Augustus the Strong conceived Schloss Pillnitz as a love nest in which to dally with his mistress, the Countess of Cosel, an easy 10km southeast of court. But when their affair soured, Anna Constantia got the boot and in the early 1720s Augustus turned to his favourite architect, the Zwinger’s Pöppelmann, to create a Versailles-inspired retreat spiced with a pinch of Oriental mystery; this was, remember, a ruler who admired the autocratic rule (and porcelain) of Chinese emperors. The complex’s first two palaces – the Wasserburg, erected on the river bank in an allusion to Venice, and Bergpalais – either side of a courtyard garden appear unexpectedly exotic in such a Middle European landscape; Baroque rooflines swoop to pagoda points and beneath the lintels are fanciful (and none too accurate) Oriental scenes.

 

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month