Rathen is a village in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, in Saxony, Germany, about 35 km southeast of Dresden on the Elbe River. Rathen has between 400 and 500 inhabitants.

Coat of arms of Rathen
Coat of arms
Location of Rathen within Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge district
AltenbergBad Gottleuba-BerggießhübelBad SchandauBahretalBannewitzDippoldiswaldeDohmaDohnaDorfhainDürrröhrsdorf-DittersbachFreitalGeisingGlashütteGohrischHartmannsdorf-ReichenauHeidenauHermsdorfHöckendorfHohnsteinKirnitzschtalKönigsteinKreischaLiebstadtLohmenMüglitztalNeustadt in SachsenPirnaPorschdorfPretzschendorfRabenauRathenRathmannsdorfReinhardtsdorf-SchönaRosenthal-BielatalSchmiedebergSebnitzSebnitzStadt WehlenStruppenStolpenTharandtWilsdruffSaxonyCzech RepublicBautzen (district)DresdenMeißen (district)MittelsachsenRathen in PIR.svg
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Rathen is located in Germany
Rathen is located in Saxony
Coordinates: 50°57′N 14°05′E / 50.950°N 14.083°E / 50.950; 14.083Coordinates: 50°57′N 14°05′E / 50.950°N 14.083°E / 50.950; 14.083
DistrictSächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
Municipal assoc.Königstein/Sächs. Schweiz
 • MayorThomas Richter
 • Total3.58 km2 (1.38 sq mi)
112 m (367 ft)
 • Total349
 • Density97/km2 (250/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes035024
Vehicle registrationPIR
WebsiteOfficial website
Rathen shortly after the 2006 flood


district Oberrathen - view from Bastei

Rathen is a popular tourist destination, the main sights are the Bastei cliffs, the Amselsee (a lake), and the outdoor theater "Felsenbühne Rathen".

The Rathen Ferry, a passenger reaction ferry, connects Niederrathen, on the right bank of the Elbe river, to Oberrathen on the left bank. Kurort Rathen railway station, on the Dresden S-Bahn and the Dresden to Prague railway, is adjacent to the Oberrathen ferry terminal. Rathen is also a stop for the paddle steamers operating between Dresden and the Czech border.


Rathen was founded in the 13th century around 1261 as place for a castle fortress.

During World War II, a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located here.[2]


View of Rathen from the Bastei

The state-recognised climatic spa of Rathen is not only the base for tours in the western part of Saxon Switzerland, but also for the world-famous Bastei rocks. Other popular destinations in the local Amselgrund valley are the lake of Amselsee and the Rathen Open Air Stage. There are a good 400 inhabitants on both sides of the Elbe, linked by a historic reaction ferry, that is a protected monument. In addition to the Old Mill of 1567, which was nearly demolished after the hundred year flood, there is a range of other timber-framed houses.

Due to its proximity to the town of Wehlen the following wordplay saying is given to visitors: "Sie können Rathen wählen, ich würde Ihnen auch zu Wehlen raten." ("You can choose Rathen, I would also recommend Wehlen to you.")

Local places of interestEdit


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung des Freistaates Sachsen nach Gemeinden am 31. Dezember 2019". Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen (in German). July 2020.
  2. ^ Christine O'Keefe. Concentration Camps

External linksEdit