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The Bastei and the Bastei Bridge
The Bastei Bridge is the most visited sight in Saxon Switzerland. Around 1.5 million visitors come to the Bastei every year to. The Bastei Bridge is made of stone and over 76.5 meter long. It spans the Mardertelle Gorge with its 7 stone arches. The picture of the Bastei and the Basteibrücke is world famous. It was the reason for me, to experience these natural wonder in Saxon Switzerland by myself. When planning my trip, I read a lot and painstakingly gathered the information for the trip. After I couldn’t find all the information at one place, I created this private website. Now you can find everything for your Bastei trip or the Basteibrigde hike at a glance: How to get there, what to do, detailed descriptions, pictures, my personal insider hints. If you are looking for the perfect Bastei map or for the 5 best travel guides , click here – these maps and guides are currently the best on the market:
-> the perfect Bastei map
-> the best Saxon Switzerland travel guides
Bastei Bridge Saxon Switzerland
Many people know the Bastei and the Bastei Bridge – only a few know the Mardertelle. It is the reason why the Bastei Bridge exists. The Mardertelle is a gorge. It is spanned by the Bastei Bridge. The bridge was necessary, to reach the Felsenburg Neurathen. That´s the reason why the first Bastei Bridge was built in 1826. It was made of wood. It became a trap for attackers: If someone approached the fortress via the wooden bridge, the wooden bridge was destroyed by the people at the fortress. So the enemies fell deep into the Mardertelle – hence the name Mardertelle. In 1851 the wooden bridge was replaced by a stone bridge. 1900 tons of sandstone were needed to build the bridge. The construction costs of the stone bridge amounted to 6750 thalers. This former bridge still forms the brigde of our days. It is the basis for the famous sight in Saxon Switzerland.
Bastei Saxon Switzerland
Thanks to the Bastei Bridge, the Bastei in Saxon Switzerland quickly became the most visited attraction in the whole region. Famous personalities, painters, artists came and still come to the Bastei. Pictures and the many posts on social media bear witness to this. Caspar David Friedrich (died 1840 in nearby Dresden) painted some pictures of the bastion. However, his work Felsenpartie im Elbsandsteingebirge is not so famous like his well known picture of the Wissower Klinken at the Kreidefelsen Rügen.
What is the Bastion?
At first I only understood the term Bastion as the Bastei Bridge. But that’s not the case. The actual bastion is a 305 meter high rock. It towers 194 meters above the Elbe. The rocks fall almost vertically into the Elbe valley. The rocks of the Bastei are a real natural wonder. And so it was the right decision to protect this unique nature: the Bastion was placed under nature protection in 1938. That was long time before the first national park was founded in Germany. The Bastei was the first nature reserve in the Elbsandsteingebirge. Today the Bastei is the most visited place in the whole region and is located in the Saxon Switzerland National Park. We’re talking about 1.5 million visits a year. Personally, based on my experience, I believe that there are significantly more visitors. As early as 1954, 50,000 people are said to have visited the bastion on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday already. That number will certainly not be fewer people today!
The old Bastei view is gone
This amount of visitors also has negative effects: The former 10-meter-long viewing platform on the Bastei viewpoint no longer exists. The rock beneath the platform was no longer stable enough. Due to the inspection of the many visitors, the rock loosened. Before a demolition happened, the viewing platform was locked. It took a year for a new one to be built. The new bastion viewpoint has now been completed and is accessible. Here is all the information about it:
-> Bastei view
What to see at Bastei Brigde?
But the Bastei view is not all that is worthwhile around the Bastei Bridge. It was just one of the many popular vantage points. After the Bastei Bridge is 76.5 meters long and spans the valley in 7 imposing stone arches, you will find even more impressive places to look at and admire nature. These popular vantage points and viewing platforms can still be found today. They are officially allowed and can be reached from the parking lot in this order:
- View of the pavilion with a view of the Bastei Bridge (above the Schwedenlochen)
- Wehlstein view (left in front of the Bastei Hotel)
- Ferdinand view (on the right in front of the Bastei bridge)
- many viewpoints from the Felsenburg Neurathen (left on the way towards Rathen)
- Sofa (on the way to Rathen on the right)
- Thiedge view (on the way towards Rathen on the right)
There are also countless vantage points and views that you can see from the Bastei Bridge itself. On this website I introduce them to you and how you can reach them. Here’s an important tip: stay on the official paths and don’t climb over the barriers! This is life threatening. You should also wear good walking shoes . High heels and the like endanger your health. You should not slip, especially on the bastion and the viewpoints. In addition to the paths, there are often many meters of vertical drop!
The best Bastei viewpoint
Do you want to take the famous photo of the Bastei Bridge? Then you should definitely go to the Ferdinandstein. It is one of the vantage points on the bastion. Here you have the famous view that you may know from postcards or from pictures on the internet. I’ll tell you here, how to get there. So you can find this vantage point, what else you should know and what the photo perspective looks like:
What about admission and opening times?
