Decin- Czechia’s sandstone canyon town

Masa Mesic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Decin is located in the Northern Bohemia part of Czechia, close to the German border. Plan a day trip to the northern part of the country, and enjoy this picturesque adventure to the sandstone canyon. Elbe River divides the town into two parts and makes its way through to the area of the canyon. 

Decin (pronounced Dechin) is a small town located about one hour away from the capital Prague. Decin has a rather interesting and turbulent history. Nazi Germany actually annexed the city of Decin during the Second World War; large numbers of the (German) local population got displaced during this period. 

Decin Castle 

It is the colorful buildings of the canyon that attract the most visitors; although Decin is also famous for its 18th-century castle, rock formations, forests, and wildlife. Decin castle resides on a hilltop and overlooks the Elbe River. During the Nazi occupation, the castle has also been used as a sort of a military barrack. Following the German rule of the castle and the town, the castle was taken over by the Soviets, who left the premises in a rather poor state. Since then, the castle has been refurbished, and finally opened its doors to the public. Beautiful gardens and forests all along surround the walls and premises of this castle.    

© istock/DTatiana8

While in Decin, make sure you climb some of the city peaks. For example, the  Decinsky Sneznik located East of Decin, is a mountain top with a view tower, from where you can get a magnificent view of the city and the surrounding landscapes all around. 

© istock/Castka

Shepherd’s wall

A must-see while in Decin is the Pastyrska Stena or the Shepherd’s Wall, which is a sandstone formation that overlooks the Elbe river, where a row of picturesque buildings resides. You may wish to climb the actual Shepherd’s Wall and take in the breath-taking view of the surroundings or visit the site from the roadway. The most preferred and touristy-attractive way to fully take in the stunning view is to go on a boat ride. Boat excursions depart all year round from the riverbank close to the information hut. The exciting part about getting on this boat is that you can actually cruise down the river all the way to Dresden, Germany. For the cyclists amongst you, you can embark the boat with your bike, and get off to join one of the bike paths which runs all along the banks of the river. If you are a fan of rock climbing, you can also experience Decin by exploring the hundreds of meters via Ferrata (also known as climbing paths). For maximum safety, ideally, this activity should be done with a group or a guide. 

© istock/Janek

Discover the history of Decin by visiting its 18th-century castle, and viewing the town from one of its hill-tops. Most importantly, don't forget to get a good glimpse of the Shepherd’s Wall from the riverboat on the Elbe River. 

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