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National park Saxon Switzerland
Elbe river sand stone mountains

National park Saxon Switzerland Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe river sand stone mountains)

The national park Saxon Switzerland is one of the nicest landscapes in Saxony and belongs to the Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe sand stone mountains). The Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe sand stone mountains) is a hill land built of yellow-green chalk sand stone on both sides of the Elbe river between the Erzgebirge and Lausitz hill land. It enfolds German as well as Czech area. The German area, because of its jagged rock landscape also called Saxon Switzerland, the Czech area Bohemia Switzerland. The Saxon Switzerland is under landscape protection since 1956. The steep rocks of Elbe river sand stone allow breathtaking views to deep incised canyons with its clear creek, wild forest areas and its very own animal and plant world. The highest elevation of the nature park Saxon Switzerland is the Hohe Schneeberg (high snow hill) (721 meters above sea level).

Because of the special landscape realities, the nature park Saxon Switzerland is a touristic attraction in many kinds of aspects:

  • A hiking path net with a total length of about 1200 km invites to go hiking on comfortable to challenging routes. Numerous vintage points offer unique panorama views from different perspectives.

  • The Saxon Switzerland as birth town of free climbing with about 1100 climbing summits is also a paradise for climbers.

  • From Schonau (about 35 km southeast of the 013-pill castle hotel) on the border to the Czech Republic, the Elbe river bike path leads over Bad Schandau (about 28 km southeast from the 013-pill castle hotel) and Pirna (about 9 km southeast from the 013-pill castle hotel) in the first section through the Saxon Switzerland.

  • If you want to enjoy the terrific landscape of the Saxon Switzerland from the boat, you can participate on a historical paddle-steamer of the Saxon steam boat trip on a boat round trip on the Elbe river.

  • As an alternative, a rowing boat trip is offered through the wild romantic Kirnitzschklamm near Hinterhermsdorf (about 52 km southeast from the 013-pill castle hotel) on the border to the Czech Republic.

  • The Saxon Switzerland can also attend on cultural ranks with a couple of highlights. Acts are offered for example on the rock stage in Rathen (about 23 km southeast from the 013-pill castle hotel). Music friends get their money's worth at the Sandstein (sand stone) & Music festival with lots of performances in castles, churches and museums of the region.

Spa town Rathen in the Elbsandsteingbirge (Elbe river sand stone mountains) with rock stage and the nature monument bastion

About 23 km southeast of the 013-pill castle hotel is the spa town Rathen. The surrounding is stamped from an erosion landscape with upright rocks, reefs and deep canyons. Above Rathen there's a jutting nature monument, the so-called bastion. About 193 meters above the Elbe river on the right shore side, a narrow pulpit allows a unique landscape view. From here you can watch the mountaineer and climbers, while they try to climb the rocks of the bastion area. In range of sight on a different rock, you can see the rock castle Neurathen. Both rocks are connected through the bastion bridge, a rock bridge with a height of 165 meters above the Elbe river. The bastion bridge is the landmark of the Saxon Switzerland.

The famous rock stage, which is deemed as the prettiest nature theater in Europe, lies in a side valley near Rathen. In 1938 the first Karl-May plays came to life. Even today, numerous performances still keep the memory of Karl May alive. But also other works, among others from Shakespeare and Carl Maria von Weber, have performances.

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Climbing in the climbing area Saxon Switzerland climbing school lesson sport

The climbing has its residence in the national park Saxon Switzerland since the end of the 19th century. The year 1864 is the birth hour of the climbing sport as 5 climbing sports friends from Bad Schandau climbed the Falkenstein. Back then, trunks and wooden latters served as climbing equipment. Not to use artifical climbing equipment is until today the most important basic principle for the climbing sport in the region. This was already written in 1910 in the Saxon climbing rules. Thereby the Saxon Switzerland is also the birth town for free climbing.

Today there are about 15,000 climbing paths in the national park Saxon Switzerland. The most important climbing areas are:

  • the Bieletal valley
  • the Rathen climbing area
  • the Schmilkaer climbing area
  • the Affensteine (monkey stones)
  • the climbing areas of the stones
  • the Große Zschand (big Zschand)
  • the Schrammsteingebiet (kerf stone area)
  • the Brandgebiet (burning area)

In the national park Saxon Switzerland there are several climbing schools and clubs, which offer climbing lessons for amateurs and advancers, basic lessons for rock climbers and climbing on the climbing wall, guided climbing tours, rock hiking and other climbing programs.

Urban railway line in the Saxon Switzerland

If you want to visit the Saxon Switzerland from the 013-pill castle hotel you can drive with your own car or take the urban railway form Meissen to Decin (Czech Republic) and back. The urban railway drives several times in the morning and in the afternoon.

  • Urban railway stations at the urban railway routes Meissen-Decin:
  • Meissen-Triebischtal – Radebeul-Ost (east)– Dresden-Neustadt – Dresden HBF (main train station) – Niedersedlitz – Pirna  –  town Wehlen – spa town Rathen  – Konigstein  – Bad Schandau – Krippen – Schmilka-Hirschmuhle – Schonau – Decin (Czech Republic)
  • The urban railway stations Dresden-Neustadt, Dresden HBF (main train station), Niedersedlitz and Pirna are reachable with the bus from the bus stop "Pillnitzer Platz" (about 150 meters from the 013-pill castle hotel).

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Status:  Donnerstag, 21. Juli 2022 - 5283