Long before the Wettin royals chose Dresden as their capital, the margraviate of Meissen is where the Saxony ascent to power got underway. 1,000 years ago, King Heinrich I built a wooden fortress high above the Elbe and give or take some minor exceptions, lands of the margraviate remained more or less under the control of the Wettin family from 1089 to 1919. With the first discovery of silver deposits in the Erzgebirge (literally ‘Ore Mountains’) came great wealth. Meissen became the royal seat of power, with Albrechtsburg Castle and the adjacent cathedral. The fortunes of the town then received a further boost in 1710 when Augustus the Strong chose to establish his porcelain manufactory there. The rest, as they say, is history.