From Kurort Gohrisch to Weißig
From the spa town of Gohrisch, you take the Muselweg, the Jagdsteig, the Königsweg and the Alte Schulweg to Pfaffendorf. You climb the Pfaffenstein via the narrow Nadelöhr, or "Eye of the Needle" – a steep ascent including wooden and steel steps. You then walk down the mountain via the Klammweg in the direction of Quirl. The Malerweg then leads from Pfaffendorf sports ground to Königstein. You pass the parish church and walk along Latzweg to Königstein Fortress.You should have an extra two hours to spare if you wish to visit the fortress. The old fortress road, Festungsstraße, and Kanonenweg take you to the village of Thürmsdorf. You go through the village, walking past an old castle and by the alongside of the forest until you reach Weißig.
Information and detours from the Malerweg
Pfaffendorf is now a district of Königstein. The name originates from the Königstein priests or Pfaffen, to whom the inhabitants had to pay interest. In addition, the aforementioned clergy were also responsible for the hare shooting in the district. Numerous three-sided farmyards stand today as proof of the region's farming past.
The summit of the 428-metre table mountain is home to everything that Saxon Switzerland has to offer, in just a small area: Gorges, ascents, caves, viewpoints and more. The summit plateau with its panoramic views can be reached via numerous different paths. The ascent through the Nadelöhr is steep and narrow but most impressive!
According to legend, this 42-metre-tall rock stack represents a girl who was cursed by her mother. She was cursed because, one Sunday, she preferred to go blueberry picking than to go to church. The Barbarine was a climbing summit until 1975.
(Distance: 0,3 km | 5 min)
When compared to all the other table mountains, the Quirl is modest in height, but it has the largest summit plateau. Access to the mountain was blown up during the Austro-Prussian War in order to prevent the Prussian army from bringing their cannons too close to Königstein Fortress. These days the massif is covered in trees and features a range of picturesque viewpoints.
The 29-metre-long and 8-metre-wide cave of bedded rock is situated on the north-eastern side of the Quirl, directly on the Malerweg hiking trail. It is said to have provided a hideout for a band of robbers in 1885.
Town of Königstein
The town was first mentioned as a fortress settlement back in 1379. Today, the winding alleys invite visitors to enjoy a stroll. The 18th century St Marien Church, which was built under the influence of George Bährs, the architect responsible for the Frauenkirche, is well worth a visit.
The mountain fortress, which dates back over 400 years, remains a unique piece of European fortification construction history. Over 50 historical buildings, together with expansive green space, invite visitors to enjoy the fortress adventure. Exhibitions, tours and an audio guide (including for children) describe what everyday life used to be like here. Meanwhile, various events and two holiday apartments add to the interest. The restaurant »In den Kasematten« takes you on a culinary journey into the history of the fortress.
Thürmsdorf is part of the district of Struppen and is situated at the feet of the Bärensteine. The village was first mentioned back in 1420. The Malerweg trail takes you directly past a palatial manor. You can also stop off at the traditional village bakery or the chocolate factory to top up your supplies.
Mausoleum / Thiele viewpoint
Thürmsdorf is home to the Mausoleum of the v. Biedermann family. The attraction is signposted from the Malerweg trail. A viewpoint, which is named after the famous artist Johann Alexander Thiele, lies directly adjacent. The viewpoint offers wonderful views of the Elbe Valley, and of Königstein Fortress.
(Distance 0.2 km | 3 min)
Kleiner Bärenstein with Götzinger Höhle
Malerweg walkers can enjoy views of the Bärensteine from several points along the trail. If you have some spare time, you can go and see the Götzinger Höhle cave (sometimes referred to as the Diebshöhle on maps) at the foot of the Kleiner Bärenstein. Wonderful views can be enjoyed from the summit
(Distance approx. 2.9 km | 1.25 hr)
The village of Weissig was first mentioned back in 1431. It has been home to agricultural and cattle farming since time immemorial. Weißig is still shaped by farming to this day. The village, which is home to approx. 120 people, is part of the district of Struppen. It enjoys a wonderful, peaceful location above the River Elbe, and represents a good base from which to explore various walking tours.