Along the River Elbe –

Old Saxony in Paintings from the Collection of Wolfgang Donath

Opening hours:
15 June - 3 November 2024, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
01 April - 2 November 2025

Location: Magdalene's Castle

Family friendliness: interaktive stations, child-friendly texts

Accessibility: companion for wheelchair users recommended | access with strollers is not possible

Photography: allowed for private use without flash | photo permission required for commercial use

Travel through Time along the River Elbe

Königstein, Meissen, and Dresden again and again. The masterfully painted pictures of our special exhibition show the "old Saxony" of the 19th and early 20th century. The beautiful, often large-format pictures invite visitors to come on a journey into the past along the river Elbe. Full of atmosphere and great detail, they are pieces of art as well as witnesses of their time.
Passionate collector Wolfgang Donath from Dresden gathered all these artworks throughout his entire life. Thus, the special exhibition will be a fascinating encounter with the obsessive art lover and his collection, which Donath donated to Königstein Fortress in 2023.

Old Saxony – Pictures as Witnesses of their Time

The Semperoper opera house before the fire in 1869

The Augustus Bridge and the not yet revetted terrace bank around 1905

Albrechtsburg Castle in 1835 with the smoking chimneys of the porcelain manufactory that was accommodated at the castle then

Views of the Frauenstein castle ruin, Schönfeld Castle near Weissig, and Königstein Fortress

When preparing the exhibition, the fortress’s curators keep going into rhapsodies, e.g. over the large-format view of Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen by Theodor Choulant.

“I grew up in the shadow of Albrechtsburg Castle and recognize my old homeland in this painting.”
André Thieme, "fortress commander" and executive director

“The painters keep manifesting their greatness. I have the impression that I am looking into a collector’s sanctuary.”
Andrej Pawluschkow, curator of the special exhibition

Collector Wolfgang Donath –
A Great Passion

Wolfgang Donath is obsessed with art. He spent almost every Deutschmark, every Euro on his passion, hardly anything for himself. Over half a century, Donath‘s collecting mania brought together more than 500 valuable objects: Mainly paintings, but also bronzes, historic clocks, and porcelains. Saxony was always the main focus, the “old Saxony”, which Donath, who grew up in destroyed Dresden after the war, had not known himself.


Dresden art collector Wolfgang Donath handed over his life's work to Königstein Fortress in September 2023.

Information about the collection & the foundation

The Art Foundation Wolfgang Donath – 
a Donation for Königstein Hill

It was important to the almost 80-year-old Wolfgang Donath to retain the entire collection for his homeland of Saxony. So in 2023, he gave his life’s work to Königstein Fortress, where the artworks were assigned to an independent non-profit “art foundation Wolfgang Donath”.
The foundation’s aim is not only to preserve the collection, but to make it accessible to the public as well. The special exhibition 2024/2025 is the first step.
Professor Harald Marx, former director of Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Gallery) in Dresden, member of the art foundation Wolfgang Donath’s board of trustees and co-curator is fascinated with the collection:

“The collection is extraordinary: Artists' individual styles were not the most important to the collector, but the connection of painting and landscapes. In this, a main focus is recognizable: the depiction of the Elbe valley between Königstein and Meissen. … Saxony’s cultural heritage can, thus, be discovered in an outstanding variety of works and artists in this collection.”

Fortress visitors may look forward to a very special encounter with Donath‘s collection and, thus, an important part of Saxony’s cultural history.

Festung Königstein gGmbH
01824 Königstein

Phone: +49 (0)35021 64 607

Opening hours

April - October 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
November - March 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Last admission 1 hour before closing time