Biela (river)

The Biela between Otto mill and Schweizermühle

The Biela ( Czech Bela ) is a left tributary of the Elbe River in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

History and development

The first time in 1412 as the Bela river rises as mentioned Hammerbach to about 520 meters into the sandstone rocks of island ( tschech. Ostrov ) in the Bohemian Switzerland (source: 50.080 ° N, 14.051 ° E ) 50.8005514.05127475 flows in a northerly direction and reached after a few miles Saxon territory. There the Hammerbach combined with the drought Biela, which originates at high snow mountain, near the village Sněžník (Snow Mountain ). The river flows in a northerly direction to the same until he makes a wide bend in the river just before the mouth of a turn to the northeast. After 18 kilometers, run length Biela leads to 115 m above sea level in Königstein on the left into the Elbe.


The Biela has, as a result of raising the Erzgebirgsscholle that mitverkippte also the western part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, from the source to the mouth of a significant difference in height of about 400 meters on. The gradient is responsible for increased erosion that created the valley slopes sometimes bizarrely shaped sandstone rocks.

Water status

The Biela is to continue to track a near-natural stream with a sandy bottom and clear water. The banks are only installed in the local documents. The creek meanders in places where Sohlenkerbtal formed by it. In the floodplains of the Biela places birch and black alder swamp forests are developed.

Biela Valley Railway

In July 1901, the company opened for trackless trains Max Schiemann & Co. of Dresden engineer Max Schiemann in the Biela valley one of the world's first trolleybus routes, the Biela valley railway. The 2.8 km long route led by King stone huts on the then King Spa Brunn, also called water-cure establishment Königsbrunn. Lack of profitability was set the track back in September 1904.

Hammer mills and cottages

The water power of the Biela was used in the past by numerous mills and hammer huts. Importance was the valley in the past as the site of smelting for the magnetite obtained by Berggießhübel. The Biela valley was preferred as a cabin location as the river on a high and relatively uniform water drainage features. The previously oldest known plant was the hammer cabin shower stone that was already mentioned in 1410 as a successor possession documented. Erected around 1700 blast furnace Brausenstein is now the only remaining tangible tools of production technology of the hammer metallurgy throughout the area of the so-called Pirnisch iron. Overall, passed along the Biela from the source to the mouth following Hammer Cottages ( operating times in brackets ):

  • Eiland ( Ostrov u Tise ) (before 1515 to 1650 )
  • Oberhütte (before 1452 to 1726, and later water-cure establishment Schweizermühle )
  • Otto mill (1548 former corn mill, now inn & hostel)
  • Shower stone ( 1410-1750 )
  • Envy mountain (before 1470 -? )
  • Reichstein (1494-1705)
  • Middle Empire Hammer ( before 1445-1680 )
  • Lower Empire Hammer ( before 1445-1640 )
  • Access Hammer ( before 1445-1649 )
  • Old Gießhütte ( 1541 to after 1586)

Most systems had their operation due to the forest devastation and which verteuernden charcoal set 17./Anfang end of the 18th century. At the site of the old Gießhütte in huts now produces the paper Louisenthal, a subsidiary of Giesecke & Devrient, bank notes and securities.

After Schober there were in the Biela valley following mills:

  • Worm or worms mill
  • Otto - mill
  • Schweizermühle
  • Parisiusmühle
  • Shower Mühle
  • Empire Mühle
  • Hofemühle Hermsdorf
  • Paper mill huts
  • Schinke mill huts
  • Zeibigmühle huts
  • Reicheltmühle Königstein
  • Hofemühle Königstein
  • Top or rear- mill Königstein
  • Biener mill Königstein
  • Low or bridge mill Königstein

And on Cunnersdorfer Bach

  • Obermuhle Cunnersdorf
  • Mittelmühle Cunnersdorf
  • Schinke mill Cunnersdorf
  • Hüttenhofmühle Cunnersdorf

And on Leupoldishainer Bach

  • Leupoldishainer mill Leupoldishain
  • Nikolsdorfer mill Nikol village


The Valley of Biela been affected repeatedly in the past of floods, which often were related to Vb weather conditions, which erupted as heavy rain over the eastern Erzgebirge. On November 15, 1552 should have been killed in the floods of a sudden flood of Mühlwassers ( Biela ) in space Königstein 107 people. Another flood destroyed on May 28, 1617 many mills and hammer mills. In Königstein a bridge and seven houses were destroyed. During the floods of 29-30. July 1897 were destroyed numerous bridges and weirs, the valley road was destroyed over large sections. In huts a man was killed. The hundred-year flood in August 2002 caused in the catchment area of Biela damages in the amount of € 24 million.


The erosion on the valley slopes, which was partly designed bizarre sandstone cliffs arise, is in charge with the development of the popular climbing area Biela valley. In the current Kletterführer 239 climbing summit with hundreds of trails of all difficulty levels are listed only in the German part of the Bielatals, more climbing peaks are found in the Bohemian part of the valley.

Extensive parts of the Bielatalfelsen are moved up in great depth and have been skewed. Also the formation of up to 45 meters depth reaching tectonic rift caves is due to this process the rock resolution. The most famous of these caves is open to visitors Benno cave, only slightly more than 13 m but deep.