Again and again there are questions about the opening times, where entry is to be paid and how high the entry fees are. So that you don’t have to search for long, I’ve put everything together: For your visit, you’ll find all the useful information about the Bastei opening times here. This is the post with the information about the Bastei tickets. It is worth reading these tips and information in advance! Click here on the corresponding button for all details:
-> Bastei opening times
-> Bastei tickets
Only the remains of the Felsenburg Neurathen can be seen today. We were less impressed by the remains of the castle than by the rocks. They are connected with bridges in an adventurous way. The former castle was primarily made of wood built on these rocks. After the wood has disappeared, only the foundations in the sandstone can be seen today. The first documented mention of the Felsenburg Neurathen dates back to 1261. On a small circular path you will find the remains of the past – and some great views of the Bastei and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. When I first read about Felsenburg Neurathen, I couldn’t imagine so much. When I visited I was surprised how great it is there! We were particularly impressed by the way over the iron bridges. That reminded us of the Leutaschklamm, where a 700 meter long steel construction leads through the air. In the case of Felsenburg Neurathen, meter-long steel bridges connect the rocks. breathtaking. You shouldn’t look down! Read my impressions here and look at the pictures:
-> Felsenburg Neurathen
Bastei Bridge Hike
To visit the Bastei Bridge, you have to hike. There is no other way to get to what is probably the most famous bridge in Germany. The easy way to the Bastei Bridge takes about 20 minutes and is very busy in summer. I have described the easy approach in detail here. However, please note : Even if there is talk of being suitable for prams and wheelchairs in various places. There are more than 50 steps to hike between the parking lot and access to the Bastei Bridge. This is not possible with a wheelchair or stroller. Unfortunately. For all hikers I have the exact description of the most popular Bastei hike and many pictures. You will also find an overview of which Bastei hikes are possible and worthwhile in connection with the bridge:
-> the easy Bastei Bridge hike
-> the most beautiful hikes on the Bastei
Bastei Bridge parking lot
Do you want to visit this sight in Germany? Then you will probably also need a parking space and want to know how to get here. Parking is a separate matter. Parking fees have increased exponentially lately. For those who want to come by public transport, there is also all the information about getting there. I have summarized everything worth knowing here in these posts:
–> Bastei Bridge Directions
–> Bastei Bridge Parking Lot
The most frequently asked questions
The Bastion is a well-known rock formation in Germany. These are steep isolated rocks. They are connected by the Bastei Bridge. There are numerous vantage points along this bridge.
Yes, that is possible. There is an approach from the Elbe via steps and the easy path from the Bastei car park.
The shortest way to the Bastei Bridge leads from the car parking or bus stop in a few minutes. If you want to hike further, there are additional options. The longest way leads from the Elbe from Rathen to the Bastei Bridge. Here I have the exact description for the Bastei Bridge Directions .
On the bastion, a stone bridge connects the rocks. It is located in the federal state of Saxony, close to Dresden. This stone bridge is called the Bastei Bridge. Attention: Not to be confused with the Steinerne Brücke in Regensburg. This bridge is considered the oldest preserved stone bridge in Germany.
The famous Bastei Bridge is located in Saxon Switzerland. It is located in the municipality of Lohmen, between the towns of Rathen and Wehlen.
The shortest way from the nearest car park to the Bastei Bridge is 10 minutes. It’s an easy walk that’s doable. However, this special car park fills up very quickly in the high season. Then you have to switch to other parking spaces. You can read here how to find the best parking space and what else you should know: Basteibrücke parking lot
It depends on what you want to see and where you want to go. Admission to the famous bridge in the Elbe sandstone mountains is basically free. However, there is also a paid area on the bridge. For an entrance fee you can visit the Felsenburg Neurathen there . Decide for yourself whether it’s worth it for you. Here is the information about the Bastei Bridge entrance .
There is not just ONE viewpoint on the bastion. Note the closure of the former bastion view. Coming from the parking lot at the Bastei, you can reach these viewpoints in this order:
Pavilion view with a view of the Bastei Bridge (above the Schwedenlochen)
Wehlstein View (left in front of the Bastei Hotel)
Ferdinand View (right in front of the Bastei Bridge)
Viewpoints on the Felsenburg Neurathen (Auf on the way to Rathen left)
Kanapee (on the way to Rathen right)
Thiedge-Aussicht (on the way to Rathen right)
Due to the many visitors, the rock at the bastion view was no longer safe. The viewing platform has been demolished. A new bastion viewpoint was built for around 3 million euros. Here is all the information about the Bastei view .
I recommend planning at least 1 hour for the excursion. During this time you at least manage to get a feeling of the bridge. However, it is worth spending more time here. Plan better 2 hours. So you can visit the numerous viewpoints. They’re really worth it. Don’t miss the most famous vantage point, the Ferdinandstein.
If you don’t want to walk here in the crowd, it’s best to come in the early morning or early evening. Then there are fewer people here. It’s worth getting up early for the ultimate photo: at sunrise, the sun bathes the arches of the bridge in a particularly magical light.
The Bastei is the most famous rock formation in the Elbsandsteingebirge. The reason for this is probably the motif of the Bastei Bridge. She attracted many painters. The longing spread through the paintings to be in this place in the Elbstandsteingebirge one day.
Famous sights in Germany
- Brandenburg Gate – monument of Berlin
- Oberbaumbrücke – cool bridge in Berlin
- Landungsbrücken – must see in Hamburg
- Loreley – famous rock at the Rhein River
- Marienbrücke – best fotopoint at the Schloss Neuschwanstein
Remember the Bastei Bridge
Do you want to remember these tips for the perfect Saxon Switzerland trip? Then use a pin on Pinterest. So you can easily find all these ideas about the Bastion and the Bastei Bridge when planning your holiday. You can also send this post to your mailbox or to your friends with whom you would like to come here – this can also be done via WhatsApp.