Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Elbe Sandstone Mountains

mesas in the Saxon part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains] The Elbe Sandstone Mountains ( _cs. Labské pískovce; _de. Elbsandsteingebirge) is a mountain range straddling the border between the state of Saxony in southeastern Germany and the Czech Republic, with about ¾ of the area on the German side. The mountains are also referred to as Saxon Switzerland and Bohemian Switzerland in both German and Czech ("Sächsische Schweiz" and "Böhmische Schweiz" in German, "Saské Švýcarsko" and "České Švýcarsko" in Czech). In both countries, the mountain range has been declared a national park. The name derives from the sandstone which was carved by erosion. The river Elbe breaks through the mountain range in a steep and narrow valley.


The holiday region of Elbe Sandstone Mountains, one of the most distinctive regions of natural beauty is on Dresden's doorstep: the romantic rocky landscapes of the mountains roaring streams in craggy gorges, trees perched on promontories of rock jut out from the surrounding forest to form a unique backdrop for tourists and hikers alike. Places of interest include fortress Königstein, Fort Stolpen, Fort Hohnstein, Kuckuckstein Castle, and Weesenstein Castle.

There are some 14,000 climbing routes via which mountain climbers can conquer 1100 free-standing peaks. Visitors can experience the spectacular natural scenes on the asphalt Elbe cycle path, or on board a steam paddleboat that is part of the oldest fleet of its kind in the world.

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains have numerous facilities for cure and rehabilitation. The region has a tradition of many years. The discovery of ferrous and sulphurous sources in Bad Schandau in 1730 led to its development as a health resort and the building of swimming baths.

= History = Today the sandstone of this region shapes the landscape which was the sea bottom millions of years ago. Large rivers rinsed sand and decomposition debris into the Cretaceous sea. Rough quartz sand, clay and fine marl sank and solidified themselves layer for layer. A compact sandstone plate developed, about 20 x 30 kilometres wide and up to 600 meters thick. When the sea left approx 80 million years ago, the mountainforming decay began. At first bursts developed. From the north coming the Lusatian granite massif pushed itself gradually onto the sandstone plate. From the south the lifting mountains of the today’s Erzgebirge caused counterpressure – which slanted the brittle sandstone plate and burst it. From the nearly right-angled break lines later the typical, cuboid-like fissure of the Elbe sandstone developed.

= External links = commonscat|Elbe Sandstone Mountains
* [http://www.elbsandsteingebirge.de Elbe Sandstone Mountains ] de iconen icon
* [http://fotoprazak.net/8-vyber_lokality_Nemecko/lokality_Nemecko/Labske_piskovce2005.htm Mountain images] cs icon
* [http://fotoprazak.net/8-vyber_lokality_Nemecko/lokality_Nemecko/Labske_piskovce.htm Mountain images] cs icon
* [http://www.saxon-switzerland.de Saxon Switzerland]
* [http://www.saechsische-schweiz.de/start/click.system?lang=en Official tourism portal of the Saxon Elbe Sandstone Mountains] (in English)

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