Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Although Saxony has monumental prehistoric structures that date to around the 5th century BC, it is better known for its medieval heritage. From the Duchy of Saxony, to an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire and then the Kingdom of Saxony. Art and culture, castles and palaces as well as crafts and industry are what attract German and foreign visitors to Saxony. The city of Dresden is known as Germany’s Jewel Box because of its lavish Baroque and Rococo historical centre. Since early in the Holy Roman Empire, Leipzig has prospered from its position on two major trade routes through Europe.

Archaeology & History Sites in Saxony

Albrechtsburg Castle, Meissen

Accepted by some as Germany’s oldest palace, this Gothic and Renaissance castle, and the site on which it was constructed overlooking the Elbe River, has had a long history. The first fortress was built in 929 for Henry 1, Duke of Saxony. And it was here in 1471 that brothers Ernest and Albrecht, both Dukes of Saxony, built their residential palace and administrative centre. Although they never used it as such. The Gothic masterpiece became a porcelain factory and in 1863 a museum. Innovative displays give insight into the castle’s complex history.

Zabeltitz Baroque Palace

In 1728 extensive remodelling of an earlier residential castle was carried out for the Imperial Count of Wackerbarth by a well-known builder Johann Christoph Knöffel. Prior to the castle, a medieval moated fort stood here, having been built to protect a salt road. Today the palace is also known for its French inspired Baroque garden, one of the most important historic parks in Saxony. A permanent exhibition inside the palace gives visitors the history of the palace and gardens.

Museums & Art Galleries in Saxony

Museum of Classical Antiquities, Leipzig

Housed in the Alte Nikolaischule, the University of Leipzig’s Museum of Classical Antiquities has over 10,000 artefacts from various Mediterranean countries representing Classical Greece and Rome. Although the collection was founded in 1840 as a teaching collection for students of Classical archaeology at the university, the museum is accessible to the public. Highlights include a number of red and black painted ceramics from Apulia, including a beautifully decorated Apulia Krater.

Egyptology Museum, University of Leipzig

Housed in what was a private bank built in the 1920s, the Krochhochhaus, is the Egyptological Institute of Leipzig University’s Ägyptisches Museum – Georg Steindorff. An important collection of over 7,000 artefacts from Egypt and Sudan that starts with prehistory cultures and ends in the early Islamic period of the area. One of the highlights on display is the richly decorated sarcophagus of Hedbastiru; the object that would give rise to the establishment of the museum.