Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna is a municipality in the Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge is a district in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is named after the mountain ranges Saxon Switzerland and Erzgebirge.- History :...

 district in the German federal state of Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

. It has a population of approximately 1,600 and is located close to the Czech border in Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland is a hilly climbing area and national park around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in Saxony, Germany. Together with the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains....

, a popular tourist region.


Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna encompasses the villages of Reinhardtsdorf, Schöna and Kleingießhübel.


The municipality of Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna was formed in 1973 from the merger of three parishes:


Reinhardtsdorf is a Waldhufendorf
The Waldhufendorf is a form of rural settlement established in areas of forest clearing with the farms arranged in a series along a road or stream, like beads on a chain...

that was mentioned as long ago as 1368 and which used to be dominated by agriculture. Today the main source of economic income is tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

. South of the village lies an open-air pool, the Waldbad. Its Late Gothic church dates to the year 1523, its tower
A tower is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires....

 to 1685. Next to farmstead No. 7 stands an old, protected lime tree from about 1550. In house no. 21, and its barn there was an illegal printing press during the Nazi era, which is why it has become a listed building. In 2009 Reinhardtsdorf had 854 inhabitants (1999: 986).


Schöna lies at 280 m south of the River Elbe near the border with Czechia. The old Waldhufendorf
The Waldhufendorf is a form of rural settlement established in areas of forest clearing with the farms arranged in a series along a road or stream, like beads on a chain...

, first recorded in 1379, consists mainly of small cottage
__toc__In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. However there are cottage-style dwellings in cities, and in places such as Canada the term exists with no connotations of size at all...

s and old three-sided farmsteads. At the edge of the village of Schöna the Kaiserkrone towers above its surroundings and, somewhat further south is another hill, the Zirkelstein
The Zirkelstein is the smallest table mountain of Saxon Switzerland. It is a wooded, cone-shaped hill with a striking 40 metre high summit block of sandstone rock.- Location and area :...

. The Hirschgrund valley runs down to the Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 and the Hirsch Mill (Hirschmühle) and bisects the otherwise flat landscape of Schöna itself. Due to the copious quantities of water and steep gradient there used to be several mills in operation here. The few houses in the rather shaded and cool narrow valley belong to Schöna. In einem Upper Lusatian house
Upper Lusatian house
The Upper Lusatian house or Umgebindehaus is a special type of house that combines log house, timber-framing and building stone methods of construction...

 in the high street is the Heimatstube Schöna, a local history museum with historic records of the life of the population in bygone centuries. In the northwest in the direction of the Großer Zschirnstein
Großer Zschirnstein
The Großer Zschirnstein is the highest hill in the Saxon and German part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.- Location and area :There are two climbing peaks on the Großer Zschirnstein - the Großer and Kleiner Zschirnsteinturm . There is also the Südwand climbing route that ends directly at the...

 stands a prominent oak tree called "Kreusels Eiche".

A important son of the parish is Wilhelm Michael Schaffrath (1814-1893), a lawyer, state and imperial parliament representative. He was a delegate of the St. Paul's Church
St. Paul's Church, Frankfurt
St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt am Main is a church with important political symbolism in Germany. It was opened as a Protestant church in 1789, coincidentally the same year as the French Revolution, and in 1848-1849 it became the seat of the Frankfurt Parliament, the first publicly and freely...

 when it was a venue for the National Assembly in 1848. In 2009, Schöna had a population of 454 (1999: 565).


Kleingießhübel was first recorded in 1379 as Gizobel. In addition to the mining of limonite
Limonite is an ore consisting in a mixture of hydrated iron oxide-hydroxide of varying composition. The generic formula is frequently written as FeO·nH2O, although this is not entirely accurate as limonite often contains a varying amount of oxide compared to hydroxide.Together with hematite, it has...

 on the Zschirnstein
Zschirnstein is a mountain of Saxony, southeastern Germany....

, the main source of income was the manufacture of pitch
Pitch (resin)
Pitch is the name for any of a number of viscoelastic, solid polymers. Pitch can be made from petroleum products or plants. Petroleum-derived pitch is also called bitumen. Pitch produced from plants is also known as resin. Products made from plant resin are also known as rosin.Pitch was...

 as a lubricant for wagons in the road to Tetschen that ran past the village.


The town is known as a centre of Neo-Nazi voters (20% voted for the far-right NPD in the 2008 elections). Even so, this has yet to have a detrimental impact on the quality of one's experience of Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna, and which Mayor Olaf Ehrlich and his colleagues are proud develop and represent.

