Albrechtsburg Castle (Germany)
In the year 929 King Henry I built a wooden weir on a rock above the Elbe. This made Meissen the center of the border marker of the same name against the still Slavic areas of the East. The Margrave ruled the entire Mark Meissen and resided in the predecessor building of the Albrechtsburg, which went down in history as the "cradle of Saxony".
On behalf of brothers Ernst and Albrecht von Wettin, who ruled in Saxony, a late-Gothic palace was built between 1471 and 1524: the Albrechtsburg Meissen. The new residence was to become a representative administrative center and at the same time a residential castle. So it was less a defensive system than a castle - the first of German architectural history.
Arnold von Westfalen was commissioned to design a generously proportioned new building as newly appointed Landesmeistermeister. Because of the steep Elbe slope, the basement had to be led over two floors, followed by the ground floor and three upper floors. Especially the sophisticated lighting through the curtained arched windows and the cell vaulting used throughout the castle was an architectural novelty. A masterpiece of staircase construction is the Great Wendelstein, a staircase of curved steps that wind around a filigree dissolved spindle. Another innovative feature of the castle was the walls that grew upwards and a number of technical installations, such as the chimney-pulls, some of which are in the walls.
The Albrechtsburg Meissen, however, should never be used in its intended function, because even during the construction of the brothers divided the Wettin territory. Occasionally there were receptions or hunting parties, but mostly the castle was empty. It was not until August the Strong that Albrechtsburg took active part in 1710 - as Europe's first porcelain manufactory.
For 153 years, porcelain was produced at the Albrechtsburg Castle until the production facility disappeared from the Gothic rooms in 1863. An extensive restoration was to restore the original gothic appearance and eliminate the massive damage caused by its use as a manufactory.