Cycling in Germany #10: Meissen

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We’ve left Meissen for the best day weather-wise. It’s already 16°C by the time we set out at 9.45, taking the ferry in front of Elbklause, our “bike hotel” across the Elbe, and the sky is bright blue. It’s 14 km to Meissen mainly along the river. The castle can be seen quite a long way away.

Meissen from the cycle path on the east bank of the Elbe

Meissen from the cycle path on the east bank of the Elbe

Marktplatz, flanked on one side by the Rathaus (town hall) and on the other by Frauenkirche church, is our first stop. We hear the porcelain bells chiming. Unfortunately the church is undergoing renovation so we can’t visit the inside.

The Town Hall (Rathaus) in Meissen

The Town Hall (Rathaus) in Meissen with its sundial

The bell tower of Frauenkirche with its porcelain bells

The bell tower of Frauenkirche with its porcelain bells

We wheel our bikes up to the late Gothic Albrechtsburg Castle. We pass several historical houses on the way. On the right of the gatehouse, I see what looks like a great restaurant for lunch.

The entrance to the Albrech.

The entrance to Albrechtsburg Castle.

Built in the 15th century, the castle is considered to be Germany’s oldest castle. There is a double sundial on the façade which also has a spiral staircase with a Renaissance-like gallery that reminds me of Blois.

Castle façade with its double sundial and spiral staircase

Castle façade with its double sundial and spiral staircase

The most striking feaures are the vaulting and the wall paintings. There is no furniture. There are not many people so our extra 2 euro per person to take photos proves to be worth it.

The main banquet room

The main banquet room

The smaller vaults are most unusual

The smaller vaults on the right are most unusual

A royal wedding for political reasons - the bride was 9 and the groom 17!

A royal wedding for political reasons – the bride was 9 and the groom 17!

One of several porcelain stoves. There are practically no fireplaces.

One of several porcelain stoves. There are practically no fireplaces.

Meissen, of course, is famous for its 300-year old porcelain faatory. There are several showcases throughout the castle displaying a fine collection. We initially thought we’d visit the factory but after seeing the pieces displayed here, we decide not to go.

One of the porcelain showcases in the castle

One of the porcelain showcases in the castle

THe buildings on the right of the courtyard leaving the castle.

The buildings on the right of Dom Platz leaving the castle with one of the sundials on the right.

By now it’s after 1.30 pm but that’s not a problem here. It seems you can get a meal any time. We locate the restaurant I saw on the way up and take a table overlooking the city and river.

The view from the Burgkeller which is also a Romantik Hotel

The view from the Burgkeller which is also a Romantik Hotel

Although the waitress doesn’t speak any English, the menu has a translation so we order pork medallions with chanterelle mushrooms (pfifferlings – isn’t that a great word?) and potato cakes. A bit salty, but otherwise excellent. We had our usual Meissen white wine which tasted like riesling.

Sheep grazing right on the edge of the Elbe opposite Diera

Sheep grazing right on the edge of the Elbe opposite Zadel

The weather is as warm as promised – 23°C. We’re soon back at our hotel, eating Schwarzwald (black forest) ice-cream sundaes on the shady terrace of the hotel restaurant. Tomorrow we’re off to Wittenberg. And to help you locate the different places we go to, I’ve added a Google Map widget on the right.

OTHER POSTS ABOUT CYCLING IN GERMANY

Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Gondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic 
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure  
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany – Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
 
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube –  The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including  Zwiefalten
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
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41 Responses to Cycling in Germany #10: Meissen

  1. What a beautiful city!

    The vaulted ceilings in that castle are exquisite.

  2. Susan Walter says:

    Love the échaugettes on the castle gateway. And you really know you are in northern Europe once you start seeing gigantic ceramic stoves 🙂

    Am I right in thinking the wall painting of the wedding is 19thC?

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      They’re neat, aren’t they? The first time I saw a stove like that was in Berlin, I think. The castle only has two fireplaces and countless stoves.

      I’m not sure about the wall painting. We had audio-guides with an amazing amount of information. When I tried to find out who the people were on the Internet afterwards, I couldn’t find anything at all, I’m afraid. It looks 19th century, I agree.

  3. Thanks for showing us Meissen – it looks like such a neat German town! That castle looks amazing. I never would have expected to see a castle like that in Germany. And the staircase does look like the one in Blois – very cool!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thanks Sara, it’s surprising, isn’t it? The former Eastern Germany is quite different from the west.

  4. priyanka says:

    First of all , I can’t even pronounce the places you have mentioned properly 😀 But Germany , the architecture is just complete magic .

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