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Saxon Switzerland: the natural harmony of the enchanting landscapes of the national park

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Saxon Switzerland: the natural harmony of the enchanting landscapes of the national park

Saxon Switzerland is a unique national park in Germany, a visit to which will not leave any tourist indifferent! The harmonious unity of the forest, mountains, clean air and historical architectural sights make this picturesque region a great place both for active recreation (mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking) and for travel by car with the whole family.

A brief history of Germany's picturesque countryside

A brief history of Germany's picturesque countryside

The national park covers an area of 93 km 2 and is located in the eastern part of Germany on the border with the Czech Republic. The first tourists began arriving in Saxon Switzerland at the beginning of the 19th century, but the development of sandpits and road construction began to threaten the unique area. Therefore, in 1850, Saxon Switzerland received the status of a nature reserve, and in 1956, thanks to a government program, a national park was created.

The park got its name "Saxon Switzerland" from two Swiss artists, because the local landscape reminded them of their native land. And its modern appearance of the reserve acquired after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Today, every traveler who decides to visit these magical places, waiting for cozy hotels in old towns and villages and exquisite dishes of traditional German cuisine in local cafes and restaurants.

Nature and Climate

Nature and Climate

Saxon Switzerland has a temperate European climate: in summer the temperature reaches + 25 ° C, and in winter stays around 0 ° C and rarely falls below. It should be noted that the landscape structure gives its own characteristics to the weather conditions in the region. Thus, on the sun-dried rocky open slopes in summer it is very hot, but because of the proximity of trees the heat is fairly easy to endure. At the same time, in the lowlands and deep canyons of the national park there is a completely different microclimate: high humidity creates dampness and coolness, and the sun appears only for a couple of hours during the day.

Emerald meadows, deciduous and coniferous trees, berry bushes, junipers and other plants are spread throughout the territory of the reserve. In the specially protected and inaccessible for tourists part of the national park, lynx, martens, deer, chamois and other animals live freely. There are hawks, owls and grouse in the reserve, and there are salmon and trout in its reservoirs.

Local landmarks as a source of inspiration

Bastei Bridge

Bastei Bridge

The landmark of the German National Park is the arched bridge Bastai, 75 meters long. The modern structure was built in 1851 and has 7 spans. After crossing the bridge you can get to the observation deck over the River Elbe at a height of 194 meters on Bastai mountain massif, from which you can enjoy fantastic views. The bridge is considered the most visited part of the park - the number of tourists every year reaches 1,500,000 people.

Stolpenya Fortress

The fortress is famous for its unique well, made of basalt. It took 22 years to build, and the work involved heating the well with fire and then spilling the water, which contributed to the destruction of the rock.

Königstein Fortress
Königstein is erected above the city of the same name on the left bank of the Elbe on top of a mountain that reaches 240 m in height. The fortress has impregnable forty-meter walls. On the territory of Konigstein more than 50 buildings, one of which is the deepest well in Europe (152 m). During the entire existence of the fortress no enemy was able to take it.

Tourists visiting the citadel, shows the preserved samples of ancient weapons (swords, spears), dungeon, which until 1922 was a state prison, and during the war were stored valuables from museums and palaces. Königstein will take 2-3 days to explore in detail. The cost of a visit = 10 €.

Traveling through Saxon Switzerland, it is worth seeing:

  • The picturesque town of Welen with the ruins of an ancient castle from the 12th century.
  • The ancient city of Pirna.
  • Church of St. Michael, where you can listen to organ music
  • Sonnenstein Castle, built in 1269
  • Lichtenheiner Waterfall.

Active recreation: natural beauty and extreme climbing

Active recreation: natural beauty and extreme climbing

For lovers of outdoor activities, the national park offers 400 km of hiking and biking trails of any degree of difficulty. There are also trails that are accessible to people with disabilities.

The most popular hiking route is the Mahlerweg (112 km), laid out in the 17th century: it covers the most picturesque places of Saxon Switzerland.

The mountain peaks of the national park - a favorite place of climbers. Despite the low altitude (300-500 m), the ascent on the rocks is quite difficult.

A visit to Saxon Switzerland is absolutely free. However, you have to pay 2 euros for the ferry across the Elbe, and for a visit to some museums and attractions - from 5 to 10 euros.

Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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