Oh yeah, it is time for another installment of Nobility Behaving Badly.
In all fairness, it isn’t right to say that the Countess who spent almost a half-century in Stolpen was all that naughty — but bad enough that she had to be “locked-up.”
Just as it was centuries ago, much of life in Saxony’s Stolpen revolves around its castle. Burg Stolpen is pretty impressive, and when you hear the tale of its most famous resident, today’s reality TV will seem almost tame.
Constantia von Cosel was the mistress of none other than August der Starke, known as August the Strong — King of Poland. Because the good countess was privy to many a state secret, folks thought that it was better to keep her locked in the castle. She remained there for 49 years until her death in 1765.
FYI, August the Strong was responsible for bringing a lot Baroque architecture to the region.
What, do you really think political intrigue and adultery are modern inventions? Heck no, a whole lot of naughty nobility went on in medieval castles like this one. ;-)
Some folks come to see the Countess’ castle prison, others to see the 35-million year old basalt cliffs that it’s built on. Either way, no one walks away from this unhappy. You most certainly won’t if you’re at the castle for Stolpen’s Christmas Market.
The rest of Stolpen isn’t chocked full of naughty nobility, it is a modern town with medieval flair. A place with some 23 km of marked hiking trails through Upper Lusatia and eastern Ore Mountains, and near the Saxon Switzerland Nature Park.
Other sites in Stolpen include places like the 17th century Rathaus (Town Hall), the fortified St. Lawrence Church, the Town Museum, and a Gothic/Baroque blended Evangelical Church.
Nonetheless, if all you want to do is nothing but swim all day, you can do that over at the local pool. You just have to do it from May to August/September.
Countess Constantia might’ve lived in a castle, but you have the freedom to explore more of Stolpen in such a short time than she did in 50 years. Whew, if that ain’t reason enough to stay off the naughty list, I don’t know what is.