Once the seat of the ruling Wettiners and now a museum, it remains an impressive witness to Saxony's history.
The former palace of the Wettin dynasty is a real gem of German palace architecture. From 1547 onwards, a castle which had been rebuilt several times was transformed into one of the most magnificent Renaissance palaces in Germany. 150 years later, August the Strong oversaw its redesign in baroque splendour, and to mark the 800-year anniversary of the Wettin dynasty at the end of the 19th century there was one last major renovation in a neo-Renaissance style. The imposing building was completely burnt out on the night of bombing of 13 February 1945. Once the Georgenbau building and stable court had been restored between 1964 and 1979, the comprehensive reconstruction of the palace began in 1985. After German reunification, the stump of the Hausmannsturm was given a new spire, the south and west wings, the outer shell of the east wing and the Great Palace Courtyard were reconstructed with stair towers and facades in a Sgraffito design. The final completion of the complex is expected to take a few more years yet. The copper engraving collection, the art library and the New Green Vault were able to move into their new rooms in the palace in 2004, and the Historic Green Vault took up residence in its new premises in autumn 2006. From the viewing platform of the tower at a height of 38 m you enjoy a perspective view over the entire area and the historic Old Town. The stable courtyard to the east of the Georgenbau building was once the venue for courtly pleasures. It is bounded by the Johanneum and the Long Wing (1586-1588) with the famous Procession of the Rulers on the outer wall. A bridge which was built in around 1900 connects the palace to the courtly church, and another to the Taschenberg Palace. This was constructed by August the Strong at the start of the 18th century at the south-west corner of the palace for his mistress, Countess Cosel. Burnt out in the Second World War, the palace was rebuilt after standing in ruin for many decades and since 1995 it has been home to a Kempinski Hotel.