Altenburg, Germany Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe town of Altenburg, 35km/22mi south of Leipzig, a former ducal residence once notable for its fine buildings and art treasures, is now famed as the home of skat (a popular German card game which originated in this area).
Address: Schloss 2-4, D-04600 Altenburg, Germany
Opening hours: 9:30am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: Guided tours take place every hour from 10:00 am till 4 pm.
The Altenburg Castle Church (after 1444) has an organ by H. G. Trost (1738), on which Johann Sebastian Bach played in 1739.
Notable features of the Altenburg Schlosspark, landscaped by Peter Joseph Lenné in the 19th C, are the Tea-House and the Orangery (1712).
The Mauritianum, in the Altenburg Schlosspark, is a natural history museum.
The Lindenau Museum (1873-75) in Altenburg Castle, housed in a building in Italian Renaissance style, has a varied collection - casts of antique sculpture, medieval German sculpture, Italian Renaissance and neo-classical sculpture, Greek and Etruscan vases, Italian painting of the 13th-15th centuries, and paintings, graphic art and sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Address: Gabelentzstrasse 5, D-04600 Altenburg, Germany
Opening hours: 12pm-6pm; Sun: 10am-6pm; Sat: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €8.00, Adult €4.00, Group discounts €2.50, Concession or reduced rate €2.00
Useful tips: Guided tour available with reservation.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
The Brühl is Altenburg's original market square. On the south side stands the Seckendorff Palace (1724-25), and opposite this is a building of 1604 which formerly housed the ducal administration, with the finest moulded stucco ceiling (restored) in Saxony and Thuringia.
The Skat Fountain, in Altenburg's Brühl, is the only monument to a card game.
St Bartholomew's Church
The Late Gothic Bartholomäuskirche in Altenburg's Market has a Romanesque crypt (12th C.).
The spacious Altenburg Markt is dominated by the handsome Renaissance Town Hall (by N. Grohmann, 1562-64). Also in the square can be seen a number of fine burghers' houses.
Altenburg's Rote Spitzen - a Romanesque brick-built structure with one pointed and one curving tower - is a remnant of a 12th C church belonging to a house of Augustinian canons. The building now houses a collection of wood-carving ranging from medieval to Baroque.
The Nikolaiviertel in Altenburg is a picturesque old quarter, with the 12th C Nikolaiturm (views).
In Windischleuba, 7km/4.5mi north of Altenburg, on the site of a 14th century moated castle, is a later Schloss (much rebuilt), once occupied by the poet and ballad-writer Börries von Münchhausen (1874-1945).
The Kohrener Land, northeast of Altenburg, is a popular recreation area with small patches of woodland (Streitwald, Stöckigt) and a number of features of interest.
In Gnandstein, in Kohrener Land near Altenburg, stands a well preserved Romanesque stronghold, with a museum, Romanesque residential quarters, a 33 m/110ft high keep, an outer ward, women's apartments and defensive ramparts. The museum contains three altars by P. Breuer (1502/03).
Kohren-Salis, in Kohrener Land near Altenburg, first appears in the records in 974. It has a Pottery Museum (Töpfermuseum), a Potters' Fountain (by K. Feuerriegel, 1928) and remains of an old fortification (originally Slav).
In the district of Rüdigsdorf is Orangery with a music room (fine frescoes of "Cupid and Psyche" by Moritz von Schwind, 1838).On the Lindenwerk is a Mill Museum.
In Borna, 18km/11mi north of Altenburg, is the 15th C St Catherine's Church, with a fine carved altar by Hans Witten. The Reichstor (Imperial Gate; 1753) is a relic of the town's old fortifications (museum).