Elbe Sandstone

Elbsandstone referred sandstones whose natural occurrence is limited to the north of Bohemia and in the Dresden located parts of Saxony. It is named after the river Elbe, in a transverse valley, the Elbe Valley zone runs through its range. Most striking it occurs in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains to days, which is divided into Saxon Switzerland in German and Bohemian Switzerland on the Czech side. The term Elbe Sandstone is used both in geological as well as in economic contexts.

Geological term

As Elbsandstone in the geological sense, all sandstone types are summarized, which occur in the area of the Elbe valley chalk and originated in the Cretaceous period. It consists mainly of quartz grains that are pebbly bound. The proportions and contents of mineral accessory minerals are different. Its deposits are adjacent to the areas of the Lusatian Massif ( Lusatian Antiklinalzone ), the Meissner massif, the gneiss of the eastern Ore Mountains, and on the Elbe Valley Slate Mountains and on the territory of the Czech Republic to the north-eastern foothills of the Bohemian Uplands the marginal zone of the Egergrabens.

Petrography degraded Elbe Sandstone Rocks

The large part of the varieties collected in quarries are sandstones with a pebble grain binding. It is quartz sandstone whose grains of quartz by the solidification ( diagenesis ) at their contact zones each have intergrown crystal systems. Minor components are found feldspar, glauconite and iron minerals Limonitkomplexes. In the pore spaces of sandstones of the type Cotta are fine-grained fractions of the minerals illite, kaolinite and quartz. The kaolinite is derived from the decomposition of feldspar ( kaolinisation ). The thus liberated SiO2 contributed significantly to the mutual coalescence of the grains of sand. The pore spaces of sandstones of the type Posta largely contain no fillings.

The sandstone of Reinhardt village is a stone type Cotta with some properties of the type Posta. In the past, it broke in a few closed today quarries sandstones that have a carbonate content. They come from near-surface deposits and are of limited economic importance have been.

The main properties of this stone types are determined by their existing or lack of fine particle fractions.

Stone locations

Solidified sandy sediments of marine origin from the Upper Cretaceous form a up to 400 meters thick sequence of several layers. They are degraded for centuries and used as a stone. The lowest-lying stratigraphically oldest stone - horizon is called the center box or Cottaer sandstone, was built in the lower Turonian and often found as a sculptor stone use.

It is the resultant middle- upper Turonian cuboid which is also known as Reinhardt villages sandstone. It accounts for the bulk of the Elbsandsteins. Reinhardt villages sandstone was and is used in the Dresden Zwinger; in the recent past was re- built with this stone the Braunschweig Palace. Like Him, but of particular quality, the Grillburger sandstone, which comes not from the Saxon Switzerland, but from the same place in Tharandter forest near Dresden, as the Hetzdorfer sandstone, is one of the low Schönaer layers because of their origin within the Elbe valley chalk deemed Elbe Sandstone Rocks. This Sandsteinvarietäten are no longer mined.

The topmost layer is called the youngest About ashlar sandstone or Posta and comes as the similar Wehlener sandstone against only on the right bank of the Elbe. This resulting in the upper Turon variety has a high strength and is used as a building block, particularly in a load carrying function. Among other things, he came in the construction of the Dresden Frauenkirche used. He is similar to the sandstone from the Paul Strand, Höckendorfer and Dippoldiswalder heath, not far from Dippoldiswalde near Dresden.

Bas-relief at the St. Jacob's Church in Chemnitz, sandstone type Posta

Main entrance of the Palucca School, door jambs in sandstone -type Cotta

Architectural decoration in Chemnitz, sandstone type Cotta


For one of the main mining sites, the quarries in Lohmgrund south of Pirna, the railway line Pirna large Cotta had been built. Many quarries in the Elbe valley between Pirna and Tetschen could carry away their products with either the Elbe shipping or on the railway line Dresden- Decin.