The Königstein Fortress, located on a hilltop in Saxon Switzerland, near Dresden, is said to be one of the most beautiful fortifications in Europe. A permanent exhibition now reveals its 800 years of history.
The exhibition presents the complete history of this famous rock plateau, starting with its first documentary evidence in 1241 until the present. "We've been doing research and collecting documents for 25 years," says Angelika Taube, head of the museum and historian.
As the 500 exhibits demonstrate, the fortress was way more than just a refuge for the Saxon kings during periods of war. It was a monastry, a castle, a state prison, a camp for war prisoners, as well as a depot for art and a reformatory. In 1955 the fortress was turned into an open air museum. Every year, it attracts half a million visitors.
The highlight of the new exhibition is a model of the horse-drawn coach used during the 17th century by the Elector of Saxony, Augustus II the Strong, to climb Königstein, which literally translates as the "king's rock." The model was built by the British miniatures craftsman Paul Wells, based on historical documents.
ej/mj/eg (dpa, mdr)