Character of museum and requirement

Landschaftsuhr, Augsburg, 1712

The castle museum and the museum of playing cards almost classical represent the combination type within a larger and regional positioned museum – a „Mehrspartenhaus” (more divisional house). It is a town- and cultural historical museum with a dominant of arts and crafts. The playing cards are one of special collection.

The game „Skat“ got conceived in Altenburg, and the town can refer to a tradition for making of playing cards which goes back towards the end of the Middle Ages.


Architecture, fixtures and interior reflect the own history as a living and residence place of duke’s house and, more reverted, former occasionally elector domicile. Because the change between main residence and tributary residence and also the settlements of an estate began a historical characteristic and a shaped material-ideational legacy, too. These denotes desideratums and don’t proves to be continuous homogeneous. Nevertheless, it seems interesting enough as the  marked permanent exhibitions demonstrate.


The museum is open-minded to facet of modernity and art and handicraft from different times. There are exhibitions again and again with cultural-historical and historical topics.

The castle museum and the museum of playing cards constant presents art projects in different shade in special exhibitions. Therefore, there are expositions with nationwide artistic standard.

History of museum

Based on November Revolution in, on 13th of November in 1918, duke Ernst the second abdicates the throne. So, the Altenburg castle became less important as a place of residence of ducal family.

Under the auspices of Albrecht von der Gabelentz the establishment of castle museum began in autumn 1919.  They additionally sought adequate exhibits per newspaper advertisement. Also Gabelentz was it who later became the director of „Lindenau-Museum“ and castle museum until 1933. In succession of altercation among duke Ernst II. and the land Thuringia a good portion of ducal estate merged to public estate as „Duke-Ernst-Foundation“. In the acquisition agreement from 6th of June in 1919 they say: “The furnishings which identify the castle have to stay in the castle...”.

The basis of the museum, which shall as well town- as castle museum, established the former armoury and the collection of antiques plus the collection of vases from  Lindenau-Zachschen foundation. In 1923 The museum of playing cards was added. The nucleus is a small room decorated by  „Skatmaler” Otto Pech (called Pix) and Walter Sachse.

By reason of clever collections and exhibitions politics the museum could elevate from the provinces. This was extensive the merit of long-time director Kurt Schulze. The fame of Altenburg as a „Skatstadt" was legendary. Different permanent exhibitions could satisfy in quality.

Restorations from 1970th and 1980th (castle church, festival hall) joining with younger projects. This rooms always were show. Since 1992 the centric stairs construction in Corps de logis is the entrance to the museum.

In 1994 the romance living tower „Flasche“ was open for the first time for public.

The baroque „Sibyllenkabinett“ could surrender after nine years' restoration to the public in 2003.