Reinhardtsdorf Church

The history of the church in Reinhardtdorf goes back to the first settlement around 1200 albeit first recorded in 1368. At the beginning of the 16th century it was expanded and in 1521 was given a Gothic winged altar. This carved altar with a portrayal of the Anna selbdritt
Anna selbdritt
Anna selbdritt, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne - is a subject in Christian art, showing Saint Anne with her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and her grandson Jesus. This type has been quite popular in Germany from the 14th century.-See also:...

 was replaced when the church was renovated in 1681 by a baroque altar that depicted Jesus' Last Supper, his crucifixion and resurrection. The renovation also saw the construction of the tower. For a long time the Gothic altar was in a museum in Dresden and did not return to Reinhardtsdorf until January 1945, only a few days before the bombing of Dresden
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

. It is now located next to the 1615 pulpit. From 1680 to 1711 the church was painted. The ceiling shows the Last Judgement and the Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, the upper storey, scenes from the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, mainly from the Book of Genesis, but also of the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

, of Samson
Samson, Shimshon ; Shamshoun or Sampson is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Tanakh ....

, David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 und Elijah, the lower storey portrays the life of Jesus Christ. Under each painting is the name of the sponsor and the amount he donated. On the pews, Christian virtues and doctrine are portrayed graphically. The background to the paintings is the area around Reinhardtsdorf, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Elbe Sandstone Mountains
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains, also called the Elbe sandstone highlands is a mountain range straddling the border between the state of Saxony in southeastern Germany and the North Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, with about three-quarters of the area lying on the German side...

. The church has an organ by Hermann Eule Orgelbau Bautzen from 1911.


  • 1948 monumnet on the glazier's house (Glaserschmiede), house no. 50, for all victims of Fascism
    Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

    , and in particular for Nazi opponent, Bernhardt Geißler, who was murdered in 1940 at the Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre
    Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre
    The Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre , officially known as the Brandenburg an der Havel State Welfare Institute The Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre , officially known as the Brandenburg an der Havel State Welfare Institute The Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre , officially known as the Brandenburg an der...

    , for Walter Hering, who was murdered in 1937 at the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Clinic
  • The Society of Nature House (Zirkelsteinhaus), no. 109 in East German days bore the name of the Jewish-Communist resistance fighter, Hans Dankner, who was murdered in 1944 at Auschwitz Concentration Camp
    Auschwitz concentration camp
    Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...


There are many activities to pursue here, including hiking, mountain biking and horse riding through the beautiful countryside. Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna is thus popular with German and international tourists and it is often difficult to find accommodation in peak season. Camping is an alternative.

Although tourism is a very important component of the local economy, there is still a great reliance on agriculture, with an emphasis on cereals as well as diversification into other crops such as Oilseed rape.

To the northwest it is a 28 km, as the crow flies, to the outskirts of the city of Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

. Unfortunately, getting there is picturesque but slow, whether travelling down the Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 or over the minor back roads.

English-speaking visitors will find it a challenge without some knowledge of German, but helpful for those wanting to practise their German. The concept of a two-week holiday to improve one's German, as is not uncommon in Poland, for example, is being considered by the Goethe Institute and their EU cultural partners. This may also include further development of the German courses made available by DW-Welle/DW-World.DE, so as to feature material with content that reflects aspects of life in Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna and the region in general.

10 km northwest, as the crow flies, on the far side of the River Elbe, is the world famous Rathen Rock Theatre. It is here that dramatic reenactments of scenes from the famous western novels of Karl May
Karl May
Karl Friedrich May was a popular German writer, noted mainly for adventure novels set in the American Old West, and similar books set in the Orient and Middle East . In addition, he wrote stories set in his native Germany, in China and in South America...

 are performed for tourists. Actors are dressed in period costume, and a considerable amount of gunplay and use of pyrotechnics greatly adds to the drama.

Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 is approximately 175 km to the north. This is little more than a two hour drive, traffic permitting, but there is also the option of taking the ICE from Dresden HBF to Berlin HBF. Travel times by train are between 2–3 hours, depending on the number of stops on the schedule, and time of day or night.

14 km south of Reinhardsdorf-Schöna, across the Czech border, lies the city of Decin
Děčín is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region in the north of the Czech Republic. It is the largest town and administrative seat of the Děčín District.-Geography:...


Whilst Reinhardsdorf-Schöna is well placed compared to large urban areas in terms of employment, trade and tourism, for example, without having to worry unduly about over-development that would spoil the local environment. That said, like any small town/village, there is a danger in it becoming simply a dormitory village, with little to encourage the younger generation to remain and earn a living.

External links

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