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Germany - Elbtal From Festung Koenigstein
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
Königstein Fortress (German: Festung Königstein), the 'Saxon Bastille', is a hilltop fortress near Dresden, in Saxon Switzerland, Germany, above the town of Königstein on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe and sits atop the table hill of the same name.
The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 meters above the river Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 meters long with walls up to 42 meters high and steep sandstone faces. In the center of the site is a 152.5 meter deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.
In World War I the castle was used as a prisoner of war camp (Oflag) for French and Russian officers. In World War II it served again as an Oflag, called Oflag IV-B, for British, French, Polish and other Allied officers. After the Second World War the Red Army used the fortress as a military hospital. And from 1949 to 1955 it was used as a so-called 'Jugendwerkhof' for the re-education of delinquent youths and those who did not fit the image of a socialist society.
April 1st, 2012
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