The rock on which the castle stands is separated from rising ground behind it by a man-made section of ditch, the so-called Halsgraben. Typologically the Kriebstein is a combination of a tower castle (Turmburg) and a ringwork castle (Ringburg) with an oval ground plan. Dominating the whole site is the monumental keep perched atop the highest crag. With its sides measuring 22 x 12 metres, the tower, including its weather vane, reaches a height of 45 metres. Its late medieval oriel turrets and the flèche give the castle a unique and thus unmistakable silhouette. Around the keep are grouped the tower-shaped gatehouse, the curtain wall with its domestic wing, the kitchen and other buildings including the chapel wing. On the east side of the chapel wing is the double-bay, cross-ribbed vaulted Gothic hall and the rear of the castle. This building complex, immediately above the steep slopes over the Zschopau river, has a continuous upper storey dating to the 17th century. The Late Gothic kitchen building is attached directly to the keep at the centre of the castle. The whole is enclosed by a domestic wing, that was used as a great hall (today as a concert and event chamber; weddings also take place at the castle) and contained the well house as well as the northern defensive wall that joined onto the gatehouse.