The complex is situated at the foot of the sandstone mountain on the edge of the spa town of Kurort Oybin. The castle was probably built during the 13th century as a guard station along an important trade route linking Bohemia and Lusatia. According to legend, it was created by Chvala de Lipé, who discovered the cliff when hunting bears. George de Lipé, who received George VII's castle as an imperial fief for his services, expanded the castle in the early 14th century. In the mid-14th century, the castle became the property of the Czech king, Charles IV, who established a Celestine Monastery at Oybin. The castle and monastery and adjacent lands were purchased by Zittau during the second half of the 16th century. In 1577 the castle burned down and virtually the entire complex was destroyed and never restored.
WHY THIS PLACE
Approximately one hundred years later, in 1681, part of the cliff fell, taking a castle tower and burying the courtyard. In 1829 the ruins of the castle and monastery were opened to the public, but the remains continued to decay. The complex only underwent repair work after 1990, when the castle towers, church and masonry of the imperial palace were restored.
The narrow gauge railway connecting Oybin to Zittau is unique to the area. Trains pulled by steam engines continue to travel along it. The track starts in Zittau and has two branches, one of which ends in Oybin and the other in Jonsdorf.