Ever since it became a museum in 1922, Augustusburg Castle has been home to high quality exhibitions – and with the arrival of the Motorbike Museum it also became known as the “BIKERS’ CASTLE”. Other attractions include the Coach Museum, the Museum of Hunting and Ornithology and the Castle Dungeon. Most valuable is the original Lucas Cranach the Younger altar painting in the Castle Church. It shows the electors’ family in front of the crucified Christ.
The Motorbike Museum houses one of the largest and most extensive collections of two-wheelers in Europe. In an impressive 1200 m² exhibition space, 175 fascinating exhibits chronicle the technical development of the motorbike from 1885 to the present day. The museum’s portrayal of the historical development of the Zschopau motorbike companies DKW, Auto Union and MZ is the only one of its kind in the world.
Highlights include the re-staging of motorsports events by means of historical film footage, a sound simulator, and numerous prototypes and one-off models showcasing the history of vehicle technology. Each year in January, August and on 3 October, the museum hosts meetings for bikers and classic cars, turning Augustusburg Castle into an open-air museum and attracting fans from across Europe.
THE CASTLE MUSEUM
In the castle you can explore restored historical halls and rooms such as the Venus Hall or the Hare Hall. The design ideas were precisely given by Elector August. The mural in the Venus Hall is based on the legend of the Venus Mountain and the knight Tannhäuser. It has a deeply mythological meaning and gives the impression that one was inside a grotto-like Venus mountain or in the underworld.
The museum also houses an exhibition about hunting weapons, antique furniture and court garments that help to paint a picture of life at an electoral hunting lodge during the time of the Renaissance.
The Coach Museum
The Coach Museum shows the arduous nature of travel in past centuries, long before the invention of the automobile.
The Museum of Hunting and Ornithology
With its vast forests, mysterious bogs, peaceful lakes and rugged mountains is the Erzgebirge one of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany and is home to a variety of animals. The Museum of Hunting and Ornithology houses 120 impressive dioramas of birds and mammals, more than a few of which are now in danger of extinction.
Scharfenstein Castle is one of the oldest royal residences in Saxony. The castle was occupied and used continuously for more than 750 years, with different building phases shaping its appearance during this time. For example, the keep dates from the original medieval castle around 1250, while the castle’s famous portal was added 400 years later during the Renaissance period.
Today the fortress is an interactive adventure for the whole family. Whether it is the Erzgebirge Christmas and Toy Museum, the “Folk Art with a Flash of Fun” exhibition, or the Castle Museum with its displays about legendary folk hero Karl Stülpner.
Since April 2019 the medieval village at Scharfenstein Castle has been a new attraction. In the former castle garden there are three specially made medieval wooden huts:
Christmas and Toy Museum
The Erzgebirge people survived the first mining crisis in around 1650 by turning their talents to crafting wooden figurines. The Christmas and Toy Museum documents this regional tradition. More than 1.000 exhibits bear witness to the inventiveness of the region’s craftsmen, artisans and folk artists.
Castle History and Karl Stülpner Museum
Other rooms present information about the castle’s 800-year history and the life of Erzgebirge poacher, storyteller and folk hero Karl Stülpner, who was born in 1762 at the foot of Scharfenstein Castle, and still lives on in the minds of the local people. For this reason, he is also called the Robin Hood of the Erzgebirge. The museum shows different scenes of his life, his firearms and adventures.
Lichtenwalde Castle & Gardens
The Lichtenwalde Castle and Gardens are considered to be among the most remarkable examples of Baroque architecture and landscaping in Germany. Although the history dates back to the Middle Ages when around 1220 a fortress Lichtenwalde was built at this place. Different building phases shaped its appearance during the time.
Castle Treasury Museum
The Treasury Museum showcases artefacts from distant cultures, some of which are thousands of years old and of untold cultural value. The museum consists of four different exhibitions:
The collection “Close to the Gods” displays objects from the daily life and the religions Hinduism and Buddhism of Nepal and Tibet. The “Myths of East Asia” section displays treasures from China and Japan which includes valuable porcelain, lacquerware, furniture, sculpture, silk embroidery and graphic art. The “Between the Worlds” exhibition takes visitors to Western Africa. The exhibition “From China to Europe” documents silhouettes from three centuries of this handicraft, which originated 1.500 years ago in northern China and reached Germany in the middle of the 18th century.