Colditz is situated in the triangle between Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz, in the heart of Saxony on the banks of the river Mulde. It is an ideal start for travelling through Saxony. You can reach Colditz by car via motorway A 14; highway B 107 or bus. Coming on B 107 Colditz can be seen always from far distance.
Colditz Castle with its nearly 1000-years history can look back on changeable times. It has been given away, bequeathed, burnt down, rebuilt not only once and was supposed to defence the town, hunting lodge during the elector August’s reign, was neglected and left by August the Strong 1748. Later on it was used as a workhouse, poorhouse, asylum for mentally disabled people, general hospital, prison.....
High above the town on the rock on the banks of the river Mulde it is today the main attraction for tourists from all over the world. This fame is mainly based on the prisoners camp for allied officers, especially British, French, Belgians, Dutch and Polish, during world war II.
World wide there exist approximately 100 publications (novels, films, reports) on the prisoner’s experiences and their spectacular escape attempts. The most famous of them „The Colditz Story“ by P.R. Reid, is translated into many languages.
In the Escape Museum the „original places“ and handmade tools of the prisoners can be discovered. There is also an exhibition of paintings by the British prisoner W.F. Anderson giving an impression of daily life in the camp. The various „Escape-Stories“ illustrate the prisoner’s ingenuity, courage and steadfastness. Guided tours of Colditz in German and English are offered every day.
Also the Saxon history does not come off badly. In the middle age the Castle had been the residence of electors and an administration centre. During the construction work the restorer found equipment and parts of furniture from this time which will be exhibited and open to the public soon.
But there is much more Colditz offers its visitors. The Market Square framed by original restored picturesque buildings and the town hall from 1657 in Renaissance style as well as the narrow lanes has their own charm. At a sunny day you may take a seat in the street café and forget the time in this beautiful surroundings.
Above the market place you can see the Church St. Egidien nearby the castle. Together they dominate the skyline of Colditz. The imposing building was firstly mentioned in 1286 and is today both centre of religious life and because of its acoustic preferred site for the „Colditz Liedertafel“ concerts, the men’s choir of the town existing already 150 years.
Interesting things about the town and their people can be find in the museum in the Tiergartenstraße.
A famous son of the town is the scientist and numismatist of national reputation J.D. Köhler (1684-1755). His birthplace An der Kirche House no. 1 now houses the Tourist Information and is with changing numismatic, historical and art exhibitions part of the cultural life.
Walking trough the town you often will find the name of Sophie, the widow of the elector Christian. Streets, squares, the chemist’s and the secondary high school of the town are named after her in memory of her social engagement in the 17th century when she lived in Colditz Castle.
The surrounding area namely Colditz Forest is perfectly for hiker-moving in the free nature. From “Heimatturm“-tower, erected 1901 in only 10 weeks time, the view over the town, the river and the forest is wonderful. The legend has it that the bogus bridge proves somebody’s undoing.
Walking in Tiergarten - a park with wild animals built by the elector August for the purpose of hunting - that means relax from everyday problems.
Waldbad, modernised in the 1990’s swimming baths in the forest is a magnet for everyone who likes swimming. It can also be used in chilly weather because of solar energy. Also camping is possible here. In Colditz city - near the castle - there is also a youth hostel.
Enthusiastic hikers use the net of cycle tracks for their activities. The redeveloped spring of the Parthe offers refreshment.
To get to know the region, townspeople and tourists use a net of cycle tracks. Cycle and canoe hire service, horse riding, tennis, paragliding and many more activities are offered here.
For short trips can be recommended the district town Grimma with town forest, a ferry and boats on Mulde river, the „Göschenhaus“ (a lovely museum with a park in the residential building of Göschen who had been the editor of Goethe) and last but not least the ruin of Nimbschen Convent where once Martin Luther’s wife Katharina von Bora escaped from, etc....
We recommend to visit Podelwitz Castle (which is surrounded by water), Bad Lausick with modern swimming resort, Wurzen, birth place of writer Ringelnatz, Rochlitz, Leisnig and Trebsen castles.