Národní park České Švýcarsko

In 2000 the most precious part of a wide region of Labské sandstones, totaling more than 700 km2, was proclaimed The Bohemia Switzerland National Park. The park on its northern side is connected to the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany. There are many marked tourist trails that connect unique natural locations with historically significant places as well as lots of cozy and affordable hotels and pensions. This attract many visitors who wish to experience the park’s beauty in a relaxed and comfortable style.The canyon of the Elbe River, the biggest canyon in Europe, and especially the sandstone rocks themselves have had their admirers throughout the ages. Because sandstone is easily eroded, rock cliffs, crags and towers tens of meters to hundreds of meters high dominate the region. Because of its rough surface and the many cracks and crevasses caused by rain and wind a special kind of climbing became popular here in the 19th century. This kind of climbing required no special equipment but rather only a climber’s skill and knowledge. The beauty of the rocks is intensified by the dark green of the woods around. When you look from the tops of the rocks into the valley you can see huge sandstone panels folded up on each other as if pushed together by a giant’s hand. And sometimes you might wonder how was it possible for all of it to stick together for so many thousands of years. Some places the panels are rounded, some places they are toothed reminding you of the fortifications of castles or watchtowers and some places the rocks resemble fairy tail figures and human faces or animals.

The whole region is at a low altitude. The village of Hřensko is the lowest place in the Czech republic. But here you will feel like you are in the mountains. This is because of a unique phenomenon called “climatic inversion”. At the bottoms of the hollows lots of the cold air accumulates but the sun warms the tops of the rocks. That’s why we can often find piedmont and mountain species of plants and trees low in the hollows. The whole area was once covered by forest but now much of it has been cut. However there are still lots of forested areas. In past times the woods were full of pine, beech and fir. Nowadays the spruce dominates. The climate is very good for many kinds of moss and lichen. These help create a unique beauty throughout the whole park. You can see how they gently climb over the rocks, cover fallen trees and stumps and carpet large areas of the forest floor.

There are lots of deer and roe living in the woods. The cliffs are home for lizards, martens and bats. Above the rocks, falcons guard the skies. It is also home for stock owls and pygmy owls. While walking through the forests and meadows you can hear many birds singing and you can see beautifully colored butterflies. On the occasional deserted chimney you might find a stork nesting. In the crystal clear water you can see lots of trout, grayling and Atlantic salmon. The local streams are also home for beavers, otters, shrews and the rare black stork also. On your walks through forest scenery you can often see the animals and watch them quietly from a reasonable distance.

We could tell you much more about this wonderful place; go on forever naming other animals living here and telling you how beautiful the nature is. But you should come here yourself and discover the many magic places and rest and relax. You will always be glad you came.

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