History of the Little Pheasant Castles

Historische Ansicht von Mole mit Leuchtturm
View to the jetty with the lighthouse

During the major conversions of the Moritzburg hunting castle under Augustus the Strong, a pheasantry came into existence in 1728 east of the hunting castle, which served the breeding of pheasants for hunting for the royal table. Unfortunately, the garden was devastated in the Seven-Year War (1756-63). 

After taking over power in 1768 by the young Elector Frederick Augustus III – a great-grandson of Augustus the Strong’s – the reconstruction of the pheasantry was begun in the year thereafter. Senior chamberlain and boyhood friend of the Elector, Camillo Count Marcolini leased the garden and had a little summer palace erected above the old pheasant house. The architect was Johann Daniel Schade. The building was erected between 1770 and 1776 adopting chinoise forms. It also included aviaries, such as the so-called Yarn House, a well, the alphabet hedge, Count Marcolini’s residential home, wheat barns as well as stables and depots.

In 1775/76, the pier with the lighthouse, the port as well as the Dardanelles were created. A frigate for sailing on the Bärnsdorf Großteich lake was launched. Two artificial islands were built in the lake, on the larger of which was the Eremitage with the pool for the Electress.

After 1815, the intensive pheasant breeding was terminated, and only the display aviaries with the noble pheasants and other exotic birds were maintained. Up to 1945, the pheasant garden belonged to the former Saxon royalty. Due to the land reform, the garden was split up and handed over into different forms of ownership. In our day, the Free State of Saxony owns the major part of the area by its Moritzburg Castle operation and makes an effort to reconstruct the historical structures of the landscape park. The restoration of the Little Pheasant Castle was completed in 2007.

Admission & opening hours


  • Full rate 6,50 EUR
  • Reduced rate 4,50 EUR
Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle may only be visited within one of the guided tours. Owing to the little space inside the castle, only up to 10 people can take part in a tour at a time. Guided tours are usually provided in German. Booking is recommended, especially of guided tours taking place at weekends or public holidays. (call 035207 873610)
Special exhibition »Straw to Gold«
  • Full rate:  EUR 3.00
  • Reduced rate*: EUR 2.00
Visitors of Moritzburg Castle or Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle enjoy free admission to the special exhibition. (provided the presentation of the ticket purchased)
  • Full rate: EUR 3.00
  • Reduced rate*: EUR 1.00
Free admission:
  • Children aged 5 or younger
  • People visiting the castle on their birthday
  • Accompanying adults of severly disabled people (entry »B« iin the disability pass)
  • Tour guides
  • Tour bus drivers accompanying a tour group
  • 1 accompanying adult per 10 pupils
  • Journalists for reporting purposes (valid identification required)
  • Holders of the schloesserlandPASS

Opening hours

May 1 to October 31, 2017

Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle
  • open only to visitors taking part in a guided tour
  • Mon - Fri (except Aug 7 and Aug 8) guided tours every hour on the hour, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 
  • Sat, Sun, public holidays: guided tours every 30 minutes, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • more guided tours available on request
  • open only to visitors taking part in a guided tour
  • every Sunday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm  (subject to weather conditions)
Visitor center at Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle 
  • Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat, Sun, public holidays: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

November 1 to April 30, 2017

Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle
  • closed
  • closed
Visitor center at Moritzburg Little Pheasant Castle
  • closed

Subject to modifications.