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Location  Czech Republic,  Germany
Basin features
Main source in Šluknov Hook in the Czech Republic west of Studánka
490 m n.m.
49°47′15″N 12°35′02″E / 49.78747°N 12.58381°E / 49.78747; 12.58381Coordinates: 49°47′15″N 12°35′02″E / 49.78747°N 12.58381°E / 49.78747; 12.58381
River mouth in Bad Schandau into the Elbe
116 m above sea level (NN)
50°55′00″N 14°09′36″E / 50.9166667°N 14.16°E / 50.9166667; 14.16
Progression Elbe → North Sea
River system Elbe
Basin size 140 km²
Landmarks Small towns: Bad Schandau
Population 2266 (as at: 1999)
in the Kirnitzsch valley
  • Left:
    Rotes Floß
  • Right:
    Zeidlerbach, Weißbach, Heidelbach
Waterbodies Reservoirs: Obere Schleuse
Physical characteristics
Length 45 km
  • Location:
    at Kirnitzsch valley (3.5 km above its mouth) gauge
  • Minimum rate:
    Record low: 267 l/s (in 2005)
    Average low: 0,622
  • Average rate:
    1.43 m³/s
  • Maximum rate:
    Average high: 13.3 m³/s
    Record high: 59.3 m³/s (in 1995)
Navigable no

The Kirnitzsch, in Bohemia also called the Kirnischt[1] (Czech: Křinice), is a right tributary of the River Elbe, which passes through the Czech Republic and the German Free State of Saxony.


The Kirnitzsch, also called the Kirnscht or Kirnsch in the local dialect, rises in the Lusatian Highlands in Bohemia west of the village of Studánka (Schönborn) and flows westwards through the town of Krásná Lípa (Schönlinde). Behind the village of Kyjov (Khaa) it wends its way along narrow ravines through the sandstone rocks of Bohemian Switzerland. The wild, romantic valley is also called the Khaatal (Kyjovske údoli).

On the site of the village of Hinterdaubitz (Zadní Doubice), demolished after 1945, the border stream of Weißbach empties into the Kirnitzsch, which, from this point, forms the border between the Czech Republic and Saxony. Further downstream the Kirnitzsch is first impounded at the Obere Schleuse ("Upper Lock") so that boating can take place on the stream.

At the end of the Kirnitzsch Gorge (Kirnitzschklamm) used to stand the houses of the border village of Hinterdittersbach (Zadní Jetřichovice) and the settlement of Kirnscht (Křinice). These places, too, no longer exist. From here the Kirnitzsch flows through Saxon Switzerland, where it is impounded again at the Niedere Schleuse ("Lower Lock"). Shortly thereafter the Kirnitzsch enters the narrow Kirnitzsch Valley (Kirnitzschtal). It flows through the valley for about 45 kilometres to the Lichtenhain Waterfall. After another eight kilometres it discharges into the Elbe at Bad Schandau. Over its last few kilometres it is followed by the Kirnitzschtal tramway that runs parallel to the Kirnitzsch.


  • Wieland Büttner: Die Buschmühle im Kirnitzschtal. in: Petra Binder (Hg.): Vom Berg zum Tal - Wasser, die zur Elbe fließen. Landkalenderbuch für die Sächsische Schweiz und das Osterzgebirge 2009. Schütze-Engler-Weber-Verlag, Dresden 2008, S. 94–94, ISBN 978-3-936203-11-0.
  • Andreas Laube: Die Errichtung der Verkehrswege und die Beförderung von Reisenden im Kirnitzschtal von Schandau nach dem Großen Wasserfall. in: Petra Binder (Hg.): Auf Straßen, Schienen und Wegen. Landkalenderbuch 2011 für die Sächsische Schweiz und das Osterzgebirge. Schütze-Engler-Weber-Verlag, Dresden 2010, S. 130-138, ISBN 978-3-936203-14-1
  • Manfred Schober: Flößerei auf der Kirnitzsch. In: Petra Binder (Hg.): Vom Berg zum Tal - Wasser, die zur Elbe fließen. Landkalenderbuch für die Sächsische Schweiz und das Osterzgebirge 2009. Schütze-Engler-Weber-Verlag, Dresden 2008, S. 23–28, ISBN 978-3-936203-11-0.


  1. ^ Messtischblatt Nr. 86 Hinterhermsdorf, published by the Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme, Landesaufnahme Sachsen 1935 Digitalised at

External links[edit]

Media related to Kirnitzsch at Wikimedia Commons