Hartenfels Castle, Torgau

From the moment you step into the castle courtyard, you know you are about to experience something amazing. Hartenfels Castle is the only Early German Renaissance castle still standing today.

Now home to the district administration of North Saxony, Hartenfels was the most modern residential castle in the state in the 16th century.  Over the years, it has been the setting for many historically important events. Some of the many figures associated with the castle’s history include Martin Luther and Saxon Electors Frederick the Wise and John Frederick the Magnanimous. There are also numerous anecdotes involving other famous historical figures, such as Tsar Peter the Great, Lucas Cranach and Napoleon. In the exhibition wing of the castle, the Dresden State Art Collections, district authority of North Saxony and the district town of Torgau have been holding annual special exhibitions as part of the Luther Decade.

The castle’s church, the first protestant church building, the lapidarium in the lower courtyard room and the “Traces of Injustice” exhibition by the Documentation and Information Centre of Torgau (DIZ) are all open to visitors.

The castle’s bear pit is also home to three brown bears – a delight for visitors young and old.

Details

Special exhibition: “Treasures of a Princely Marriage” 30 April – 31 October 2016

Grand ceremonial clothing, including a graceful, one-of-a-kind golden yellow and salmon pink silk dress with gold and silver embroidery and lace, precious ornamental weaponry and portraits of the royals are just some of the items on show at this special exhibition devoted to the wedding, marital bliss and rich legacy of the princely couple, John George I (1585–1656, Elector from 1611) and Magdalena Sibylla of Saxony (1586–1659), who held their nuptials here at Torgau’s Hartenfels Castle in 1607. The wedding was moved to Torgau due to the plague in Dresden, but Hartenfels was not in any way unbefitting of the couple. Royal weddings had taken place here for centuries, often celebrated with parties, tournaments and hunting. At the entrance to the exhibition, visitors can view the illustrated highlights of the wedding and read explanations of the traditional wedding rituals. The exhibition is another highlight in the cooperation between the district authority, the city of Torgau and the Dresden State Art Collections.

Lapidarium

In the lower courtyard room, the oldest part of the building, which is constructed from unique medieval building materials, and the impressive vaults under the castle church, visitors can explore Hartenfels’ fascinating architectural history. The lapidarium (Latin: stone collection) tells the story of the castle through a collection of “stone witnesses”.

Hausmannsturm tower

This proud, medieval tower is Hartenfels’ highest at 53 metres, and connects the late Gothic Albrecht building with the grand John Frederick section, which dates to the early Renaissance. Inside the tower, visitors can explore two small exhibitions on the life of the court jester Claus Narr and the “flood of the century” in 2002.

Opening hours

Hartenfels CastleOpen daily
Special exhibition30/04 – 31/10/2016
HausmannsturmDaily 10:00 – 16:00
(weather-dependent)

Facilities

   

Accessibility

       

Address

Address: Schloss Hartenfels Torgau
Street/house no. Schlossstraße 27
Post code/city: 04860 Torgau