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Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress (German: Festung Königstein), the “Saxon Bastille”, is a mountaintop fortress near Dresden, in Saxon Switzerland, Germany, near the town of Königstein. The fortress, which for centuries was used as a stateprison and which is still intact, is one of Saxony’s foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

The first reference to a castle at Königstein is from 1241. At that time the region was split between the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Bishopric of Meissen. To delimit the boundary running between the two states, King Wenceslaus Iestablished the castle which controlled the Elbe valley above Pirna. A castle since the mid-13th century situated on a prominent isolated rock in the “Saxon Switzerland” region, it originally belonged to the Kings of Bohemia, passing in 1408 to the Dukes of Saxony. Between 1516 and 1524, it included amonastery (belonging to the Celestines), but it always remained a stronghold and a fortress with its own garrison; the fortifications were always updated and enlarged to meet the latest requirements of arms technology.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings. The Königstein also became the state prison until 1922 for the most important prisoners

Opening times and Prices – https://www.festung-koenigstein.de/en/opening-hours-admission-fees.html

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