The tripoint of Austria, Czech Republic and Germany is located on the ridge of Plöckenstein mountain at an altitude of 1,331 meters above sea level. The two nearby peaks are called Bayerischer Plöckenstein or Trojmezná (on the German-Czech border 1 km west of the tripoint, at 1,364 meters) and Plöckenstein or Plechý (on the Austrian-Czech border 1.3 km east of the tripoint, at 1,379 meters). The area where the tripoint monument is located is called Dreiecksmark or Trojmezí, which essentially means tripoint.
Originally, the tripoint of Austria, Bavaria and Bohemia was located about 3 km west on Dreisesselberg peak. In 1765, it was moved to the present location. For centuries, the border was open and could be crossed without any problems. After World War II, however, the Iron Curtain separated what was then Czechoslovakia from Austria and Germany. For 40 years, it was not possible to access Czech territory and the border was heavily guarded.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, a new monument was erected on the exact location of the tripoint in 1993. The accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union and the Schengen zone have eliminated the last restrictions, allowing visitors to cross the border at any point, provided that they carry their passport or national ID.
Around the tripoint, almost all trees were attacked by bark beetles back in 2006. There have been some efforts of reforestation, but the damage caused by the tiny insects still dominates the landscape of the region. On the Czech side of the border, the area is now part of Šumava National Park and closed to the public. Signs remind visitors not to walk off trails in order to support preservation efforts.
How to get there
There are a few different options from all three countries, but the most convenient and shortest trail can be accessed from the Bavarian side. Between the villages of Haidmühle and Neureichenau, Germany, branch off road St2130 and follow the asphalt road through the forest all the way to the “Wanderparkplatz Dreisessel” parking lot just below Dreisesselberg peak. Parking fees might be charged during the summer, but were not enforced at the time of my visit in March 2017.
The following map shows how to access the tripoint from the Bavarian side:
Trail to the tripoint along the ridge (from the Bavarian side)
From the Dreisesselberg parking lot, continue on foot and follow the asphalt road for a few hundred meters. The trail towards the tripoint branches off to the east (to your right). It goes along the ridge of the mountain range and leads you past the Bayerischer Plöckenstein or Trojmezná peak towards the tripoint. The total length of this trail is around 3.3 km. Except for the first few hundred meters, there are hardly any inclines.
Without snow, the entire hike should not take much longer than one hour. I had quite some difficulties due to the leftover snow and muddy areas along the trail. I sank into the snow multiple times and my shoes got drenched – so come prepared if you are planning to do this hike in winter or spring!
Bayerischer Plöckenstein / Trojmezná
Walking towards the tripoint, you will see interesting granite rock formations. The most impressive pile of rock can be found at the peak of Bayerischer Plöckenstein or Trojmezná, located 1 km west of the tripoint.
On clear days, you should be able to see some of the mighty peaks of the Alps looming on the horizon. Among others, I could make out the snowy peak of Dachstein in the distance, located 145 km south of the tripoint. Theoretically, line of sight should also be given to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 2,962 meters above sea level, a whopping 260 km away – but that would require excellent visibility on a clear and dry day.