“Eulenkluft” near Wechselburg

  • Geotope type: Cliff
  • Rocks: Fascicular schist of the granulite mountains
  • Geological period: Lower Carboniferous

To the north of the Wechselburg castle grounds you get a good view of the cliffs of the “Eulenkluft” chasm from the banks of the Zwickauer Mulde. This approximately 50 metres high promontory is located on the left side of the Mulde. Here the river has managed to break through a rock barrier in thousands of years of hard work, exposing a geologically highly interesting rock formation. Today the cliffs are a haven for numerous birds and other animals.

Geologically this is part of the slate cover of the granulite mountains that also border onto the northwest Saxon volcanic rock complex in Geopark Porphyrland in the south. Under the influence of magma (contact metamorphism) numerous andalusite minerals formed in the originally mica schist on the schistosit surfaces. The centimetre-sized mineral formations, so-called blasts, look like small bundles of hay. They gave the fascicular schist of the “Eulenkluft” its name. The core of the granulite mountains consists of rocks that are more than 550 million years old. During the formation of the Variscan mountains approx. 340 million years ago these rocks were transformed under high pressure and great temperatures through colliding continental plates. This is also how the fascicular schist was formed.

Eulenkluft Wechselburg, Detailbild des Garbenschiefers, Foto: A. Hartmann

Eulenkluft Wechselburg, Close-up of the fascicular schist, Photo: Anja Hartmann

09306 Wechselburg

N 51° 0′ 33.2; E 12° 46′ 1.4 (WGS 84)
4553940; 5652948 (Gauß-Krüger)
343354; 5653221 (UTM 33)

Gemeindeverwaltung Wechselburg
Bahnhofstr. 16
09306 Wechselburg
Tel. 037384 8070
Internet: www.wechselburg.de

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MDV Fahrtenplaner

The geotope is the perfect starting point for a family hiking tour. The nature trail starts next to the castle grounds near the imposing sculpture “Porphyry Councilmen”. The “Porphyry Councilmen” symbolise the exchange of castles or territory between Duke Moritz of Saxony and Count von Schönburg in the year 1543. This is how Wechselburg got its present place name. With its vividly designed stations the educational trail is particularly interesting for children to playfully explore the local flora and fauna. The forest trail leads to the almost three kilometres long porphyry trail on Rochlitzer Berg. This is where the significance of the well-known Rochlitz porphyry (“Rochlitzer Porphyrtuff”), its formation and the industrial heritage is exemplified.

Before proceeding up the mountain Rochlitzer Berg you should stop and see the Wechselburg monastery church, a late Romanesque pillar basilica which was completed around 1180 and which is now once again being used as a Benedictine monastery. The rood screen from the 13th century consisting of Rochlitz porphyry represents an architectural and cultural treasure. In medieval times this separated the area taken up by the Benedictine monks from the commoners during mass.

Basilica Wechselburg with the rood screen, Photo: Anja Hartmann