Panoramic view of Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland
Bernd Walther

Saxon Switzerland: History Made Easy for Kids

Simone Sever

Attention, parents of little explorers! In the Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland, there are plenty of exciting experiences that will captivate not only children. So, don’t hesitate to visit!

Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most impressive historical fortifications in Germany. The scenery alone, with the mighty cannon-armed structure perched 247 meters high on a table mountain above the Elbe River, is worth the visit. The fortress was once considered the safest place in Saxony. It housed important state prisoners as well as the Saxon state treasury. No one ever attempted to conquer Königstein; it would have been an impossible mission. Today, the fortress has become an open-air museum with more than 50 buildings, providing a vivid impression of history.

A Hands-On Museum

The exhibition concept emphasizes interaction. Children can look forward to delving into the most exciting chapters of Saxon history. They are showcased in the exhibition “In lapide regis – On the King’s Stone.” 33 rooms narrate the changing roles of Königstein: from the original royal castle to the monastery, from the state prison and art depot to the location for film and television.

A child aims a toy crossbow from the battlements of a castle
Festung Königstein GmbH

Child’s Play

Ever wanted to be a castle maiden or an officer? No problem, because children can simply step into these exciting roles and costumes for the tour. This makes history a lot more fun. Operate a virtual slingshot, experience how heavy a real knight’s helmet is, or guess which foods Elector Augustus the Strong liked the most – go ahead! Older children were also considered in the program planning: they can even redesign the fortress in a strategy game. And those who find their way to the audio stations can listen to the children’s choir of the Semperoper Dresden singing “Auf der Festung Königstein” (On the Königstein Fortress).

Two children and an adult woman explore Königstein Fortress with an audio guide in their ears
Festung Königstein GmbH

Similarly, 13 other exhibitions lead visitors interactively through the 800 years of history on the table mountain. On the list are the treasure house with its money barrels, the arsenal with historical cannons, and the Georgenburg with a virtual reality station that transports you back to the Renaissance era.

Guided Tours for Children

The rock plateau of Königstein Fortress covers an area of about 13 soccer fields. During a tour with Captain Clemens or with Max and Marie via audio guides, visitors can discover the 152-meter-deep well, underground vaulted passages, a mechanical “table set itself,” the Jehmlich organ in the garrison church, and Saxony’s oldest preserved barracks, among other attractions. And for a memorable photo opportunity, heavy cannons are ready to pose. Still not enough? Search games, puzzles, and coloring pages complement the individual experience.

A man dressed in a historical costume leads a group of children through Königstein Fortress.
Festung Königstein GmbH

Enchanting Interactive Activities

Whether building a walk-in fantasy castle from thousands of XXL building blocks or getting an impression of the time when the fortress residents largely self-sustained – Königstein Fortress offers an extensive entertainment program for young and old alike. This includes the Children’s Festival in June with sports activities and a magic show, as well as the Fairy Tale Festival in July with fairy tale tours and interactive theater.

Two children try on historical costumes
Festung Königstein GmbH