The Pfaffenstein Mesa


The petrified Barbarine of Pfaffenstein overlooking the Zschirnsteine ​​/ Photo: Holm Riebe

Hiking recommendation: Königstein – Pfaffendorf – North ascent Nadelöhr- Königsteiner Steig – Todweg – Papststein – Gohrisch – Königstein (approx. 10 km)

For hikers, we recommend ascending the Pfaffenstein from the north through the Nadelöhr (bottleneck). On the plateau a track leads to the SE corner onto the large panoramic terrace near the Keilerturm. From here you also have the best views of the most famous rock of Saxon Switzerland, the Barbarine. The Pfaffenstein plateau that has been declared a nature reserve with its famous ascent – the Nadelöhr – has plenty of historical references to show for. The Pfaffenstein, like the Königstein and Lilienstein, is one of the large free-standing mesas in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. It differs from the other mountains because of its strong stratification and deep chasms.

Getting there:
Finding public transport connections:
German railway

Bus to Pfaffendorf line 244a

Historical notes: During the Bronze Age Pfaffenstein was already settled, to which the remains of a rampart on the west side still bear witness. In times of war and hardship the caves here were used as hiding places again and again. In the years 1878/1879 the Pfaffenstein was developed for tourism by a Pfaffendorf landowner. A plaque on the Jäckelfels is used for commemoration. A mountain restaurant was built in 1890 and the Nadelöhr was made accessible through a stairway in 1897. A 28m-high viewing tower was added in 1904. After winding your ways through all the crevices and enjoying all of the views hikers best descend the mountain via the “comfortable ascent” (bequemer Aufstieg). You then reach the track at the foot of the mountain. A visit to the opposite located “Quirl” is worth it anytime. From there you can admire the Pfaffenstein again in its full size.

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