Swiss Saxony : Michelin's recommendations
The tour begins with Schloß Pillnitz, a Baroque pleasure palace built between 1720 and 1724 by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, the Prince-electors' favourite architect and well worth taking the time to stroll round with its English-style garden and various palaces. Next on the tour is the superb Bastei lookout post which towers 200m above the River Elbe, on a rocky spine overlooking a spectacular almost lunar like landscape and offering a wonderful view of the region. You will then reach Bad Schandau, Swiss Saxony's most popular tourist resort and a spa town renowned for its iron-rich waters since 1730. Before you cross over the river, Kirnitzsch Valley, hemmed in by steep sheer cliffs, is well worth a detour. The opposite bank of the Elbe is dominated by Königstein (360m) and its spectacular fortress. Built between the 13Cand 16C and extended during the 17C and 18C, it served several times as a refuge for the court of Saxony and also as a prison, from which it was virtually impossible to escape. Among the most famous internees held here were Böttger, inventor of porcelain, August Bebel, founder of the Social Democrat Party with Karl Liebknecht in 1869 and General Giraud, who managed to escape in 1942 by tying a rope to one of the narrow barred windows. The tour finishes with the barockgarten Großsedlitz, part of which was laid out in a French style in 1719. It continues to rank among the finest achievements of Baroque German landscape gardening. Return to Dresden.