Altenburg dates back to the year 976 and it is interesting to dig into the past of this town.
One of the most spectacular events - the kidnapping of two young princes - is being brought back to live every year in the court yard of the Altenburg castle.
The "Prinzenraub" shown in a historical Painting
Many thanks to the Altenburger Tourismus Agentur
The following shows one of the official posters which describes in detail the different stations of
this crime. Unfortunately, no English versions exists and I did not want to change it.
One of the advertising posters of "Altenburger Prinzenraub"
As I found out that variants of the story exist and I do not know which one is correct. The following is one of them:
Two young prices were kidnapped from the "Altenburg Castle" in the night from July 7 to July 8 in the year 1455.
The leader of the kidnappers was Kunz von Kauffungen, an obviously not very nice character. As a knight he loved fights and even did street robbery.
When a war started between two brothers, the Elector Frederic of Saxonia and Elector William, Kunz con Kauffungen was fighting on the side of Frederick. He was captured at Gera and could only get freedom by paying a large sum of money.
After unsuccessfully asking his money back as well as payment for the damages done to his property, he planned the kidnapping of the two young princes.
He spied out the best time for this crime and approached the castle with two other knights and some helpers. Everything worked as expected.
After leaving the castle the kidnappers divided themselves in two groups. Each with one of the victims - Prince Ernst and Prince Albrecht.
Already close to the abbey "Grünhain" Kunz von Kauffungen was recognized and captured.
The other group under the leadership of Wilhelm von Mosen and Wilhelm von Schönfeld was hiding in a cave close to castle "Stein" in Hartenstein. After being discovered they accepted the offered reprieve and gave up.
No pardon was granted to Kunz von Kauffungen and his followers. They were executed in public on July 14, 1455 , on the market place in Freiberg.
The "Altenburg" castle where the kidnapping took place Many thanks to the Altenburger Tourismus Agentur
Today you will find on of the best playing card museums of the world in this castle. In may places of Altenburg you will find many things related to playing cards including a fountain. The reason for all that is that the card game "Skat" was invented in Altenburg around 1813 and playing cards have been produced here since 1543.
The market square - many thanks to the Altenburger Tourismus Agentur
Naturally, Altenburg has more to offer. Just visit a tourist office, collect information and ask for actual events. Eventually you are interested in joining one of the guided tours. Some of them look very promising and include lunch, liqueur tasting and typical gift from Altenburg.
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