Schloss Hartenfels

Hartenfels Castle Torgau

Residence with world history

Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach, Emperor Charles V, Heinrich Schütz, Tsar Peter I and Napoleon – like hardly any other place, Hartenfels Castle combines important historical personalities and special events in a very confined space.

Inside, the castle houses numerous sights, a memorial, museums and changing special exhibitions.

In the first half of the 16th century, Torgau advanced to become the political center of the Reformation. Elector John Frederick the Magnanimous demonstrated his position as a leading secular and spiritual authority through the architecture and ornamentation on the facade of the castle. A prominent example of this representative architecture is the Great Spiral Stone.

The castle chapel was personally consecrated by Martin Luther in 1544. It is considered to be the first new Protestant church building and became exemplary for further sacral buildings. Lucas Cranach and his workshop worked here, as did Johann Walther, who founded the first choir in Torgau and eventually the Saxon court chapel.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the castle became part of the Saxon-Napoleonic fortress and later Prussian barracks. On April 25, 1945, American soldiers made contact with Soviet troops on the heavily damaged Elbe bridge directly in front of Hartenfels Castle. The re-enacted photo of their handshake went around the world and became a symbol of the end of World War 2.

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