Saxon Switzerland National Park is located in the eastern part of Germany near the Czech Republic border in the Free State of Saxony. The park covers an area of 36.1 square miles (93.5 sq km).
The Elebe Sandstone Mountains transcend the border and are protected Saxon Switzerland National Park on the Germany side and Bohemian Switzerland National Park on the Czech Republic side. The larger collective Saxon Switzerland expands across 274 square miles (710 sq km).
Although almost entirely covered in forest, the national park is comprised of fissured and rocky canyon landscapes. The tallest point reaches a height of only 1,814 feet ( 556 m), however, the neighboring Elbe river is at a lower elevation ranging from 360 to 390 feet (110 to 120 m).
The national park features an array of habitats that include steep ravines, flowered and grassy meadows, moors, plateau mountaintops, and an abundance of forests.
One thing that is unique to the national park as compared to much of Europe is areas of the forest that is void of human interaction. The city in stone is part of the highlights of the park. These sandstone cliffs, mesas, gorges, and spires create a “city” of stone.
There are currently 250 miles (400 km) of hiking paths and another 31 miles (49.9 km of paths for bikes. The climbing options are almost endless.
Wildlife is limited; however, it is present. Otter, lynx, deer, are some of the more popular species. The peregrine falcon and horned owls make for great animal sightings as well.
Saxon Switzerland Highlights:
Saxon Switzerland National Park is renowned for the Bastei bridge which is a beautiful scene itself. It also affords visitors with one of the best lookout points overlooking the Saxon Switzerland area.
The rock bridge reaches a height of 636.4 feet (194 m) above the Elbe River below with the surrounding rock formations reaching heights of 1,000.6 feet (305 m). This city of stone is the pinnacle landmark of the national park.
For the climber, the park is extraordinary because there are countless climbing locations with over ten thousand different climbing routes.
Saxon Switzerland Highlights
- Bastei rock formation and bridge
- Schrammsteine rocks
- Peregrine falcons and horned owls
- Endless climbing options
- Britannica, Saxony, https://www.britannica.com/place/Saxony-state-Germany, retrieved August 2019.
- Germany Travel, Saxon Switzerland National Park, https://www.germany.travel/en/leisure-and-recreation/natural-landscapes/national-parks/saxon-switzerland-national-park.html, retrieved August 2019.
- Lonely Planet, Saxon Switzerland, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/saxon-switzerland, retrieved August 2019.
- National Geographic, Saxon Switzerland National Park, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/parks/saxon-switzerland-germany/, retrieved August 2019.
- Sachsisch-Bohmische Schweiz, National Park Saxon Switzerland Experience, https://www.saechsische-schweiz.de/en/region/national-park.html, retrieved July 2019