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Saxon Switzerland

An area in Germany that is a national park around the Elbe valley and is so named due to two Swiss artists Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff who arrived at the Dresden Academy of Art in 1766 and felt the Elbe Sandstone mountains and river valley reminded them of their homeland. Prior to this the area began to be settled from the 13th century and many of the castles, fortresses and ruins from this day forward are preserved within the national park.

The sandstone rocks which characterise the area are a huge draw for many rock climbers with some 14,00 climbing routes over 1,100 rock pinnacles. An area of free climbing and even jumping between the pinnacles has also been established, a heart stopping site for the uninitiated spectator.

Within the park lies the Bastei, a spectacular rock formation towering 194 metres above the Elbe and were formed by water erosion over one million years ago. The rock can be reached by the Bastei sandstone bridge and offers inspiring views of the park and river valley.

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