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fieryfox Meissen - A travel report by Farizan
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Meissen,  Germany - flag Germany -  Sachsen
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fieryfox's travel reports

Mesmerising Meissen

  9 votes
Page: 1 2

The home of Europe's first porcelain manufacture is also a wine-growing town of considerable architectural beauty, although rather run-down after decades of post-war neglect.

Meissen from the Railway Station
Meissen from the Railway Station

At the confluence of the Elbe river and its Triebisch and Meisa tributaries, Meissen was founded in the 10th century as part of Germany's earliest eastward expansion.

Coming from Dresden past the vineyards on Highway 6, stop on the bridge for a first view of the Albrechtsburg citadel dominating the town. The triangle of castle, cathedral and episcopal buildings forms a splendid late-Gothic ensemble. The distinctive feature of the castle's western façade is the massive Wendelstein, a spiral staircase cut from one solid stone block. The fortress served as Meissen's porcelain factory until 1864.

Favourite spots:
Old Market Place - view from outside the Frauenkirche
Old Market Place - view from outside the Frauenkirche

In the twin-spired cathedral (1290), be sure to see the magnificent 13th-century statues by the renowned sculptors of Naumburg. In the choir are Emperor Otto I, his smiling wife Adelheid, St John and St Donatus, and in the Octagonal Chapel, Mary and Child with John the Baptist and a church deacon. The Naumburg masters also carved the rood screen. Notice, too, on the high altar, a fine 16th-century Adoration of the Magi painted by a Netherlands artist. The Crucifixion (1526) on the lay altar in front of the rood screen is attributed to Lucas Cranach's workshop.

The Domherrenhöfe, an attractive group of houses to the right of the cathedral, dates from the 15th to 18th centuries. The baroque decoration on No. 9 is probably the work of its 18th-century owner, Johann Joachim Kändler, master designer for Meissen porcelain.

Down by the market-place, the belfry of the 15th-century Frauenkirche boasts a porcelain bell, fashioned in 1929, with a leather-bound clapper. Nearby, admire the gables of the 16th-century Renaissance Brewery (Brauhaus) and visit the ivy-covered Vincenz Richter wine tavern.

What's really great:
Meissen Procelain
Meissen Procelain

Meissen's Porcelain
The Meissen Porcelain Factory (Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur) has its showrooms at Talstrasse (formerly Leninallee) 9.

A guided tour explains the time-honoured manufacturing process with craftsmen at work. Locally quarried kaolin, fine white china clay, and russet-coloured feldspar are modelled on a potter's wheel that is still foot-propelled to control the speed for complicated forms.

For Meissen's famous cobalt blue, the porous porcelain sucks up the paint, which is at first grey-green and then, after firing and glazing, achieves the distinctive hue.

Ferry Station by Elbe River
Ferry Station by Elbe River

From Albrechtsburg its possible to see the Elbe River and the Ferry Station. Its a very beautiful view of the surrounding landscapes around Meissen.

Albrechtsburg und Dom
Albrechtsburg und Dom

Mercure Grand Hotel Meissen
Hafenstrasse 27-31
Meissen, Saxony 01662, Germany
General price range: EUR 76 - 113

Minotel Ross
Grossenhainer Strasse 9
Meissen, Saxony DE - 01662, Germany
General price range: EUR 56 - 112

Akzent Hotel Andree
Ferdinandstrasse 2
Meissen, Saxony 01662, Germany
General price range: EUR 56 - 97


Historisches Gasthaus
Krauses Laubenhöhe
01689 Weinböhla bei Meissen - Köhlerstr.77
Tel: +49 (0) 35243 36183

Hotel Restaurant
Mercure Parkhotel - Die Villa

01662 Meissen Niederfähre - Hafenstr. 27-31
Tel: +49 (0) 3521 72250

Other recommendations:
Der Buchstabenstein .. find the 26 alphabets
Der Buchstabenstein .. find the 26 alphabets

The "Wein Weg" Cruise
Another intresting way to get to Meissen is by Ferry from Dresden. There are scenic tours called the "Wine Weg" or the "Elbe Weg". These tours focus on the Wine production areas along the River Elbe.

There are many historical areas to be observed including some of the most beautiful castles made by King Augustus the Strong. Sitting on the top deck of the Ferry is recommend for best view and a memorable experience.

Der Buchstabenstein
Something of a interest that I found is the Barock Monogram called the Buchstabenstein. It is somewhat of a curiosity in Meissen. It is said that from the monogram, it is possible to trace all 26 alphabets.
Its definately a good puzzle to solve on a lazy summer afternoon. If you cannot find the answers, don't forget to buy some postcards that reveal all the alphabets you could not find!

Published on Monday September 6th, 2004

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