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GREEN CROWN SAXONY

Cling to the ledge, the last spurt, and here it is, the top. Under the feet of Elba, all of Saxony in the palm. Someone in such a situation is scratching with uneven letters of joy on the stone “Oleg was here,” but not a German climber. He writes the same thing in a special notebook, which is stored at each top of Saxon Switzerland in a special box. To avoid vandalism. The Germans still order maniacs.

“Climbing is easy. Physical training is only half the success, the other half is overcoming fear in the head, ”the guide philosophically notes, 40-year-old Daphne Zishang, looking at the bright spots of safety vests that are visible here and there on the surrounding rocks. Daphne herself has been climbing since she was eight years old. She is dressed in a sportswear: thermal pants, fleece jacket and heavy hiking boots. Daphne easily jumps on the boulders and grins when the hikers, who get too close to the edge of the ravine, abruptly retreat.

In Saxon Switzerland National Park, only free climbing is allowed – with rope and carabiner, without additional tools. Usually wedges are inserted into the cracks and hooks for the ropes are driven into the rock, but so the rocks over the Elbe, made of sandstone, are easier to ruin. Sandstone cons: it is fragile and crumbles easily. Pros: it was easy for the medieval stone cutters to work with him, and from the stone they mined here they built, for example, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

80 million years ago this place was the bottom of the ocean. Cracks and rifts formed on sandy strata, after the Cretaceous sea retreated, and the bottom became famous for its landscape with fancy rocks, as if turned by a turner. Looking around from the observation deck at a height of 198 meters, it is hard to believe that water was raging on the spot of blackened rugged mountains with a green forest.

The Elbe sandstone mountains are located a quarter in Czech Bohemia and three quarters in Germany. In order to completely confuse the question, whose is this landmark, its German part is called Switzerland – more precisely, Saxon Switzerland. Why Switzerland? Just the Germans are delighted with the country of chocolate and banks, and almost every mountainous area is associated with the Alps. Therefore, in Germany, the highest concentration of “Swiss” in the world. German ethnographers counted 130 pieces: there is Switzerland in Berlin, Holstein, Franconian. If you line them up in alphabetical order, Saxon Switzerland will be numbered 112.

Alphabetically, but not in importance. This has long been the visiting card of Saxony and 25 years as a national park, where there is something to do not only climbers. Mountain bikers can ride on special trails of any level of complexity, and pensioners and families with children can walk on easy walking routes and have picnics. Fenced recreation areas, steps cut in the rocks, stairs, detailed signs and signs give the rest in the national park a truly German character: everything is utterly neat and safe.

Plus, it is defiantly close to civilization – 30 kilometers south-east of Dresden.

The Bastei Bridge looks like a Roman viaduct or a stretch of road over the precipice, but in fact it has been intended for backpackers since it was built in the 19th century. Photo: GettyImages.ru

The Bastei Bridge looks like a Roman viaduct or a stretch of road over the precipice, but in fact it has been intended for backpackers since it was built in the 19th century. Photo: GettyImages.ru

The capital of Saxony is loved for the Baroque architecture, the art gallery of old masters and palaces. They are even crowded in the city: the three famous castles – Ekberg, Albrechtsberg and Lingnersloss – lined up next to Elba.

The most recognizable urban symbol is the crown, with which souvenir shops decorate everything from pencils and magnets to porcelain. Although, of course, the ruffles of the Dresden Baroque is a replica. In 1945, the Anglo-American air force completely bombed the city, leaving no stone on the stone from ancient buildings: after the war they were restored according to historical drawings. Now the city again has a giant opera house that looks exactly like it was in the days of Strauss (restored in 1985).
And the baroque Frauenkirche church, the reconstruction of which was completed only in 2005: only rare inclusions of dark bricks into the light mass of new bricks remained from the old building.

From this museum of restored German antiquities to the wild cliffs above the Elbe, only 45 minutes by bus, boat or train. As from the center of Moscow to Bittsovsky forest park.

Landscapes of Saxon Switzerland are familiar to all who watched Disney cartoons. When, under alarming music, the Bambi deer rushing alone in the gloomy forest, and the Cinderella carriage breaks through to the prince’s palace through the night gorge between steep cliffs – thanks to the entourage, romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich, whose pictures Disney knew, loved and sometimes reproduced literally.

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