|Location:||South of Eisenach, in the Mariental. (50.945556°, 10.308056°)|
Closed because of ice in winter.
|Address:||Eisenach-Wartburgregion Touristik GmbH, Markt 24, 99817 Eisenach, Tel: +49-3691-79230. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1832||made passable for walkers and renamed Drachenschlucht by Oberforstrat Gottlob König.|
|1850||Mariental develops into a villa colony and recreation area for Eisenach.|
|1879||Hotel Sophienaue built.|
|1897||tram line to the entrance of the Drachenschlucht built.|
|1961||designated a Natural Monument with the NSG-No. 29 nature reserve Wartburg-Hohe Sonne.|
|1977||Drachenschlucht, Landgrafenschlucht and some grottos in the vicinity are protected as geological natural monuments.|
|2015<||Nature reserve forests with gorges between Wartburg Castle and Hohe Sonne.|
The Drachenschlucht (Dragon Gorge) is probably the most spectacular gorge in central Germany. It is 200m long and is only 70cm wide at its narrowest point. At the bottom of the 10m deep gorge the Quellbach flows, therefore a wooden plank path was built in 1832. However, this was damaged several times, especially by the ice formations in winter, so in 2009 it was replaced by gratings made of robust plastic.
The Drachenschlucht was protected in 2015 with the nature reserve Wälder mit Schluchten zwischen Wartburg und Hohe Sonne (forests with gorges between Wartburg Castle and Hohe Sonne). In fact, it had already been designated a Natural Monument by the GDR in 1961 as NSG No. 29 Wartburg-Hohe Sonne. However, the nearby Landgrafenschlucht and the Ludwigsklamm are also protected in the new NSG.
The gorge is a very special biotope with two extraordinary microclimates. Humid cool valleys and dry warm conditions along sunny cliffs provide a wealth of animals and plants. Rare species from the groups of small mammals, birds, amphibians and beetles as well as numerous ferns, mosses and lichens can be found here. The canyon forest in the Drachenschlucht is a special form of the acidic oak-beech forest.