Moritzburg Castle, Germany
Schloss Moritzburg is a Baroque castle in the municipality of Moritzburg in the German state of Saxony, about 13 km (8 mi) northwest of the Saxon capital Dresden.
The original castle was built from 1542–1546 as a hunting lodge for Moritz of Wettin, then Duke of Saxony. Elector John George II of Saxony had it extended and between 1661 and 1671 the chapel was added after designs by his architect Wolf Caspar von Klengels, a fine example of the early Baroque style. After in 1697 John George's grandson Elector Frederick Augustus I had converted to Catholicism in order to secure his election as King of Poland, the chapel was consecrated in the Catholic rite. Between 1723 and 1733, Augustus had the castle largely remodelled as a pleasure seat by the architects Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Zacharias Longuelune, including a formal park, several ponds and a game preserve. The last resident from the House of Wettin was Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony, dispossessed in 1945 by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany.
The displays of many areas within the castle are dedicated to the courtly art of formal hunting. The collection of red deer antlers is considered to be the largest in the world. In the Monströsensaal ("Monstrosity Room") are 39 morbidly contorted antlers, one of them the famous 66-point antler. The Elector's apartments contain excellent examples of lacquer and splendid parade furniture, the silver furniture made in Augsburg in emulation of Louis XIV's silver furniture at Versailles, and Chinese, Japanese and Meissen porcelain as well as fine engraved and inlaid hunting weapons. In the Stone Hall one can visit the antlers collection, in the Billiardsaal (billiards hall) a painting of Louis de Silvestre, and in the entrance hall a collection of gala carriages. The castle is also famous for its sandstone decorations and stuccos.
This is one of the major landmarks in Saxony and Germany. I am glad to live close to this fantastic place. (From Tobi)