Moritzburg Castle is a Baroque palace in Moritzburg, in the German state of Saxony, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden. The castle has four round towers and lies on a symmetrical artificial island. It is named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. The surrounding woodlands and lakes have been a favourite hunting area of the electors and kings of Saxony.
Interior of the castle:
The interior of the castle is furnished with examples of opulent baroque decor from the time of Augustus the Strong. The walls are covered in 17th century gold-gilded leather. Many rooms' furnishings are dedicated to courtly hunting. The collection of red deer antlers is one of the most important of its kind. The castle's largest collection of antlers is shown in the Speisesaal ("dining room"). Most of its 71 trophies are between 270 and 400 years old; they were purchased or acquired as presents. Among them is the heaviest red dear antler in the World, weighing 19.8 kilograms (44 lb) and spanning almost 2 metres (6.6 ft). In the Monströsensaal ("monstrosity room"), there are 39 contorted antlers. One specimen, a 66-point red deer antler is from an animal killed by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg in 1696.
In 1723, Augustus the Strong acquired a four-poster bed for his Japanese palace. It had approximately a million peacock, pheasant, Guinea hen and duck feathers woven into the canvas. Rather than gluing or tying the feathers onto the canvas, they were woven in as weft. Upon acquisition, Augustus had the curtains removed and turned into wall hangings, inspiring the room's name, Federzimmer, or "feather room". This ensemble was moved to Schloss Moritzburg in 1830. Following an extensive 19-year restoration, the bed and wall hangings have been on view again since 2003.
Park and surroundings:
n 1728, a park was added to the castle on the adjacent land to the north. The u-shaped park has an area of approximately 230 by 150 meters. The gardens are in the French style and, because of the death of Augustus the Strong, were never completed. Johann Christian Daniel, Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and others were involved in their initial design and planning. The garden's layout follows that of other European royal courts of the time. During the 19th century, there were rare plants added and the garden was developed into a park in the romantic style.
An 8-arm, star-shaped system of alleys was cut through the Friedewald, the forest on the northern side of the property. In particular, it was designed for royal fox hunting with hounds. The ruins of the Hellhaus ("glade house"), built in 1787 and designed by Johann Daniel Schade, can be found on a raised point at the intersection of the paths. It served the court hunting parties because from here, the so-called "swan keeper" would indicate the direction of flight of the game they hunted. This was done using flags, which he would raise from the top of the building.
Little Pheasant Castle:
Shortly after the remodelling of Moritzburg Castle as the country seat of August the Strong, a single-story pavilion was built just 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) away by the architect Johann Christoph Knöffel. The pavilion's foundation was later used for the Chinese-style Little Pheasant Castle (Fasanenschlösschen) in 1770. Elector Frederick Augustus III of Saxony had the pavilion built in the middle of the gardens. Johann Daniel Schade who had been the architect in charge of the royal building projects, received the commission for the Rococo design. Construction was completed about 1776.
The shell-pink pavilion is located at the end of an alley leading to the main castle. The square building has five bays wide on each side. The high roof has an ogee profile, capped by an open cupola with a pair of Chinese figures under a parasol as a finial. Concealed behind plantings to give the pavilion an isolated ambience, were outbuildings used to breed pheasants for use in hunting. The few rooms, including the elector's study, are furnished with original trappings. The Rococo finishes include murals on canvas, inlaid wood paneling, painted and gilded stucco ceilings, and unique finishes crafted from materials like embroidered silk, straw, pearls and feathers.