Sunday, 26 May 2019

of bastions and batteries

Constituted in part from some of the last remains of a medieval fortification (a bastion, the defensive ring around Felsenburg Neurahen) but mostly a series of naturally occurring but artfully linked observation platforms, the bridge located high in the sandstone mountains (die Elbsandsteingeberger) of Saxony represents one of the first purpose-built tourist attractions, having existed in this form for some two hundred years.
H and I recently had the chance to hike around and explore some of the trails in this area, known as the Saxon Switzerland, der Sächsische Schweiz, and take advantage of the accommodations that developed over the decades and informed what we have come to expect—for better or worse, from a destination, its renown presaged by romanticised depictions in travel guides and paintings—though nature conservancy also went hand in hand with promoting tourism and now is the centrepiece of an expansive national park and preserve.  Click on the images to enlarge.

Also not failing to deliver, next we toured the Fortress Königstein, located on the towering promontory that dominated our campsite, as we’d appreciate later. A centuries’ old enclosed ensemble asserts its control over the Elbe, forming the one of the largest fort in Europe, located on a tabletop hill (Tafelberg).

Casements and batteries aside, the Königstein owes its long existence and many iterations to a reliable water supply won through an incredibly deep well (one hundred and fifty two metres, excavated by hand with two horse power and the second deepest in Europe) that allowed the occupants of the fortress to survive and outlast what would otherwise be a crippling siege and a matter of waiting the defenders out.