Saxon Switzerland

After this tour you will probably be under the impression for a long time. The Saxon Switzerland is a magnificent place and beauteous nature, that won’t let you stay unconcerned.

Saxon Switzerland is a hilly climbing area and national park around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in Saxony. Together with the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Saxon Switzerland alone has some 1,000 climbing peaks, as well as several hollows. The area is popular with Dresden locals and international climbers. The administrative district for the area is Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge. The fortress of Königstein is a well-known landmark.

During the Dark Ages, the region was settled by Slavs and was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia during the Middle Ages. About 1000 years ago Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland was the borderland of three Slavic tribes. The Nisane tribe (east of the Elbe from Dresden to Pirna), the Milzane tribe (from today’s Upper Lusatia) and in the south the Dacine tribe shaped the political and economic landscape at that time. In September 1990, even before the reunification of Germany, a national park was created in Saxon Switzerland in order to protect the unique natural character of the hill range. The 93 km² area covers two physically separate regions: one near Rathen – the region of the Bastei, Polenz valley, Brand and Uttewalder Grund – and the other embracing the whole Saxon Switzerland Hinterland (Hintere Sächsische Schweiz) between the Elbe and the state border with the Czech Republic and including the Schrammsteinen, Großer Winterberg, Großer Zschand and Kirnitzsch valley.

Saxon Switzerland is characterized by its sandstone rocks which draw many rock climbers. There are some 14,000 climbing routes on over 1,100 rock
pinnacles. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Saxon Rules for rock climbing were established. They are considered to be one of the origins of free climbing. Ropes and bolts may only be used for safety but never as a means of climbing. The use of chalk and common means of protection such as nuts and friends is also not permitted; instead knotted nylon slings are used. With a few exceptions, climbing is only practised and permitted at freestanding rock towers.

Anyway, Saxon Switzerland is one of the places you have to visit at least once in a lifetime.

Duration: 10 to 12 hours.


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