Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
May 6

Lohmen, Germany

The Bastei

Ruins of a German Castle on top of a towering stone pillar 

Rising up from the Elbe River Valley, Saxon Switzerland contains some of Germany’s most spectacular scenery - a maze of sandstone pillars, pristine forest, and intimidating fortresses. One of these was the Felsenburg Neurathen - built in the 11th Century, it dominated the landscape for 3 centuries until burned by a besieging army in 1484. Sadly there is little left of the Felsenburg Neurathen that once sat on top of the natural stone towers. Today, it is possible to visit the ruins, but what’s more spectacular is the view that the site commands.

The surrounding area is so scenic that it was the site of Germany’s first landscape photography, and by 1850 the original wooden bridge had been replaced by a permanent one made of sandstone in order to accommodate the increasing tourist traffic. From the Bastei, you can look out into a wide valley where sandstone mesas rise up from the forest floor and the site itself is a gateway to various hikes throughout the park region. The region around the Bastei is also popular with rock climbers, and there are numerous free-climbing options.

Know Before You Go

Take the S1 from Dresden in the direction of Bad Schandau and exit the train at the town of Rathen. Cross the river using the ferry and follow the well-marked trail to the Bastei.

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