Schellenberg Castle - the predecessor of Augustusburg Castle - was built as a imperial castle during the settlement of the Middle Ore Mountains around 1200. After a long-standing feud Schellenberg Castle became property of the Meissen Margraves in 1324. The then official residence of the Wettins became so dilapidated that Elector Augustus of Saxony had the remains of the castle demolished and the building masters Hieronymus Lotter and Count Rochus of Lynar construct a new Renaissance castle from 1568 to 1572. With its virtually square floor plan of 86 m by 86 m and four massive tower-like corner houses it resembles a monumental royal palace with fortification-like features.
The rich paintings of the living quarters and festival rooms were the work of court painter Heinrich Goeding. From the 17th century on, the castle hardly served its original purpose as a hunting lodge but instead it was alternately a garrison, official residence, court of justice, prison and a military hospital. After 1694, exhibited trophies and a large part of the inventory were brought to the hunting lodges of Moritzburg and later Hubertusburg in Wermsdorf. Following plans of Christian Traugott Weinlig the roof construction especially was significantly changed around 1800. Except for the period between 1933 and 1951 Augustusburg Castle has been used as a museum, a restaurant and a youth hostel since 1925.