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Schloss Freudenstein

From: Freiberg, Saxony

Schloss Freudenstein

ABOVE: Schloss Freudenstein is at the northwestern corner of Freiberg's town center.

Schloss Freudenstein, or Freudenstein Castle, has been around in one form or another since 1168, when a Otto the Rich built a fortress to protect Freiberg's silver mines. 

The current Renaissance palace was completed in the late 1500s as a McMansion upgrade to the earlier castle, which  had been the residence of a duke and the birthplace of two prince-electors of Saxony. Over time, Freudenstein Castle became a kind of hotel for visiting dignitaries and a venue for aristocrats' weddings, christenings, and hunting parties.

In 1711, Tsar Peter I of Russia stayed at the Schloss twice while learning about mining in Freiberg, but from the late 18th Century until a 20th Century restoration, the castle was used for such purposes as an orphanage, a prison, a military depot, an army hospital, a granary, and a coffee-roasting facility.

Today, Schloss Freudenstein houses the Freiberg Mining Archives and the world-class Terra Mineralia museum. You'll also find a Schlossrestaurant with an outdoor café in the castle courtyard.

For more information about Freudenstein Castle, visit In the meantime, here are several photos to whet your appetite:

Bridge across moat to Freudenstein Castle

A footbridge leads across the moat and into Schloss Freudenstein. There's no need to buy a ticket.

Schloss Freudenstein courtyard

The castle's Romanesque tower overlooks a paved courtyard.

Cafe in Schloss Freudenstein courtyard

In nice weather, you can drink or eat at the castle restaurant's outdoor tables.

Woods next to Freudenstein Castle

The back of Schloss Freudenstein faces woods and a large pond.

Terra Mineralia entrance

Inside the courtyard, look for the modern entrance to Terra Mineralia, an outstanding museum that's organized as a "world trip to the treasures of the earth" with more than 3,500 minerals, gemstones, and meteorites from six continents. 

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