Saxon Switzerland Germany
Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History, Entertainment
Saxon Switzerland National Park
[ source: Wikipedia]
The Saxon Switzerland is one of Germany's few national parks. It is located in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, 30 kilometers south of Dresden (Dresden vacation rentals | Dresden travel guide), and derives its names by the now famous commentary by two 18th century Swiss artists who compared this region favorably to their homeland. The area covers approximately 700 square kilometers, and is one of Europe's last large wildernesses. Its natural beauty has been attracting tourists since the early 1800s, and one of the first trolleybus lines in the world was constructed in 1901 to help open up the Saxon Switzerland to eager visitors.
In recognition of the region's transnational importance, the national park is actually a cross-border entity, administered by the governments of both Germany and the Czech Republic. To protect this wilderness area, the national park was established in 1990, prior to German reunification. Germany's Saxon Switzerland National Park is extremely popular among rock climbers. This area is actually considered the birthplace of the practice of free climbing. The park has over 14,000 climbing routes over 1,100 rock pinnacles. The Bastei, a towering rock formation that reaches 194 meters, is the Saxon Switzerland's most famous peak. Commanding a stunning view of the Elbe River, the Bastei has been a tourist destination for over 200 years, and it is reachable be a sandstone bridge that was constructed to provide access to the rocks in 1851. The national park also offers 400 kilometers of hiking trails for those seeking more earth-bound activities.
Visitors to the Saxon Switzerland in Germany should make an early stop at the park's visitor center in Bad Schandau (Bad Schandau vacation rentals | Bad Schandau travel guide). The center offers exhibits on the national park region in German, Czech, and English. Besides the natural wonders of this area, there a numerous historic sites that will appeal to those who are more culturally minded. The Saxon Switzerland's rocky beauty became a popular motif for Romantic era artists. Carl Maria von Weber set his opera Der Freischuetz in the Saxon Switzerland, near the town of Rathen (Rathen vacation rentals | Rathen travel guide). Iconic depictions of the scenery were painted by numerous artists, such as Caspar David Friedrich and J.M.W. Turner. In the Swiss House on the Bastei, one can view some of the paintings showing various landscapes around the Saxon Switzerland. This area also has an array of castles and fortress ruins, most of which were built in the 13th century to protect the border between Saxony and Bohemia and to defend trade routes through this part of Germany. Among these castles, the most famous is Koenigstein Fortress, one of the biggest mountain fortresses in Europe. Over its 750-year history, it was considered one of the most secure locations in Saxony, and when threatened, dukes and electoral princes moved their courts and their treasures here for safekeeping.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
Find and book quality Germany Vacation Rentals and Holiday Apartments ...
By State: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Baden-Wurttemberg, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bavaria, Berlin (region), Bern (Canton), Brandenburg, Bremen (region), Burgenland (Austria), Canton of Jura, Canton of Uri, Carinthia (Austria), Fribourg (Canton), Geneva (Canton), Glarus, Graubünden, Hamburg (region), Hesse, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Lucerne (Canton), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Obwalden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Salzburger Land (Austria), Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schaffhausen (Canton), Schleswig-Holstein, Schwyz (Canton), Solothurn, St. Gallen (Canton), Styria (Austria), Thurgau, Thuringia, Ticino, Tyrol (Austria), Upper Austria, Valais, Vaud, Vienna (Austria), Voralberg (Austria), Zug (Canton), Zürich (Canton), [ + ] more ...
Location, Map, and Driving Directions
[ view larger map ]
More Germany Travel Related Articles
- Amusement Park Geiselwind - Fun and Action for the Whole Family
- Travel Along the German Wine Route
- 6 German Food Misconceptions: It's Not All Schnitzel
- Renaissance Festivals: Entertainment with knights and great food
- Leipzig Christmas Market
- Churches, chapels and a cloister in Miltenberg
- The Charms of Berlin's Scheunenviertel
- Italian Ice-Cream at Eiscafe Dolomiti
- Fastnacht in Mainz
- Rheinfels Castle
Nearby Destinations Where You Can Find Nice Germany Vacation Rentals
Located in the state of Saxony, Königstein lies in the Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge District and has a population of about 3,000 residents. This area is famous for its spectacular rock formations and its resemblance to the Swiss Alpine region.… [ + ] More Details
Related: Königstein (Saxony) Vacation Rentals
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. [ + ] More Details
Related: Rathen Vacation Rentals
Arnsdorf is a municipality in the district of Bautzen, in Saxony, Germany. [ + ] More Details
Related: Arnsdorf Vacation Rentals
Bad Gottleuba-Berggießhübel is a spa town in the district Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. The municipality borders the Czech Republic in the south. [ + ] More Details
Bad Schandau is a spa town in Germany, in the southern Free State of Saxony, district Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge. It is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, at the mouth of the little valley of the Kirnitzsch. [ + ] More Details
Related: Bad Schandau Vacation Rentals
Feedback, comments, questions?
If you have visited here please share your experiences with our readers on Facebook. Or, if you have other cool trip suggestions and would like to contribute a travel guide here, please drop me an email. We also are encouraging free-lancers, travel guide writers or publishers who have great Germany related content to send us an email and get in touch with us.
Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!
We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.
Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!
Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details
Add the "Best of Live Like a German" to your web site or blog!
Get the Best of Live Like a German badge, which shows the latest Germany travel tips, popular vacation packages, special trip plans, and a selection of travel guides. It can be integrated easily into your web site or blog.
[ + ] More Details