In the mountains of the Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the Partnach Gorge – a natural monument filled with waterfalls, rapids, caves and beautiful water basins.
The 2,303 ft long gorge is incised by a mountain stream and visitors can walk through it year-round.
The sedimentary rock strata of the gorge (called Muschelkalk in German) was formed 240 million years ago – back when the region was still a shallow sea. Traces of the burrowing and feeding of marine animals can still be seen on the strata. The gorge itself was formed many millions of years ago when the Partnach stream cut into the rocks, creating a river that flows through the mountains and forms the gorge.
Back in the 18th century, local Germans used the gorge to transport firewood to nearby towns on a raft. This, however, was quite dangerous, due to the strong current of the Partnach Gorge.
Today, however, the gorge is more of a tourist attraction than a method of firewood transportation. There is a small entrance fee in the summer months.
By Nicole Glass, German Embassy