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.
Below the Mildenstein Castle near the small town of Leisnig the variety of the Leisnig porphyry known as porphyritic quartz porphyry is cropping out. In pre-industrial times, the Leisnig porphyry was mined as a local building material, amongst others for the construction of Mildenstein Castle.
Since the 10th century the Rochlitz porphyry tuff has been mined on the Rochlitzer Berg as a work and sculpture stone. It is an ignimbrite that was deposited about 294 million years ago when the Rochlitz caldera was formed.
In the former Mühlstein quarry (‚millstone quarry‘) near Sornzig the Kemmlitz porphyry crops out in an already heavily weathered condition. It documents a transition from solid porphyry to a kaolinite-rich stage, which ultimately leads to the kaolin deposits in the Kemmlitz-Mügeln area.
Gattersburg, a villa from the 1880s, stands on a cliff on the west bank of the river Mulde known as Gattersburg porphyry in Grimma. 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.
The glacier striation or scratch marks at Spielberg are evidence that huge inland glaciers stretched from Scandinavia to the Leipzig area during the Ice Age (Pleistocene). This was the opinion of geologists who meticulously studied these surface structures in the first half of the 19th century, long before this theory became generally accepted in the 20th century.
Pyroxene quartz porphyry was mined as building material from 1864 to1930 at the Wolfsberg quarry near Lüptitz. The northern face of the quarry shows the exposure of a contact area between two volcanic rocks. Because of the geological significance of the exposure, the northern face is under protection as a large-scale natural monument.