Age: almost 300 years (built between the years 1720 and 1826)
Famous residents: Between 1713 and 1715, Countess Cosel lived in the palace, which at that time was still essentially Renaissance in concept.
Affairs of the heart: Schloss Pillnitz brought little happiness to lovers: Prince Elector Johann Georg IV, brother of August the Strong, purchased it for his mistress Magdalena Sybille von Neidschütz, but both died the same year. Countess Cosel, who was subsequently given the estate by August the Strong, lost it again when she fell out of favour. But it also served as a place of celebration during the festivities for the wedding of August’s son Friedrich August II and Maria Josepha, daughter of the Austrian Kaiser. It was a marriage that would produce 15 children!
Disasters overcome: The high-water mark of the floods in 2002 can be seen on the flight of steps at the front of the building. The ground floors of the Wasserpalais and of the Neues Palais were inundated up to the ceiling. The great fire of 1818, on the other hand, has left no visible signs.
Modifications: In the decade of 1720 – 1730, the old Renaissance palace received two companion buildings, the Wasserpalais on the left and the Bergpalais on the right. August the Strong had a penchant for all things Asian, so his architects Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Zacharias Longuelune gave the new additions their characteristic pagoda roofs. Between 1778 and 1791, the wings were added to the main building and the Chinese Pavilion was built. After the fire of 1818, the old Renaissance castle was replaced by the Neues Palais.
Romance factor: High, because the ensemble of river embankment, Baroque garden, English garden, tree-lined Maillebahn and exhilarating pavilions is exceptionally harmonious. And also because it is possible to rent the small Trompeterhaus in the middle of the grounds.
Horror factor: Joachim von Loss, who owned the Pillnitz estate in the 17th century, unlawfully seized land from peasant farmers in the surrounding countryside. For this, he went down in local folklore as ‘Wicked Loss’, and it is said that he still haunts the palace in the form of a black dog.
Surprise factor: To the west of the Wasserpalais is the Charmillen hedge maze. Countess Cosel had it planted – one of the very few features that are associated with her memory.