Surrounded by idyllic wine villages, Meissen dates back more than a thousand years. The city is dominated by the group of 13th- and 14th-century Gothic cathedral buildings and Albrechtsburg Castle, all of which sit high atop a hill. Meissen is world-famous for Meissenware, a fine porcelain produced here since the early 1700s. Utilizing the area’s rich deposits of china clay and potter’s earth, Meissen porcelain is still molded by hand; finished pieces feature the trademark blue crossed swords. Visitors can tour the Meissenware museum and factory to gain insight into the porcelain’s history and production process.