The Bastei is a rocky prominence overlooking the Elbe River within the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Germany. As a mountain of 305 meters height the Bastei surpasses the river by 194 meters. It was formed by water a million years ago. Located near Rathen in Saxon Switzerland the Bastei is a landmark in a national park near Pirna southeast of Dresden. It is part of a climbing and hiking area that extends to the Czech Republic as Bohemian Switzerland.
The Bastei has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. Already in 1824 a wooden bridge was constructed to link several rocks for the visitors. This bridge was replaced in 1851 by the present Bastei Bridge made from sandstone. The rock formations and vistas have inspired artists, among them Caspar David Friedrich (i.e "Felsenschlucht" )