The former Cistercian abbey Marienzell, today Altzella, was regarded the most important medieval monastery in central Saxony. In 1162, the monastery was founded by the then Margrave Otto the Rich as a burial ground for his family.
The Cistercians' Legacy
When the Lutheran rulers expelled the monks from the monasteries during the Reformation, the Cistercian Altzella monastery near Meissen – one of the most important monasteries in Central Germany – was also dissolved and the grounds subsequently fell into disrepair. Over 1,000 precious books were given to the University of Leipzig. As Altzella was the traditional burial place favored by the House of Wettin, however, the Dresden court never completely lost interest in the grounds. Elector Frederick Augustus III built an early classicistic mausoleum here in 1787. The court gardener, Johann Gottfried Huebler, encircled the burial place with a romantic landscape park. It wasn’t long before romanticist painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Ludwig Richter found inspiration in the mystical landscape, old pointed arches and sturdy gables.
Altzella Monastery Park
Zellaer Straße 10 | 01683 Nossen
Property of State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony, non profit
+49 (0) 35242 504-50
The history of the Altzella Monastery
As early as in 1162, the Meissen Margrave Otto founded a new monastery named »Marienzell«. It was mainly intended to be a burial site for his family.
Exhibitions in Altzella Monastery Park
Four permanent exhibitions inform the visitor about the history, culture and traditions in the former Cistercian monastery at Altzella and the Romanticist landscaped park.