Whenever I heard „Radeberg, “ I thought of beer. As it turned that was a big mistake, there is so much more to it than that. For example the Castle Klippenstein.
When we visited Radeberg we didn’t want to miss out on a visit to the castle. And let’s start by saying the trip was well worthwhile.
The history of the castle Klippenstein
The first-ever mention of the castle in a document occurred in 1289. Back then the compound consisted of a stone tower with five storeys of living space, a castle keep, around 40 meters in height, and two other buildings. The courtyard was triangular and surrounded the castle and the outer ward. The tower, called owl- or hunger tower, was erected to protect the castle. Further defences were water, the Große Röder river and the dam at the stream (Hofgrundbach).
Duke Maurice turned the castle into his official seat and hunting lodge in 1543. The building was given three wings and Renaissance gables. Special stairs with wide and low steps were installed that allowed the monarchs to ride their horses into the upper courtyard. It is said that members of the Saxonian princely house often resided in Castle Klippenstein.
During elaborate renovations in 1772, the castle was given the look that we know today. Back then it was mainly used by the municipality. The rooms of the castle have been used as a museum since 1952. Other users were a youth club, a nursery, the head of the Free German Youth and the National People’s Army recruiting soldiers. Today, the castle is owned by the city of Radeberg and with the help of a friend’s association currently is currently being restored to its historic look.
Come with us to Castle Klippenstein
We walk towards the castle. Too bad, the moat doesn’t have any water in it. Due to restoration work, it runs dry at the moment.
We step through the immense castle gate of Castle Klippenstein.
A historic cooperage was opened in the former gatekeeper’s room in 2012. There is a complete old workshop behind glass. It was used in a family-owned business for many years. Visitors can get a detailed idea of how barrels and buckets are made.
We walk across the courtyard, which is reasonably small. The entire castle is quite compact, for that matter. It doesn’t look like one would imagine a castle as a child. It looked more like a fortress to me – massive walls, protected from enemies, easy to defend.
To the back of the courtyard is the owl tower. Due to some construction work, we were unfortunately not able to go inside the tower.
A long ramp leads to the main building of the castle that houses the museum.
The museum of Castle Klippenstein
There have been efforts to open a museum of local history in Radeberg since 1898. A collection of exhibits was built up and shown in different venues. When the rooms of Castle Klippenstein became vacant in 1952 the museum moved in.
The museum was re-designed between 2005 and 2008. A permanent exhibition about the architecture and the history of the castle as well as the history of Radeberg is located in the 200m² of the lower level. A really well designed and structured exhibition. I also liked that the material is displayed in a way that is accessible for children. Even I as a grown-up had fun fishing for cards with symbols on them, opening drawers or collecting pieces of information.
I liked that area of the museum and I learned many new and interesting facts.
Permanent exhibition “Industrial City Radeberg“
My personal favourite in the museum of Castle Klippenstein is the permanent exhibition “Industrial City Radeberg“ which was opened in 2015. Visitors get to learn the ins and outs of the industrial development of Radeberg from the middle of the 19th century until today.
My first thought was – okay this is going to be about beer. But I was mistaken. Beer was only a small portion of the exhibition.
For example, Radeberg used to be the manufacturing location for a company called “Eschebach“ for many years. Eschebach built kitchen units. The showroom kitchens were quite modern for their time and definitely had both style and functionality.
Radeberg set important examples for the economic development of the region. There were glass factories, TVs were built, the automobile industry was located here and computer and medicinal technology were developed in Radeberg, too (an example being the artificial teeth manufactured by the company Keradent).
I was particularly surprised to learn that even cheese was produced here. But what kind of cheese? I found out that the dairy factory Heinrichsthal launched the first German camembert onto the market and gave it the name “Laufkäse“ (runny cheese).
In diesem Teil der Ausstellung bin ich von einem Ah ins Oh gefallen. Nicht nur die Tatsache, dass diese Gegenstände aus Radeberg kommen und ich nichts davon wusste, auch die Optik der Produkte fand ich sehr spannend.
I uttered quite a few sounds of surprise in this part of the exhibition. It was partly because all of these products came from Radeberg and I didn’t have the slightest idea and partly because I also found the looks of the products very fascinating.
A visit to this museum is certainly well worth a visit and is also a suitable activity to do with children. We had loads of fun!
Tuesday to Sunday / Bank Holiday: 10.00 – 16.00
Tuesday to Sunday / Bank Holiday: 10.00 – 17.00
Closed on Mondays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and 1st of January
Other discounts are available.
Tours available upon request.