Manor turned pleasure palace turned Dresden’s most beautiful oasis

Pillnitz Palace & Park become electoral property

Mentioned for the first time in 1335 as a nobility seat and manor, Elector John George IV received the Pillnitz property in 1694 in exchange for Lichtenwalde Castle and Office. When the Elector died shortly thereafter, Pillnitz Palace & Park became the property of his brother – who later reached fame as Augustus the Strong.

Countess Cosel becomes the Lady of the Palace

In 1706, Augustus the Strong left the property to his mistress Anna Constantia von Cosel, where she also resided between 1713 and 1715. During that time, the Hedge Walkways (charmilles) were created. After the Cosel had fallen into disgrace, Augustus the Stromng resumed the lustrous life in Pillnitz and the palace estate. Apart from the »usual« merrymaking and festivities, Pillnitz became the venue of magnificent weddings: in 1719, for example, when Prince-Electoral Prince Frederick Augustus got married to Maria Josepha, the daughter of Emperor Joseph I.

Weddings, marksmen’s fairs and wine festivals – Pillnitz under the auspices of Augustus the Strong

The new elector used the palace estate for any Baroque merriment – for the most important thing: to entertain the court splendidly. Amusement areas, merry-go-rounds and slides were set up and the nobles indulged in fancy-dress games dressing up as peasants and vintners.

Vivid building works are under way at the leisure and pleasure palace

From 1720 to 1724, the Riverside and the Hillside Palaces as well as the Venus Temple and the palace church »To the Holy Spirit« were built by Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann. The Jousting Building, which housed a merry-go-round mechanism with wooden horses and coaches from which the ladies used lances to snatch rings, was set up in 1725. In the same year, the large Monumental Staircase in front of the Riverside Palace was constructed by Zacharias Longuelune.

From 1788 to 1791, Christian Traugott Weinlig attached the residential sidewings to the Riverside and Hillside Palaces and the Chinese Garden was laid out. The Chinese Pavilion was built there in 1804 by Christian Friedrich Schuricht.

A fire destroys the Palace – The summer residence emerges

The former Renaissance palace between the Hillside and Riverside Palaces as well as the adjacent Venus Temple burnt down completely on May 1, 1818. The building of the New Palace in Classicist style, with a kitchen and chapel wing, took until 1830. Immediately form the time thereafter, the the royals used Pillnitz Palace & park as a summer residence.

Almost 30 years later, in 1859, the construction of what was then Germany’s largest cast-iron greenhouse – the Palm House – began. The Guard Houses at the Ha-ha Ditch, the laying out of the Lilac Courtyard and of the Conifer Grove as well as the extension of the Jousting Building to the Orangery followed in the 19th century.

The summer residence of the nobility becomes a museum

Since the end of World War II, the palace estate has served as a museum. It was no sooner than in the 1990s that extensive restoration works began on the wing buildings to the Riverside Palace, on the kitchen and chapel wing in the New Palace, on the Chinese and English Pavilions, on the Hillside Palace, of the »Old Guard House« und on the Pheasant House. Also, the Palm House was provided with glazing. The Camellia House, which rests on rails, was built from 1992 to 1996.

Pillnitz Palace & Park Pillnitz shine in old splendor again

When many restoration works da been completed by the beginning of the 21st century, the Elbe River flood of the century caused considerable damage in August 2002. Eventually, in June 2006, the Palace Museum in the New Palace was reopened with its Royal Kitchen, Catholic Chapel and Domed Hall. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the palace estate, life at court, the chinoise-style fashion as well as the culture of celebrating and amusement in the time of the Baroque. The reopening of the reconstructed Palm House followed in 2009.


Pillnitz Palace and Park

August-Böckstiegel-Straße 2 | 01326 Dresden

Property of State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony, non profit

+49 (0) 351 2613-260