Churches - Heavenly architecture
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains is richly blessed with sacred monuments – from the small, romantic village churches to the impressive Renaissance buildings. Even the great Saxon organ tradition is maintained everywhere here.
One special cultural and historical feature of the region is the preserved organs from local organ-maker Herbrig, which date back to the 19th century. They have left their mark in six village churches in Saxon Switzerland: St Lorenz Church in Altstadt, St Michaelis Church in the village of Wehlen, Maria Nikolaus Martin Church in Langenhennersdorf, Langenwolmsdorf Church, Markersbach Church and Papstdorf Church.
St Marien Parish Church, Pirna
The Pirna Parish Church of St Marien (1546) is the most important sacred heritage building in Saxon Switzerland and continues to dominate the townscape to this day. The vaults of the Evangelic-Lutheran church represent the highlight of late-Gothic vault art. The Pirna illustrated bible presents the most comprehensive vaulted painting from the Reformation period. The ten-metre-high and five-metre-wide sandstone altar is one of the most important pieces of work from the late Renaissance period.
Weesenstein Palace Chapel
The Baroque palace chapel from Weesenstein Palace represents the architectural and artistic highlight of the entire palace complex. Master builder Johann George Schmidt, a disciple of the builder of the Church of Our Lady, Johann George Bähr, designed the prestigious church, which was consecrated in 1741. King Johann of Saxony presented the Evangelic-Lutheran castle chapel to the people of Weesenstein in 1870.
St Johanniskirche, Bad Schandau
The Evangelic-Lutheran parish church of Bad Schandau was mainly built in the 17th century during several periods of construction. Postelwitz sandstone was used to construct the entire church. The wooden coffered ceiling, the single-storey gallery and the coloured windows in the presbytery date from the period of the last renovations (1876/77). The Johannis Church is home to a valuable two-floor Renaissance altar, which was originally built for the Dresden Church of the Holy Cross.
St George Garrison Church, Königstein Fortress
The history of the oldest garrison church in Saxony dates back to the 13th century. Originally built as a Roman castle chapel, the church was consecrated as St George Chapel in 1676. Besides the floor plan, which has remained largely unchanged to this day, the presbytery with its transverse arches and the choir-loft windows prove their age. Following extensive renovations to the Evangelic-Lutheran garrison church of St George, the church was reconsecrated in 2000.