National parks are areas of outstanding natural beauty and, thus, worldwide attractions. In our Central European cultural landscapes this protective category is about distancing oneself from land use on at least 75% of the area. Without human impact our forests will change back into natural forests. Nature is shrinking in many places as a result of our human activity. At the same time there is parallel growing demand for intact, beautiful landscapes and “pristine” areas.

A National Park in Saxony? Can we afford it?

Nechte přírodu přírodě! „Mrtvé dřevo a houští“ nabízejí celé řadě rostlinných a živočišných druhů cenný životní prostor, současně ale provokují vžité představy o „čistém a udržovaném“ lese.

Leave nature to its own devices! Dead wood and undergrowth offer a variety of plant and animal species a valuable habitat, but at the same time challenge established ideas of a “clean and tidy” forest

What is true for Central Europe, certainly applies to the Free State of Saxony, whose natural landscape has changed dramatically and almost everywhere due to mining, agriculture and industrialization since the late Middle Ages. Yet, there is still a piece of land that is worth being a national park!

The Saxon Switzerland National Park is the only national park in Saxony and the only rock national park in Germany.

It comprises two spatially separated, characteristic sections of the Saxon Elbe Sandstone Mountains with an area of ​​93.5 km2, equivalent to 0.5% of Saxony’s area, that should be preserved for future generations. One half of one percent of our habitat, in which nature is the boss, not humans.


Naturnahe Waldentwicklung mit verschiedenen Altersklassen auf kleinster Fläche

Semi-natural forest development with different age classes on small ground

In comparison, more than half of our country are meadows and fields, 12% of the land we claim for transport and buildings, of which one-third is for roads alone, with a rising tendency. So can we afford to continue to fully renounce land use in the National Park? Just watch, discover in awe? We invite you to visit the National Park and make up your own opinion! The staff of our National Park Watch are here to help you.


Protected areas in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

National Park

Our National Park is divided into three protection zones:

Natural Zone A
Natural Zone B
The Buffer Zone

Independent of this there is a so-called core zone, which is marked by signs and was designated for the purpose of regulating recreational activities such as hiking.

Zonierungskarte des Nationalparks

Overview map of the zoning in the National Park, as of ordinance 2003


Conservation Area belt

Together with the adjacent Saxon Switzerland Conservation Area the National Park forms the Saxon Switzerland National Park Region. A Saxon peculiarity representing an appreciation of the entire Saxon Switzerland.

The Conservation Areas of our Bohemian neighbors

Since 1972 the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Conservation Area (CHKO Labské pískovce) and since 2000 the Bohemian Switzerland National Park (Národní park České Švýcarsko) adjoin the German border so that the natural protection can be guaranteed across borders.

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