Geotopes are geological points of interest such as quarries, outstanding rock formations, rock exposures, landscapes or mineral water sources. They are a window into the geological past of our Earth and allow us to look deep into the subsurface. Geotopes explain how gigantic mountains were formed and ultimately levelled, how climate changed and ancient rivers flowed. Among the many geotopes in the Porphyryland Geopark are two of the most important geotopes in Germany: the wind and glacial striations in the Hohburg Hills and the Porphyry tuff from Rochlitz Hill.
Geotopes are usually freely accessible. Please observe the prohibition signs along the edges of the quarries and respect the interests of geotope and nature conservation when you visit a geotope! Geotopes are not only unique geological sites, they are also a habitat for rare plants and animals. Once destroyed, a geotope cannot be restored.
Until 1961 a variety of the Hohburg quartz porphyry poor in pyroxene was mined at the Hohburg quarry. Today this quarry has been converted into a climber’s paradise. Since 1998 a mountain film festival is being held here every year.
In the former quarry at Haselberg near Ammelshain, quartz granite porphyry was mined until the 1950s, which was also used in the construction of the Leipzig Monument to the Battle of the Nations. Today the quarry is filled with water and belongs to the nature reserve "Haselberg-Straßenteich". It is a popular destination, especially for diving enthusiasts.
In the middle of the 19th century, scratchings were discovered on the surface of the quartz porphyry at the hill Kleiner Berg (‘Small mountain’) near Hohburg, which were regarded as effects of glacial ice and dust-laden winds. This finding fired the scientific controversy over a glaciation of the North German Plain long before this theory found general recognition.
The (main) source of the river Parthe, the so-called "Gossenborn", is located about five kilometres east of Bad Lausick in the Colditz forest. The river Parthe flows from its source to its mouth in the river Weiße Elster near Leipzig over a stretch of 58 kilometres. It traverses a charming cultural landscape that is of particular interest to cycle tourists.
From the Bismarck Tower on the Wachtelberg, a small hill south of Leipzig, you have a good panoramic view over the landscape around the town of Wurzen. Pyroxene granite porphyry was mined in the quarries from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Since 1911 the Wachtelberg was placed under protection due to its unique flora and fauna.
With more than 300 million years the Collmberg is oldest mountain of Saxony. It consists of Cambro-ordivician greywacke. On the Collmberg there is a geophysical observatory of the University of Leipzig, which is especially used for earthquake observation.