(d. ca. 1480, Meissen)

Interior view

begun 1470
Albrechtsburg Castle, Meissen

Albrechtsburg Castle is an original piece of 15th-century secular architecture in Germany. It deserves the name of palace rather than castle.

A highly original spiral staircase climbs in a tower-like building opened by arcades. The staircase exhibits several remarkable innovations: the steps are curved, the core of the stairway is hollow, and the supports are three slim columns into which the banister is incorporated. Apart from the steps, all these features are built of brick. Added to this is the crystalline "cell vault" with few or even no ribs, a brilliant creation of the architect, Arnold of Westphalia (died 1481 in Meissen). In contrast to the brick of the stairway, all the walls are made of stone.