Is it a hill? Is it a forest? No, it's Königstein Fortress.
Also known as the Saxon Bastille, this never-conquered fortress is on a rock plateau by the bank of the River Elbe near Dresden in Saxon Switzerland, Germany. It is one of the most spectacular hilltop fortresses in the world.
Entry to this 9.5 hectare fortress is via lifts which rise 240 metres. The fortress has over 50 buildings which serve as evidence of military and civilian life within the fortress. In the centre of the fortress is a 152.5 metre deep well, the second deepest in Europe.
Interestingly, the oldest known record of the fortress is in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dated 1233. At this time, the fortress belonged to the Kingdom of Bohemia. Its first listing as Königstein (King's Rock) Fortress was in a charter signed by King Wenceslas I in 1241. Only in 1459 was the fortress transferred to the Margraviate of Meißen.
Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable so Saxon monarchs retreated to the fortress in times of crisis and used it as a repository for treasure and works of art.
The fortress is one of Saxony's most popular tourist attractions, with over 700,000 visitors per year and is well worth visiting.
Adults: summer 10 €, winter 8 €
Reduced: summer 7 €, winter 6 €
Mini family: summer 15 €, winter 13 €
Family: summer 25 €, winter 21 €
Audio guide 3 €