Forests, castles and lakes
Wermsdorf, which was first mentioned in 1206 in a document, owes its present-day fame to its scenic attractions and its interesting past which has been shaped by Saxon history. The Saxon rulers, including August the Strong, were already using Wermsdorf for recreation. Wermsdorf was officially awarded the title of a "State-approved resort" in 2004. Experience a royal level of recuperation and make use of a diverse range of offers.
The municipality is located in the south-western part of the administrative district of North Saxony. Including its districts of Calbitz, Collm, Gröppendorf, Lampersdorf, Liptitz, Luppa, Mahlis, Malkwitz, Wadewitz and Wiederoda, the municipality covers an area of 105 km². A large part of this area is covered by forests and water.
Various archaeological finds prove that Wermsdorf and its surroundings were already inhabited by people during the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The Kulturlandschaftsmuseum am Kirchenteich (Cultural Landscape Museum at the Church Pond) with its sophisticated display boards in the western Wermsdorf Forest invites visitors on a 3,200-year journey back in time to the past. Excavations, which take place annually in summer, are gradually completing the history of the settlement area.
The scenery of Wermsdorf's two castles is particularly impressive. The old hunting lodge was built from 1607 to 1610 by Christian II. and rebuilt from 1617 to 1626 by Elector Johann Georg I. in the style of the German Renaissance. A three-winged complex with an octagonal stair tower and elaborate sandstone work was built under the architect Simon Hoffmann. Today, the old hunting lodge is home to the local council, the tourist information office and a cultural centre. The historical stables are used by the castle stud farm.
The Hubertusburg Royal Electoral Palace was built from 1721 to 1724 on the orders of August the Strong. Architects such as Ch. Naumann, J. Ch. Knöffel and J. H. Schwartze designed the complex. It is a masterpiece of the Dresden Baroque period and one of the largest hunting lodge complexes in Europe. It was once Saxony's largest country castle. Moreover, it was not only a castle but also a Saxon residence. Hubertusburg's heyday came to an abrupt end during the Seven Years' War. It was plundered completely by Prussian troops in 1761. Only the Catholic chapel was fully preserved. The castle went down in European history through the "Peace of Hubertusburg", which ended the war in 1763. Today, two interesting exhibitions in the castle grounds, the Catholic chapel (fully renovated in 2007), the royal lodge, the restored oval hall and a display board tour built in 2011 tell the story of the former residence castle.
An exhibition of a special kind at Hubertusburg Castle tells the life story of Karl-Hans Janke, a patient in the psychiatric department of the hospital at the castle who had unquestionable technical talent, and was an artist, and designer. The association Rosengarten e. V. presents drawings, models and letters – the wonderful world of Karl-Hans Janke in a nutshell.
Wermsdorf is not only worth a visit because of its castles. The forest surrounding the village creates the perfect atmosphere for recreation and relaxation. The extensive wooded areas occupy more than half of the municipal territory. The Wermsdorfer forest is ideal for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. August the Strong commissioned the owner of the town to set up the forest for hound hunting. This is the reason for the extraordinary network of paths in the Wermsdorf forest. The original layout of the paths, which has been preserved to this day, is the basis for a well-signposted network of hiking trails, with sufficient seating areas and resting places.
For the purpose of fish farming, 26 ponds were artificially created around the village. Dams were built in brook lowlands about 500 years ago, and water accumulated in front of them. Together with the Wermsdorf Forest, the numerous ponds promise unadulterated beauty.
Every year on the second weekend of October, the area's most famous lake, Lake Horstsee, hosts Germany's largest inland fishing festival, the "Horstseeabfischen" with the current fish queen and August the Strong. The festival attracts tens of thousands of guests from near and far. Visitors can admire the traditional haul, enjoy the smell of smoked fish, take home a fresh catch or simply try out everything on the spot. In addition, around 100 merchants, small and large amusement rides, as well as a large marquee with a colourful programme, ensure a great atmosphere for everyone.
Unique traditional festivals have developed throughout the entire community. Some examples of this are a New Year's swim in the Luppa natural pool, the Schlössernacht in Wermsdorf, the marriage market in Collm, the park festival in Calbitz, the Knights' Festival in Mahlis, the bathtub race in Malkwitz, the "Mühlenfest" (mill festival) in Luppa and a whole lot more. A special highlight in the town calendar of events is the traditional draghunt which takes place every year in September. This event, in the spirit of August the Strong, is not only for horse and dog lovers. Active people and onlookers can spend an unforgettable day on horseback traversing obstacles or driving past them in a wagon, always following the pack of dogs. They can enjoy a proper hunting break and a traditional ending ceremony (halali) on the Hubertusburg farm.
During the pre-Christmas season, visitors can look forward to an extraordinary spectacle involving the Christmas goose and all the other things that make the holidays special at the Eskildsen goose farm. In a cosy atmosphere across an area of over 1,000 m² visitors can enjoy both live and slaughtered geese, all kinds of goose delicacies, fresh carp and fish specialities, bread, herbs, juice and mulled wine, game specialities, arts and crafts, Christmas decorations and Christmas trees. The Eskildsen Gänsemarkt offers a wide range of products from regional suppliers. In addition, there is enough food and drink available and you can savour a good roast goose on the spot.
Another popular excursion destination is the Collm, which is probably the oldest mountain in Saxony, and its Albertturm (observation tower). With its height of 312 m, the Collmberg is the most striking peak in the northern Saxonian lowlands. In 1865, the Collm was an important station for Central European grade measurement; on the south side of the tower, a columnar granite pillar commemorates this event. There is a wide panoramic view of the region and the Wermsdorf forest from the local Albertturm. The village of Collm is an idyllic setting at the foot of the mountain. The cemetery in the centre of the village is home to Saxony's oldest linden tree. It is an impressive 18 metres high, has a trunk circumference of 11 metres and is over 1,000 years old. In the Middle Ages, the law was pronounced under this lime tree. Martin Luther is also thought to have rested here.
The Luppa natural swimming pool is an oasis for swimmers, surfers and anglers. If you are seeking relaxation you will find not only clear water, but also possibilities for water treading and boating. Also worth seeing is the Bockwindmühle in Luppa, which is lovingly maintained and cared for by the local community.
The local association of artisans and artists of the Prösitz artist's estate in the district of Kötitz designed the "Kötitzer Skulpturenpark" (sculpture park) in cooperation with many helpers. In addition to two ponds and a very old tree population, the park is also home to several modern brick sculptures.
The numerous inns and restaurants in the municipality of Wermsdorf significantly contribute to the well-being of the body with their culinary delights, especially regional fish, goose and game specialities, and an innovative ambience. Diligent and hospitable residents are proud of what they have created. They would love to welcome all guests, whether they are staying in a hotel or guesthouse or visiting Wermsdorf as day trippers.
For further information or individual offers, the Wermsdorf Tourist Information Office is at your disposal and can arrange guided tours, accommodation and event tickets.