Gattersburg porphyry

  • Geotope type: Cliff
  • Rocks: Gattersburg porphyry
  • Geological period: Permian (Rotliegend)

Gattersburg, a villa from the 1880s, stands on a cliff on the west bank of the river Mulde known as Gattersburg porphyry in Grimma. The cliff rocks are exposed at numerous places below the villa. They range from relatively compact sections (the cliff at the suspension bridge on the west bank), to partly hollow spaces (below the villa on the bridge house side), and fragmented (brecciated) parts to the north of the stairway leading to the villa.

04668 Grimma

N 51° 13′ 42.4; E 12° 43′ 30.6 (WGS 84)
4550761; 5677307 (Gauß-Krüger)
341171; 5677686 (UTM 33)

Stadtverwaltung Grimma
Markt 16/ 17
04668 Grimma
Tel. 03437 98580

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MDV Fahrtenplaner

Experts see this as being the product of one or more lava eruptions that flowed on top or next to each other and which occurred about 290 million years after the eruption and deposit of the thick Rochlitz porphyry. However, not all the properties of the Gattersburg porphyry clearly indicate a lava flow. For example, the relatively high proportion of large crystals in a quite uniformly developed groundmass of rocks and visible hollow spaces (either filled or open) in the rocks indicate that igneous rock (magma) intruded into rock layers close to the surface in several phases.

It took the Mulde thousands of years to break through the rock barrier at the Gattersburg. This means that today’s town of Grimma (Slavic grim = deep lying ground surrounded by water) is squeezed in between cliffs, and that it was repeatedly flooded by the Mulde in its more than 800 year history, most recently in the years 2002 and 2013. As a precautionary measure an approx. two kilometres long flood wall with closable floodgates was built.

Hängebrücke und Gattersburg in Grimma, Foto: Anja Hartmann

Villa Gattersburg on the Gattersburg porphyry, Photo: Frank Schmidt

Detailaufnahme Gattersburger Porphyr; Foto: Anja Hartmann

Close-up of the Gattersburg porphyry, Photo: Anja Hartmann

Schematic sketch by Kristina Bahr of the lava flow at the Gattersburg porphyry by Marion Geißler

Gattersburge porphyry in Grimma, Photo: Anja Hartmann