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The Bastei bridge in Saxon Switzerland

The Bastei is a rocky prominence overlooking the Elbe River within the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Germany. As a mountain of 305 meters height the Bastei surpasses the river by 194 meters. The landmark was formed by water erosion over one million years ago. Located near Rathen in Saxon Switzerland the Bastei is a landmark in a national park near Pirna southeast of Dresden. It is part of a climbing and hiking area that extends to the Czech Republic as Bohemian Switzerland.

The Bastei has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. In 1824 a wooden bridge was constructed to link several rocks for the visitors. This bridge was replaced in 1851 by the present Bastei Bridge made from sandstone. The rock formations and vistas have inspired artists, among them Caspar David Friedrich (i.e "Felsenschlucht" [1])

The low part of the Rathen spa can be reached from Dresden with paddle steamers on the river Elbe. Another famous landmark in that tourism and climbing area is the fortress Königstein.

Coordinates: 50°57′44″N 14°04′17″E / 50.96222°N 14.07139°E / 50.96222; 14.07139

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Bastei bridge is very popular with tourists. By Felix Gottwald.
The Bastei bridge is very popular with tourists. By Felix Gottwald.

The Bastei is a popular tourist destination in the Saxon Switzerland. It offers spectacular views, many hiking trails start here and you can see the remains of an old medieval stronghold.

The Bastei-Kraxler. By Felix Gottwald.
The Bastei-Kraxler. By Felix Gottwald.

There are public buses that take you up to the Bastei from the surrounding towns. Another possibility is the Bastei-Kraxler, an old refurbised bus that takes you up from Wehlen during the summer month (first departure at the marketplace in Wehlen at 9:30am, from then every hour). The ride takes about 20 minutes and returnes to Wehlen every full hour (from 10am to 17am).

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