Steamboats and Castles
Konigstein Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
Today we take a steamboat trip on the Elbe River into The Swiss Saxon NP and then on to Konigstein Castle. With nine historic steamboats, all between 74 and 124 years old, the Saxon Steamboat Company has the oldest and largest fleet of steamboats in the world.It's a lovely day and a nice leisuerly ride along the river to our first stop off at the Saxon Switzerland NP. The sandstone needles and bizarre cliff faces with strange conifers, primordial beech forests and deep-running streams have been a German National Park since 1990.With more than 700 square kilometres of space, it is one of Europe's last large wildernesses, ideal for hiking and climbing or just a relaxed day out.
We go on to visit the Konigstein Fortress. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Elbe River The Castle is the stuff of Fairytales.
As a castle, Konigstein was used as a stronghold and a sixteenth century monastery before Elector Christian I converted it into a fortress in 1589. It then served as a prison until Napoleon’s conquest of Prussia when it became a fortress of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Konigstein Fortress continued to be used for various other purposes over the centuries, being everything from a retreat for soldiers to a hiding place for the Saxon royal family. During both World War I and World War II it was used as a prisoner of war camp.
Today, Konigstein Fortress is a museum, showing the history of the site throughout its existence.A good day out for fans of History and Castles like me.