The town of Colditz with its famous castle on the banks of the Mulde River was the scene of historical events.
Due to a convenient location on intersecting trade routes and the river crossing, a merchant's settlement was built in the 12th century below the former castle complex, which is enthroned high on the rock. Throughout the years, crafts and trade developed and the city expanded as a result of commercial growth. With the residence of the court of Saxony in Colditz around 1600, the palace and city increasingly received modern features. The splendid Renaissance-style façades are preserved in today's city centre and reveal its former stately splendour.
Colditz Castle is usually the focus of interest, but less for being one of the largest Renaissance castles in Saxony, and rather because it was used as a prison camp for Allied officers during the Second World War. Although the camp, called "Oflag IVc", was considered escape-proof, 30 successful escapes took place despite steeply sloping rocks, barbed wire, numerous sentries and floodlights. The escape museum documents the prisoners' wealth of ideas, which often causes incredulous amazement among visitors.
Directly behind the castle is the zoo, which was laid out in the 16th century as a game preserve and has been expanded over the course of about 100 years to a hunting ground and place of entertainment and has been artistically furnished. This makes it one of the oldest and most famous complexes in Germany. These days, the mixed deciduous forest invites you to take long walks.
The idyllic Podelwitz moated castle is popular as a rest stop for hikers, cyclists, water tourists and day-trippers in horse-drawn carriages. An exhibition of cultural artifacts from the last 200 years is on display in the "Heimatstuben für Volkskunst". With its countless exhibits on the history of the German postal service, the corner shops, toys from the past, etc., it represents one of the most extensive collections in Saxony. This "hands-on museum" invites you to get to appreciate its beautiful old utensils and listen to some anecdotes over coffee and cake.