Some spots on the planet earth are so stunning that they appear to be a computer animation! Such places prove that nature is brilliant and creative, and often it creates something that even in the wildest dreams one cannot imagine. The Bastei in Saxon Switzerland (Germany) is one of such creation of mother nature.
The name Saxon Switzerland can be confusing because the area is nowhere near the border with Switzerland. In reality, it is part of a national park around 35 km east of Dresden, a city in Germany.
The Bastei is a rock formation towering 194 meters above the Elbe River. As per the theory, some million years ago, water erosion formed these random rocks, so it is the best piece of art by mother nature. No matter if you are visiting in summer or winter, the ancient stones will impress you like no other!
There is a bridge spanning over a group of 190-meter tall rock formation, while the river Elbe forms a bend in the background. So unreal! The bridge is a unique tourist attraction that dates back to the early 19th century for over 200 years.
In 1824 (or some says 1826), a wooden bridge was constructed to link several rocks for the visitors. In 1851, the present sandstone bridge replaced that old wooden bridge. The current bridge is 76 meters long, has seven arches and is up to 40 meters high.
Rathen is a village in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, not far from the town of Pirna, which is near Dresden. Rathen is the main base; that town can be reached from Dresden by train and then by bus within 1 hour, be ready to walk last distance.
Yet, another story. It is estimated that during the medieval times, in 1289 AD, a castle was there on the rocks behind the current bridge. The Neurathen Castle. Nothing remains of that castle in current times, other than the foundations, not too much is known about the little castle. Let me be quite honest with you, our main reason to visit the bridge were the views and not the castle.
Green hills, hiking trails, mountaineering opportunities, the river flowing through the countryside. Views and options like an adventure movie. What more can one wish? By looking at the photos, it is clear why this spot is particularly attractive to tourists. Do visit this place if you are in Dresden.