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Elbe Sandstone outcrop at Bastei, Germany

Die Bastei is a rock formation towering above the Elbe river in the Sandstone Mountains of Sachsen, Eastern Germany. Reaching 305 m above sea level, its jagged rocks were formed by water erosion over 1 million years ago. They are situated near Rathen, not far from Pirna near Dresden, and are the main landmark of the Saxon Switzerland National Park. They are part of a climbing and hiking area that extends over the border into the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic. The Bastei has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. The spa town of Rathen is the main base for visiting; the town can be reached from Dresden by paddle steamer on the river Elbe.