© Philipp Zieger

Bear Garden

Short facts

  • Hohnstein
  • Worth seeing, Destinations

Bear garden in the Schindergraben - a place of inspiration for Caspar David Friedrich

The bear garden is located below Hohnstein Castle and was built in 1609. It served as a bear enclosure until 1756. The bear garden, which belonged to Hohnstein Castle, was laid out on the orders of Elector Christian II. From 1609, it served the Dresden court as an animal enclosure for keeping bears that were used for hunting. Occasionally, the bears escaped from the enclosure and fled into the surrounding woods. The bear garden has not been used since 1756. The ruins of the enclosure are characterised by their impressive, metre-high walls, which frame a large archway made of carved sandstone and can still be seen today.

A picturesque-looking ruin, reminiscent of a triumphal arch, with a cascading stream babbling through it: The scenery at the Schinderloch in the wild and romantic Schindergraben near Hohnstein looks as if it was created especially for Caspar David Friedrich. Yet everything is authentic. It is the remains of a facility where bears were kept until the middle of the 18th century. Caspar David Friedrich passed by here during his forays around Hohnstein in July 1800. And of course he captured the motif in his sketchbook, even though the little stream had unfortunately dried up in the rainy summer of 1800.

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Bear Garden
01848 Hohnstein

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