Skip to content

Sonnenstein Fortress in Pirna

The Sonnenstein Fortress in Pirna, Saxony, Germany, was built in 1241 as a castle and played a significant historical role. With its strategic location on a mountain plateau, it was able to control the surrounding region. The Gothic architectural style of the fortress is complemented by Renaissance elements. The thick walls and imposing towers convey strength and grandeur. Throughout its history, the fortress served as a center of power for the Electors of Saxony and was a residence for nobles. During World War II, it was used as a psychiatric clinic and later as a “euthanasia center”. Today, it houses a museum and offers visitors a breathtaking view of the city and the landscape.

The Sonnenstein Fortress, originally built as a castle in the year 1241, overlooks the town of Pirna in Saxony, Germany. It represents a remarkable testimony of medieval architecture and has played many significant roles throughout its history. Thanks to its location on a mountain plateau, it provided an optimal strategic position and allowed control over the surrounding region.

Although the architectural style of the Sonnenstein Fortress is mainly Gothic, there are also Renaissance elements. The thick stone walls and impressive towers convey a sense of strength and grandeur. The versatile structure with various buildings and courtyards attests to the craftsmanship of its builders.

From 1307 to 1485, the Sonnenstein Fortress served as an important center of power and was of great political and military significance to the Electors of Saxony. Throughout its history, it was a residence for numerous nobles who left their mark on the history of the fortress. However, as correctly noted, there is no evidence that Augustus the Strong used it as a residence.

A particularly dark chapter in its history unfolded during World War II. Between 1940 and 1941, it served as a psychiatric clinic before being converted by the Nazis into a “euthanasia center.” Hundreds of people with mental and physical disabilities were murdered here. This horrific episode serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

Today, the Sonnenstein Fortress serves cultural purposes and houses a museum documenting the eventful history of the site and its inhabitants. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the historical chambers and admire valuable artifacts in the exhibition areas. Another highlight is the breathtaking view over Pirna and the picturesque landscape of Saxony.

The exact address is:
Sonnenstein Castle
Schloßhof 2/4
01796 Pirna
Saxony, Germany

The GPS coordinates are:
Latitude: 50.9610834
Longitude: 13.9439451

You can find the homepage at:

Photo: Norbert Kaiser
License: CC BY-SA 3.0


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Sonnenstein Fortress in Pirna”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *