From the centre of Mikulášovice follow the yellow markers up past the Hančova cross to the border with Bohemian Switzerland. Then join the red route and walk past Weifberg hill and the former mill – now the Obermühle guesthouse – then follow the path above the Křinice valley and eventually come to the barge quay at the start of the Upper Weir (Obere Schleuse). Take a boat across the 700-metre reservoir, which ends in a dyke 7m high. The boat trip takes about half an hour and during the journey the ferryman tells some interesting historical stories, but unfortunately only in German. The boats always run from Easter to the end of October, but you can also take the route along the gorge on foot.
The take the narrow steps from the Křinice gorge along the red route up to Hermannseck rock and on to the Königsplatz viewpoint. Although this route, which passes below overhangs, through crevices and also through the Tunnel cave, is more difficult, it rewards you with a beautiful view of the forests and the ravines at the back of Bohemian Switzerland, and to Studenec and Jedlová.
Stay on the red route until you reach Hinterhermsdorf – a picturesque Saxony village with a number of preserved half-timbered houses and the Waldarbeiterstube Foresters’ Museum.
From Hinterhermsdorf the blue markers then take you again past Weifberg hill, on which there is a new viewpoint offering a panoramic view; then join the yellow route, which leads back to Mikulášovice.
Renewed Easter Rides in Mikulášovice
If you visit Mikulášovice on Easter Sunday, you’ll see the newly-restored tradition of Easter Rides.
The old Sorbian tradition of Easter Rides (Osterreiten in German) was most widespread in the Šluknov region and Upper Lusatian in the 18th century, although the first record of these rides dates back to the 15th century. This is an ancient custom associated with faith and prayers for a good harvest. Men in black top hats, tail coats and boots ride in a procession between the fields from village to village and bear the glad tidings of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The riders go around the cemetery in their village three times, the priest blesses them and presents them with banners, and then the procession moves on to the neighbouring village. All the way they sing Sorbian songs heralding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the neighbouring village they split up and ride to their families, where they are treated to a feast. In the afternoon they ride back, doing the same thing.
The Association of Easter Riders was founded in Mikulášovice in 1844. Every year on Easter Sunday this association used to organise horse rides throughout the town. The ride always started by the church, where the priest would bless the riders and present them with church banners. The riders, accompanied by a band and a procession, first headed to Dolní and Horní Mikulášovice, then to Tomášov and finally on to Mikulášovičky. The procession stopped by all the larger farmsteads and crosses, where they sang religious songs.
The tradition continued until 1939; after the Sudetenland became part of Germany, the association was banned. After the Second World War, no one restarted this Easter custom, as most of the local people were displaced and the region’s folk customs were forgotten.
It wasn’t until 2011 that a few enthusiasts renewed this ancient Easter tradition. The first rides were taken by just a few people, but in 2013 there were some forty riders with a procession and a band.
This tradition has continued more in the German part of Lusatia – in Bautzen and the surrounding area, where a few hundred riders take part.
The project Tourism without Borders is implemented through the Objective 3 Programme to promote cross-border cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Free State of Saxony 2007 - 2013 period.
- On foot
- For experienced walkers
- Medium difficulty
- Cross-border route
- With attractions
- Spiritual attractions
- Routes with a story