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Welcome to the Elbe Sandstone Mountain portal.

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains (German: Elbsandsteingebirge, Czech: Labské pískovce) are a mountain range, formed mainly of sandstone, around the upper reaches of the River Elbe in the German state of Saxony and the Czech region of North Bohemia. They cover an area of about 700 km² and reach heights of up to 723 metres (2,372 ft) above sea level. The German part is generally known as Saxon Switzerland, the Czech region as Bohemian Switzerland (České Švýcarsko), hence the modern term "Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland" for the combined region (locally: Sächsisch-Böhmische Schweiz or Českosaské Švýcarsko).

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The Barbarine

Saxon Switzerland is the name for the German part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in the state of Saxony. The landscape is known for its bizarre rock formations and lies southeast of Dresden on either side of the Elbe. To the east, Saxon Switzerland transitions into the Lusatian Highlands and, to the west, the Ore Mountains. The adjacent, Czech, part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains is known as Bohemian Switzerland. The highest mountain in Saxon Switzerland is the Großer Zschirnstein at 562 m above sea level.

A large number of castles were built in Saxon Switzerland to protect the trade routes. Two that have survived to the present day are Königstein Fortress and Hohnstein Castle. Of the other sites only a few ruins are left, for example, the Kleiner Bastei or the castle on the Falkenstein (today a climbing peak). Several of the castles were used by medieval robber knights. Originally this region had been settled by Slavs and first came under Saxon rule in the 15th century, since when its borders have changed little.

Im September 1990 - even before German reunification – the Saxon Switzerland National Park was created to protect the unique natural character of the mountains. This park, 93 km² in area, covers two regions physically separated from one another: the first around Rathen, the Bastei and Polenz valley, Brand and the Uttewalder Grund; the second covering the Saxon Switzerland hinterland (Hintere Sächsische Schweiz) between the Elbe and the border with the Czech Republic with the Schrammsteine, Großer Winterberg, Großer Zschand and Kirnitzsch valley.

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Hoher Schneeberg

Saxon Switzerland · Bohemian Switzerland

Mountains and rock formations
List · Barbarine · Bärensteine · Bastei · Brand · Cottaer Spitzberg · Děčínský Sněžník (Hoher Schneeberg) · Falkenstein · Frienstein · Gohrisch · Kaiserkrone · Kleinhennersdorfer Stein · Lampertsstein · Lilienstein · Lokomotive · Mariina skála (Marienfels) · Mönch · Nonne · Papststein · Pastýřská stěna (Schäferwand) · Pfaffenstein · Quirl · Rauenstein · Raumberg · Rudolfův kámen (Rudolfstein) · Růžovský vrch (Rosenberg) · Schrammsteine · Schwedenturm · Stoličná hora (Quaderberg) · Teufelsturm · Tyssaer Wände · Vlčí hora (Wolfsberg) · Wartturm · Großer Winterberg · Kleiner Winterberg · Winterstein · Wolfsberg · Zirkelstein · Zschirnstein
Viewing points
Belvedér (Belvedere) · Kleines Prebischtor · Kuhstall · Prebischtor
Geology and landscape
Cotta Sandstone · Elbe Sandstone · Grillenburg Sandstone · Karsdorf Fault · Lusatian Fault · Posta Sandstone · Reinhardtsdorf Sandstone
Amsel Falls · Amselsee · Biela · Děčín Weir · Kamenice (Kamnitz) · Kirnitzsch · Lachsbach · Lichtenhain Waterfall · Obere Schleuse · Polenz · Sebnitz
Valleys, gorges and ravines
Amselgrund · Großer Zschand · Kamnitz Gorge · Liebethaler Grund · Wehlgrund


In Germany
In the Czech Republic


Königstein Fortress in 2008
Castles and palaces
Altrathen Castle · Chřibský hrádek (Unterer Karlstein) · Falkenštejn Castle (Falkenstein) · Šaunštejn Castle (Schauenstein) · Königstein Fortress · Hohnstein Castle · Krásný Buk Castle (Schönbüchel) · Kyjovský hrádek (Oberer Karlstein) · Neurathen Castle
Angel, Hinterhermsdorf
Technical structures
Liethen Mill · Bad Schandau Elevator

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