On a hill above the city of Gotha, Friedenstein Castle sits at the heart of a unique cultural ensemble of magnificent buildings, gardens, and museum collections that together make up an exceptional princely residence.

Beginning amid the Thirty Years' War, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, had the residence of Friedenstein (literally: Stone of Peace) erected between 1643 and 1654 on the site of the ruined Grimmenstein Castle. The imposing castle complex (including the original castle church) was never destroyed and is now among the best-preserved architectural monuments of the early Baroque.