Featured image of Burg Schönfels

Burg Schönfels – History & Architecture

LocationSchönfels, Saxony, Germany (Google Maps Location)
Open for VisitorsYes
Rooms AvailableNo

Germany is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating castles. Their architectural beauty and historical significance attract thousands of tourists every year. One such architectural marvel is the Burg Schönfels.

Towering over Schonfels’ scenic town, Burg Schönfels is a testament to a glorious past. Its grandeur and magnificence make it one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. It is open to public events and small-scale functions.

History of Burg Schönfels

Burg Schönfels
Burg Schönfels, by Kora27, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Between 929 and 980 by Heinrich I, Burg Schönfels acted as a fortification above the medieval imperial road Via Imperii in Schönfels. The first owners of this castle are believed to be the Schonfels, an ancient noble family from the Margraviate of Meissen. However, the castle ownership remained in the hands of different noble families and royalties until 1945, when the property was expropriated, after which it became public property.

Different royals and rulers owned the castle across centuries, and despite the changing ownership, it was maintained quite beautifully. After it became public property in 1945, extensive restoration was done while retaining its original architectural beauty and cultural significance. In 1975, the castle was opened as a museum, and since then, it has gained cult status as people have marvelled at the beauty of this amazingly built historical monument. Even today, it continues to mesmerize both tourists and connoisseurs alike.

Several films like The Story of the Goose Princess and Her Faithful Horse Falada and Trapped – The Night With a Murderer were filmed at the castle. In 1995, the castle was taken over by the municipality of Lichtentanne, and since then, it has hosted several events and exhibitions.

Burg Schönfels Architecture

Burg Schönfels Architecture
Burg Schönfels Architecture, by Vwpolonia75, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built-in 1292, Burg Schönfels is a hilltop castle that overlooks the entire town. It is placed beautifully above a lake and stands tall as a structure that seemingly protects the quaint village of Schönfels. Unlike most castles of that era, the core of Burg Schönfels was built on an oval floor plan as a two-court castle complex. From the time it was built till the 15th century, the castle remained untouched. Only between the 15th and 17th centuries did some amount of expansion occur.

The main complex of the castle includes a battlement, keep, outer bailey, an arcade, and a gate hall with a sound hole. A Gothic Plank Room, Winged Altar and some unique European elements make it such a beautifully unique marvel. The castle used to have a drawbridge between the lower courtyard and the second gatehouse. One of the most enduring parts of the castle is its wooden galleries along the lines of the inner courtyard walls that have been beautifully preserved.

The roofs of this castle are quite complicatedly constructed, making it even more exciting. Under this intricately made roof, the castle houses a cosy restaurant where you can sit back and enjoy a meal as the Knights did. It also houses a small chapel that is now open for intimate weddings. It would be like a dream come true to say your wedding vows here.

The chapel of Schönfels Castle
The chapel of Schönfels Castle, by Is-p, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Burg Schönfels Castle Tickets

The castle is operational from Wednesday to Sunday between 10 am and 5 pm, by appointment only.

Tickets for all adults: €5
Discount is available for Singles.

Children between 6-7: €3
This includes individuals with valid ID proof: Students and disabled people with a degree of disability of at least 50% (someone with a valid ID proof must accompany people with severe disabilities). Those with a social pass from the Zwickau district and holders of the Saxon Volunteer Card can avail of this discount.

Family Ticket: €14
This includes 2 adults and 2 children below the age of 18

Photos without flash: €2

Special permission is needed for Commercial Photography.
Wedding Photography permission: €10
Video permission: €10

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about the Burg Schönfels?

The Burg Schönfels was built in 1200 as a fortress to protect the royal family from invasions. It is built based on some unique European architectural designs, and even after centuries, it has retained its beauty and charm. It overlooks the entire town and makes for a perfect location for intimate weddings.

What hotels are near Burg Schönfels?

Many accommodation facilities and options are available near the Burg Schönfels castle. You can either go for a modern, newly built hotel or choose from homestays and old classic buildings that have been turned into hotels.
Here are the top picks:

  • ACHAT Hotel Zwickau
  • Hotel in der Muhle
  • Best Western Plaza Hotel Zwickau
  • T3 Budget Zwickau

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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Nitesh Kuchhal, an IIM Calcutta graduate, is more than an educator—he's a mentor. With a passion for leadership and entrepreneurship, and travel. He has explored over 20 countries. Beyond teaching, he dives into psychology and discusses social issues. Though he is not a history expert, he enjoys learning about it through books, adding a historical touch to his many interests.

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