Why is Altenburg the "town of Skat"?

When people talk about Altenburg, they are usually talking about the game of Skat too. But why is Altenburg the "town of Skat"? Well, firstly because Germany's most popular card game was invented right here, in the east Thuringian town and former royal residence of Altenburg, at the beginning of the 19th century. The game of Skat developed from the games of "Schafkopf", "L'hombre", "Solo" and "Tarock" between 1810 and 1817 and was soon to spread far beyond the borders of the town. If you would like to know more about the history of Skat, you will find lots of information at "History of the card game of Skat" under the heading "The card game of Skat".

But not only the invention of the popular card game makes Altenburg into the "town of Skat". The German Skat Society (DSkV), the umbrella association of the German Skat clubs, also has its headquarters here. And what is more, the German Skat Tribunal, the highest decision body for disputes associated with Skat in Germany, has also been based here for more than 80 years. The residents of Altenburg love Skat and bear the title of "town of Skat" with pride, as shown by the many restaurants and pubs where a game of Skat is a natural part of an enjoyable evening out. The numerous Skat clubs also bear witness to the significance of the game for the town and its residents.

Historic and contemporary playing cards can be seen in the Castle and Playing Card Museum. Founded as the "Skat Home" - and thus presumably the first playing card museum in the world - in 1923 in the then Local History Museum in the castle, it today enjoys ever-growing popularity, not least because of its unique collection of exhibits associated with playing cards.

The only monument dedicated to Skat, the Skat Fountain, is also an expression of the town's claim to Skat. If you want to be lucky at Skat, you should baptise your card game at the Skat Fountain. To be really successful, you should have one of the four jacks from the "jack guard" with you and, of course, the pack of cards should come from Altenburg too! Which brings us to another reason for Altenburg being called the "town of Skat", namely its playing card factory. The first maker of cards in Altenburg is mentioned in documents in 1509. The playing card factory opened in 1832, founded by the Bechstein brothers. In 2002, Carta Mundi, an international playing card manufacturer, bought the Altenburg playing card factory, simultaneously uniting the two companies that had been separated since 1946, namely ASS Playing Card Publishers and Altenburg Playing Card Factory. In 2003, the brands "ASS" and "Altenburger" were also merged to form "ASS Altenburger". You will find more details at "Playing Card Factory" under the heading "Skat" and on the company website www.spielkartenfabrik.de.

So you see - Altenburg and Skat cannot be separated! If you too are a Skat enthusiast, it is high time you paid a visit to Altenburg. Although Altenburg has a lot more to offer as well, Skat lovers in particular can have a wonderful time here!

You are sure to find a winning streak in Altenburg!


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