Towering over the town is the Gothic-style Dom, Domplatz 7 (tel. 03521/452490; www.meiland.de), one of the smallest cathedrals in Germany, built between 1260 and 1450. Until the year 1400, the bishops of the diocese of Meissen had their seat next to the cathedral. Later, Saxon rulers were buried here, the first in 1428. Inside are works of art, including a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder, along with rare Meissen porcelain. The cathedral has been Protestant since the 16th century. Admission costs 2.50€ per person. A 30-minute German-language guided tour, departing at virtually any time you specify, costs 5€ per person. Hours are April to October daily 9am to 6pm, and November to March daily 10am to 4pm.
Sharing the castle quarter with the cathedral is Albrechtsburg Castle, Domplatz 1 (tel. 03521/47070; www.albrechtsburg-meissen.de), where the first Meissen porcelain was made. Construction of the castle began in 1471 and went on intermittently until 1525. From 1710 to 1864 it was the site of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. It is open March to October daily 10am to 6pm, November and December daily 10am to 5pm. Closed January and February. Admission is 5€ for adults, 2.50€ for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under.
But the prime attraction in town is the Porzellan-Manufaktur, Talstrasse 9 (tel. 03521/4680; www.meissen.com). At this factory, you can see how the centuries-old process of making Meissen china is still carried on, using the same traditional designs. You can rent a prerecorded audio device, priced at 9€, which will direct you (in any of several languages) on a self-guided tour lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on how fast you move through the premises. You can visit the on-site Porcelain Museum, with 3,000 pieces, plus the workshop. Other than the cost of the guided tour, admission is free. The factory, its museum, and the audio machines are available May to October daily 9am to 6pm, and November to April daily 9am to 5pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.