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|Bundesland: Freistaat Sachsen||Saxony|
|Landkreis: Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge|
Königstein (Sächsische Schweiz) is situated at the river Elbe near the mouth of the river Biela in Saxony, surrounded by four mountains, the Königstein with its famous former fortress, the Lilienstein, the Pfaffenstein, and the Quirl. Its location on important trading routes of the Elbe river and the roads leading from Prague to Magdeburg and from Nürnberg to Zittau was of great strategic importance. The earliest mention of a castle dates back to 1241. The town itself was first mentioned in 1379. Situated in the borderland between the Margraviate of Meißen and the Kingdom of Bohemia it remained under Bohemian rule for a long time. In 1408 Königstein came in possession of the Saxony although it remained a Bohemian fief at first. In 1587 Elector Christian I of Saxony had the castle enlarged to a famous fortress, which was later visited and admired by Czar Peter I, Napoleon Bonaparte, and many German sovereigns. The opening of regular river navigation in 1837 and of the railroad to Königstein in 18481851 marked the beginning of tourism. Today, more than half a million people visit Königstein each year.
The Protestant town church [center left] was rebuilt in Baroque style after a large fire
had destroyed the previous church in 1810. The interior was decorated in Classicist style in 1823/24.