The Upper Palace

The Upper Palace is the oldest landmark in the city.

The Upper Palace is a well-known, architecturially-valuable and striking cultural monument that draws every observer under its spell.  As a landmark of past German history, it leaves its characteristic stamp on the charming landscape surrounding Greiz in the valley of the White Elster River

From the south, the Upper Palace appears to be a simple „high house.“ Above all, the impressive Renaissance gable in the east gives one a sense of its palatial character, while from the north and the west, the Upper Palace looks like a medieval castle.

A Greizer castle compound on a 50 Meter high peak of slate was already mentioned in legal documents in 1209 and 1225.

As the former castle compound of the Vogts of Weida and Plauen, the Upper Palace in a few places reveals the remains of the old castle fortifications. 

Since the beginning of the 13th century, the castle was the residence of the Vogts of Weida and Plauen and later the Reuß rulers.  After the tower was struck by lightning on June 3, 1540, the complex was almost completely destroyed, but then immediately reconstructed.

By 1620, the keep on the isolated stone peak had attained its current shape.  From 1697 to 1714, the castle was redesigned as a residence for the Earl.  Between 1733 and 1753 the lower palace courtyard attained its current form due to numerous additions and new constructions in late Barock style.

In 1809, once the Reuß Prince moved back into the Lower Palace, which had been rebuilt after the city fire of 1802,  the Upper Palace became the seat of the administrative offices of the Principality of Reuß Elder Line. This Principality, by the way,  was the tiniest monarchy of the German Empire, founded in 1871.   During the course of the November Revolution of 1918, the Prince abdicated, state officials resigned, and the palace became the possession of the People's State Reuß.

By the 19th century, the Upper Palace included many apartments.  Apartment dwellers received a status of their own, as a „Palace Commune,“ with their own mayor and self-government.  Only in 1919 was this „Palace Commune“ reintegrated into the city.  Even today, a portion of the complex serves as apartments. 



You can receive additional information about individual buildings on a guided tour of the Upper Palace, given daily at 10 a.m. and 14 p.m. You may obtain additional information and make reservations in the „Palace Information,“ located in the gatehouse of the Upper Palace, or at „Tourist Information, Greiz“ in the Lower Palace.