Elbsandsteingebirge is a small mountain area in the southeast part of Germany. The area is crossed by River Elbe and locates around 30 km upstream of the city of Dresden, the capital of Saxony. The Free State Saxony borders the South of the Czech Republic. The sandstone area is shared by both countries. The region is well known as “Saechsische Schweiz” in Germany. But, however, in the Czech Republic, it’s called “Böhmische Schweiz”.
The sandstone mountains are part of a chain of mountains. Followed in the east by “Oberlausitzer Bergland” and in the west by “Erzgebirge”. The mountains consist of sandstone and are actually debris from a lake in the early history of the earth. After that, they were shaped by erosion over millions of years. The area is a national park today and therefore protected indeed.
The river Elbe crossing the Elbsandsteingebirge and shaped an amazing landscape. The river is navigable from the Czech up to Hamburg until the North Sea. Paddle steamer, ferries and push boats frequently operate on the river. However, a trip on a steam paddle boat is a great experience.
Bad Schandau as a starting point
Bad Schandau is one of the towns on the banks of the Elbe river. The small town is one starting point for the Elbsandsteingebirge and many other activities. In contrast to the busy city of Dresden, Bad Schandau is queried and a much more recreational place. The town is not only a starting point for trekking and climbing. There is also a boat mooring for steam paddle boats. The steamer paddle frequently up and down the river and are always inviting passengers for a round trip.
During the baroque period, sandstone was the preferred material for building construction in Dresden. Uncountable buildings in Dresden are made from sandstone even still today. Many quarries are delivered by boats the sandstone straight to the city. Today, the Elbsandsteingebirge are a very popular destination for climbing and hiking. The mountains offer for instance cliffs, rocks and uncountable freestanding peaks. Thousands of hiking routes are available in the sandstones.