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View over the Kemnitzbach valley towards Schwand

Protected oaks in the Kemnitz valley

Thermal spring at the Neumühle below Geilsdorf

The Burgsteinlandschaft (formerly Landschaftsschutzgebiet Burgsteingebiet, C 32) is a protected landscape area of 5700 hectares (as of 2019[1]) area in the Vogtlandkreis district on the territory of the Saxon municipality of Weischlitz. The protection order of 1990 was issued again in 1995 by an ordinance of the district office Plauen.[2]


The Burgsteinlandschaft landscape conservation area covers an area in the west of today’s Vogtlandkreis, which under historical observation was settled towards the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century in the course of the High Medieval eastern colonisation from Upper Franconian regions, especially the Main area. The old roads played a role in this process, which now developed into settlement routes and favoured the founding of villages. One focus was on the Vogtland Steig between Hof and Plauen.[3][4]

The following districts of the municipality of Weischlitz are located in or directly adjacent to the landscape conservation area (LSG): Dehles, Geilsdorf, Grobau, Gutenfürst, Kemnitz, Krebes, Reinhardtswalde, Reuth (peripheral location), Ruderitz, Schönlind, Schwand, Steins, Thossen (peripheral location) and Unterweischlitz (peripheral location). The core area, characterised by larger and wooded rock groups, extends between the villages of Gutenfürst, Krebes, Ruderitz and Schwand.

The landscape is named after the rock group Burgstein with the ruins of two gothic sacral buildings and is a part of the Schwand-Gutenfürster Kuppenland.
The perimeter line of the LSG is outlined (clockwise) essentially from the state border with the Free State of Bavaria at Gutenfürst, further from this place across the railway line Leipzig-Hof away to the vicinity of Reuth, now along the regional road S 311 to the village of Weischlitz, this westward bypassing the Elster valley right upstream to the motorway bridge and finally parallel to the federal motorway 72 to the state border with the Free State of Bavaria. All closed built-up areas of the villages lying in this area are excluded from the landscape protection area. Within the LSG are smaller nature conservation areas. These are: Brauhauspöhl (3.74 ha), Pfarrwiese (50 ha), Unteres Kemnitztal (27.16 ha) and Wartberg Thossen (18.1 ha).[5]

Striking and therefore landscape-defining features are the numerous rock groups made of diabase rocks, of which the most extensive elevations have their own names.[6][7]

  • Anthill
  • Brauhauspöhl
  • Castle Stone
  • Günther
  • Eichelpöhl
  • Kienberg
  • Kirchpöhl
  • Bullock’s Whistle
  • Ruderitzberg
  • Steinpöhl (at the Nonnenholz)
  • Front and rear plate

The rock groups are criss-crossed by natural fissure systems, where weathering processes have produced bizarre shapes in some places. Between the rock groups, which are covered with mixed and coniferous forest, spring depressions and small valleys were formed, which are predominantly used for agricultural purposes and, due to the waterlogging, typically allow for a meadow landscape. Other areas in the protected landscape area are used for field farming and their surfaces are morphologically characterised by the landscape type “diabase dome country”, the potholes.[8][9]

The most important watercourse, apart from the Weiße Elster, which is only tangential to the eastern edge of the protected area, is the Kemnitzbach, whose numerous tributaries essentially also originate in the landscape conservation area. Its stream bed has cut deeply into the landscape and crosses only two closed settlement areas (Kemnitz, Ruderitz). Furthermore, there is the Schönlinder Burgbach (near Thossen), the Kröstaubach and the Deistelbach (at Butterweg).

Standing water in the area exists:

at Dehles
  • Lime Pond
at and in Geilsdorf
  • Rossler Pond
  • Schafteich
  • Probably
at large
  • Big pond
  • Sun Angle Pond
in Gutenfürst
  • Forstteich (gondola pond)
at and in Kemnitz
  • Trout Pond
  • Gässerteich
  • Kemnitz Dam
at Krebes
  • Desert Lap Pond
near Ruderitz
  • Kochus
near Schwand
  • Boblitz Pond
  • Lohteich
  • New pond
near Weischlitz
  • Mill pond of the Zeschenmühle (new mill)

Places of interest

Among the sights of the protected landscape area (LSG) are both natural areas and individual architectural and archaeological monuments. Information boards have been erected at several places.

  • Castle ruins
  • Butterweg, the western section in the LSG
  • Geilsdorf, moated castle
  • Kandelstein, with historical triangulation column Station 158 Kandelstein
  • Kemnitz valley with sheep bridge
  • Pine mill in the Kemnitz valley
  • Krebes, village museum and church with vicarage
  • Ruderitz, historical inn with art gallery
  • Schwarzenreuth, hiking trails in the rocks
  • Thermal spring Neumühle
  • Thossen Church
  • Weischlitz, valley section of the White Elster river


  • Landscape protection area Burgstein area. In: Plauenand the middle Vogtland (= Values of our homeland. Volume 44). 1.Edition. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1986, pp. 159-160.

Web links

Individual references

  1. Saxon State Ministry for Energy, Climate Protection, Environment and Agriculture Landscape conservation areas. at, including file Schutzgebietsverzeichnis der Landschaftsschutzgebiete (as of Jan. 1, 2019).
  2. Ordinance of the Plauen District Office dated 14 December 1995 (Kreisjournal 12/95 p. 18), amended by Ordinance of the Vogtlandkreis District Office dated 15 June 2012 (SächsGVBl. p. 445).
  3. Karlheinz Blaschke: Geschichte Sachsens im Mittelalter. Union-Verlag, Berlin 1990, p. 80.
  4. Gerhard Billig, Renate Wißuwa: Altstraßen im sächsischen Vogtland. Vogtlandmuseum Plauen, Schriftenreihe Heft 55. Plauen 1987, pp. 13, 16-17.
  5. Friedemann Klenke (Red.): Naturschutzgebiete in Sachsen. Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Landwirtschaft, Dresden 2008, ISBN 978-3-932627-17-0, p. 454.
  6. Schleiz, Gefell, Burgstein area and surroundings, 1:35 000. Cycling and hiking map. Verlag Dr. Andreas Barthel, Leipzig, ISBN 978-3-89591-047-0.
  7. Landesvermessungsamt Sachsen: Topographical Map 1:25 000. sheet 2 Vogtland Oelsnitz. Dresden 1997, ISBN 3-86170-934-1.
  8. Günter Freyer: Geology of the Vogtland. Vogtland Verlag, Plauen 1995, p. 5.
  9. Rolf Weber: The natural area. In: Plauenand the middle Vogtland (= Values of our homeland. Volume 44). 1.Edition. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1986, pp. 5-7.