Königstein Fortress: Saxon Switzerland National Park
Königstein is a little town situated on the Elbe River which winds it way through Saxony. Königstein, Rathen and Bad Schandau make up the trio of towns which are most conveniently located for access to the Saxony Switzerland N.P. All three are easy to reach by train from Dresden. The train follows the bends of the river and the trains come and go very frequently. We chose to make Königstein- the middle town our base for the three days we stayed in Saxony.
On our final morning we couldn’t leave Königstein without fitting in a trip to its famous fortress. Rising 240m above the river, it stands watch over the town below. Carved out of the 24 acre rock plateau, the fortress has a somewhat dark history. It originated as a medieval castle, but over its long history it was used as a prisoner of war camp during the two world wars.
After buying your tickets an elevator takes you to the top of the fortress- I was definitely unprepared for the might of the bitter wind which hit me as I stepped out onto the walls. It was freezing! I cannot imagine what life must have been like for the French and Russian prisoners who were held captive here.
Luckily we were free to wander, and knowing that we would be able to huddle ourselves away in the warmth of the Königstein bakery after our visit made the cold conditions more bearable.
The views, as you would expect were incredible- definitely worth checking out if you are in the area!