in the Romantic abbey gardens. In the afternoon, continue to Moritzburg Castle in the middle of a scenic landscape of woods and ponds. In the 18th century the castle grounds that Frederick August I, Elector of Saxony, called 'the Strong' used as a hunting palace and magnificent site for and royal festivities. Today's highlight will be Saxony's most beautiful Baroque Rammenau Castle in the countryside. The unique appeal of this summer residence is the harmonious ensemble of Baroque architecture and Classical furnishings. The tour also offers interesting tidbits about the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte born in the nearby town. The castle was occupied by the Red Army in 1945. The owners of the castle von Helldorffs were dispossessed during the land reform in the Soviet occupation zone. Return to hotel.

    Day 3: After breakfast continue to Heidenau to go on a stroll around the Grosssedlitz Baroque Gardens as in the times of August the Strong. Afterwards, go on to Weesenstein Castle, a unique castle with a staircase amazingly contorted and ever winding: on the fifth floor you'll come across a stable while the lordly apartments are situated even beneath the basement. Continue to Pirna, also called 'Gate to the Saxon Switzerland' for its proximity to the mountain range reminding of the Swiss Jura Mountains. Visit to the Late Gothic hall Church of St. Mary built from 1502 to 1546 on top of a preceding building. Lunch break, followed by a trip to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Natural forces gradually molded the rugged rocks, bizarre rock pinnacles, deep valleys and ravines of the mountain range. Visit to Konigstein Fortress, a fortress that has never been conquered and has an overwhelming view to offer. Konigstein is one of the largest fortresses in Germany on a giant plateau 240 m (262 yds) above the Elbe Valley. In the afternoon drive to Bad Schandau to visit Protestant St. John's Church. The church and its octagonal western tower have preserved its original form since 1679. Free time to explore the spa resort Rathen and the view of the Bastei cliffs. On your way back to the hotel drive along the banks of the Elbe River past Lilienstein, one of the most remarkable mountains of the region; Lilienstein is the only table mountain to the right side of the Elbe River and the symbol of 'Saxon Switzerland'. The mountain was first officially mentioned in 1379 as "Ylgenstein". A rock engraving of a cross at the southern foot likely also stems from this time. In the High Middle Ages (around 1200) a small Bohemian castle stood on top of the Lilienstein.

    Day 4: Continue to 'Florence on the Elbe' Dresden, which gained international reputation due to its history, art collections and restored buildings in Renaissance and Baroque style. On a bus tour drive to Theaterplatz square at the heart of the city, to Altmarkt square and the Protestant Kreuzkirche Church, which is closely linked to the history of the city. Continue along the boulevard leading up to the 'Golden Horseman' equestrian statue of August the Strong, to the restored palace in the 'Grosser Garten', over the 'Blue Miracle' bridge, a bold construction of the year 1893, along the banks of the Elbe River with a view of the three imposing castles of the Elbe valley: Eckberg Castle, Lingner Castle and Albrechtsberg Castle. Cross Elbe Bridge and go on to Bruhl Terrace. On a walking tour go to Semper Opera, commissioned by the influential Minister Bruhl in 1739, then to Zwinger palace since 1722 housing the "Gallery of Old Masters". Today Zwinger palace comprises a large courtyard, various pavilions, vaulted galleries, and the gallery building. Continue to Catholic Hofkirche Church, whose first foundation stone was laid out by a son of August the Strong, to the rebuilt and restored Dresden Castle, to the Procession of Princes and Neumarkt square. At 12 pm a prayer service accompanied by organ music is held at the church followed by a guided tour. Frauenkirche Church is a highlight of Protestant sacral buildings in Saxony and a masterpiece of European Baroque architecture. The monumental central part of thechurch was built from 1726 to 1743. In 1994 started the reconstruction of the church destroyed in February 1945. Continue to Pillnitz Castle and castle grounds on steamboats on the Elbe River. Free time to discover the castle complex independently. An extraordinary ensemble of geometrical architecture and landscaping, embedded in the riverscape and the vineyards of the Elbe Valley. Influence by South-East Asian fashion, the foundation stone of one of Europe's most important Chinese architectures was laid in the 18th century before its conversion into the summer residence of the Saxon monarchy.

    Day 5: After breakfast, return to the airport with a stopover at Wechselburg (alternatively, Rochlitz, one of the oldest cities of Saxony founded in about 1100) for a short stay in the city. Visit the collegiate church, a three-aisled pillar basilica - today a Benedictine monastery church and probably Saxony's oldest Romanesque church (opportunity to a prayer service). Continue, time permitting, to Grimma or Colditz and their idyllic spots. Visit to a local museum with interesting fragments of the more recent history. Colditz Castle was used as a prisoner-of-war camp and is famous the world over for numerous unsuccessful escape attempts there. Hymn writer Paul Gerhardt and his elder brother Christian attended school in Grimma on the Mulde River from 1622 and 1621 respectively. The elector school's documents of 1625 show an assessment of Paul Gerhardt in Latin. It says he is a person of 'not few' talents showing industriousness and obedience. His writing skills and verses are deemed tolerable. Go on a tour of Grimma and visit the ruins of Nimbschen Convent. Continue to a hotel near your port of arrival.

    Day 6: Departure.

    (subject to alterations)

  • Tour includes

    Accompanying English-speaking tour host, coach rides and day trips in a modern long-distance bus, experienced driver, and accommodation in mid-price hotels, double rooms with ensuite bathroom or shower/WC; half-board (breakfast and dinner), guided tours by trained local tour guides, maps and informative material.

  • Not included

    Tips, admission fees, beverages, personal expenses, possible increases in fuel prices.