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»Never has there been anything as accomplished, never anything that has been executed so well: everything here is so thorough that one believes himself to be three hundred years younger.«
Prince de Ligne, 1799
The Gothic House illuminated, garden front
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Stained glass window showing Gustav II Adolf, King of Sweden
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The Gothic House – Home of the gardener and princely retreat

The Gothic House is one of the earliest and best preserved neo-gothic buildings in Continental Europe. It was built from 1773 onwards and subsequently extended several times until 1813. It houses a unique collection of mainly Swiss stained glass dating from the 15th to the late 17th centuries as well as remarkable neo-gothic furnishings. During Prince Franz’s life the house also served him as a private retreat.

Horace Walpole’s ”Little Gothic Castle” of Strawberry Hill, England, must have made a lasting impression on Prince Franz when he visited it in 1764. Very shortly afterwards he asked Erdmannsdorff to plan something similar for Wörlitz.

Initially intented as a home for the gardener, the house in its early stage already contained a so-called »Church Hall« whose decoration programmatically pointed towards the Middle Ages. From 1785 the house was extended in several stages. The large windows that were now added accommodated an extensive collection of precious, mainly Swiss, stained glass. German old master paintings by Lucas Cranach and others, as well as a large number of historic portraits, weapons and arts and crafts objects created an atmosphere within the Gothic House which was meant to breathe the spirit of the late Middle Ages.

The house also served as a private retreat for Prince Franz, where he could live with his morganatically-wedded wife, Luise Schoch, the gardener’s daughter, and their three children.

Even though a number of the countless objects in the house got lost over time, the unique charm of its rooms still captivates the visitor.


Gothic House

Opening hours
Open from 24 March to 31 October 2018

24 March -​ April
Sat, Sun and holidays: 11 a.m. -​ 5 p.m.

May -​ 07 October:
Tue-​Sun, bank Holidays: 10 a.m. -​ 5 p.m.

08 -​ 31 October
Sat, Sun and holidays: 11 a.m. -​ 5 p.m.
Admission fees
7.50 €
Address / Contact
06785 Oranienbaum-Wörlitz / OT Wörlitz
+49 (0)34905 / 4090

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Special guided tours through the Garden Kingdom

For groups of 15 or more people, guided tours of the houses of the Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz can be arranged outside the regular opening hours.