The town of Reichenberg lay on the right bank of the Neisse. The foothills of the Isergebirge (present-day Jizera Mountains) almost reach the river while, on the left bank, the wooded slopes of the Jeschkengebirge are not more than 3 km from the river. Thus to the west of Reichenberg, the valley widens around a meander of the Neisse and is criss-crossed by several streams flowing into the river. The villages of Berzdorf (present-day Ostašov), Franzensdorf (unidentified location), Johannesthal (present-day Janův Důl) and Eichicht (unidentified location) are scattered on the left bank of the river in this part of the valley. These villages were close enough to each other to completely cover the approaches of Reichenberg from this side of the river. It was also difficult to use the heights on the right bank to fire on positions on the opposite bank. Only the heights immediately to the north and north-west of Reichenberg in the direction of Friedland (present-day Frýdlant) offered good positions to fire on the Austrian positions. However, Major-General Lacy had built strong entrenchments on these heights during the previous winter when he had also surrounded the unwalled city with a palisade.
The Austrians were deployed along a ridgeline dropping away to the Neisse Valley. On the left bank, entrenchments defended the area between the Berzdorfer Stream and Franzensdorfer Stream. There was still a space of some 1,000 m. without entrenchment between the Austrian left wing and the outskirts of the forest but it was under the flanking fire of two redoubts. In fact these positions had been reinforced with 3 batteries of artillery and redoubts. The redoubts were further covered by abatis, palisades and wolf-pits. The woods were dense to the exception of the "Franzensthaler Grund" which can be considered as light wood. The stream along the "Partzdorffer Grund" had marshy banks.