The 8 Best Things About Bohemian Switzerland
The most valuable area of the region especially compromises the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, the Elbe Sandstones Natural Preserve, a part of the Lusatian Mountains Natural Preserve and the whole of the Sluknov Hook.
Bohemian Switzerland also compromises Hrsenko, which is a popular tourist destination and where you can visit canyons on the Kamenice River, the lowest point of the Czech Republic is in Hrsenko, at the place where the Elbe leaves Bohemia.
Besides the rocks, which make it one of the most popular and most significant places of the Czech Republic, Bohemian Switzerland also offers a golf course in Janov and a number of hiking routes and cycling paths.
The Beautiful Landscape of Bohemian Switzerland
Bohemian Switzerland was the fourth area in the Czech Republic to be declared a national park on 1 January 2000, the main subject of the protection are the unique features of the landscape and the variety of plants and animals.
Sandstone towers and table rocks soar above the endless area of forests, there are rocky ridges, canyons and also the largest rock gate in Europe (the Pravice Gate), the natural harmony is made complete with monuments of folk architecture – timbered houses located on the park border.
The viewing terrace of the Belveder Guesthouse offers a splendid into the Elbe Canyon. To reach the terrace you should follow a 4km long carriage road from the Byvonec Chateau or the red or blue hiking trails.
Benesov nad Ploucnici, a town surrounded by forests and located by the mouth of the Bystra river, can boast of three examples of unique renaissance architecture. among these sites is a significant compound of two separate chateau premises – an Upper and Lower Chateau.
The Upper Chateau is an original Wartenberg keep dating back to the 15th century. The Lower Chateau, built in the Saxon Renaissance style, inlcudes a funeral chapel which contains valuable Renaissance gravestones.
Both chateaux are adjacent to the town wall dating back to the 15th century; the chateau buildings are followed by former noble houses, and in the square there is a plague column dating back to 1742.
Close to the chateaux, you can also visit a ruin of the Scharfenstein Castle- Ostry by Frantiskov nad Ploucnici, the castle ruins have been declared a cultural heritage.
Bohemian Switzerland – Rock Castles
As early as the 13th century King Ottokar II of Bohemia had a castle built along a land road from Bohemia to Luzice. Its purpose was to protect the north border of the Bohemian Kingdom.
To get to the castle you can take a natural path along four natural ditches, rock crevices the last one of which is 8 metres deep. This castles where built from Bad Schandau to Krasna Lipa and their purpose was to protect transportation of goods from the Elbe River to the inland along the Lusatian merchant trail.
Saunstejn castle owned by the House of Berka of Dube, became a refugee of gangs of bandits during the Thirty Years War. All that’s left of the castle are indistinct remains carved into the rock. On the left you can see rocks of Jetnchov, in the front the splendid Rosen Hill, and on the right a hill called Vetrovec.
Bohemian Switzerland – Ceska Kamenice
From the south, the town is protected by the ruins of Kamenice Castle, and from the north by a massive basalt rock, named the Needle because of its shape.
As one of the best preserved town centres in Northern Bohemia, the heart of Ceska Kamenice was declared a municipal conservation area in 1992. Nowadays, the conservation area consists of nearly 40 listed buildings.
The natural centre of the municipal conservation area is Mir Square with its Renaissance nine-sided fountain and a baroque statue of the Virgin Mary the Immaculata.
A permanent exposition on the history of the town of Ceska Kamenice was installed in a covered elevated corridor that connects the tower of the Church of St. Jacob the Older with the Chateaux of Ceska Kamenice.
Bohemian Switzerland – Decin – Gate of the North
Decin is the lowest-situated town in Czech Republic, established by King Ottar II of Bohemia at the confluence of Elbe and Ploucnice. The settlement, later a Gothic castle, first served as a stronghold of the Premysl Dynasty, and later as a seat for several significant noble families.
It was especially in the 19th century that the chateaux became a significant cultural and social centre where leading artists and European rulers met. For instance Fryderyk Chopin composed his remarkable Decin Walz here.
Not far from the chateaux, there is one of the modern recreational sports complexes in Czech Republic – Aquapark Decin. Thanks to its thermal waters it is possible to make use of the outdoor pools even when the weather is cooler.
On the left bank of the Elbe River, in Decin, between the quarters of Podmokly and Priper, there is a distinctive sandstone rock just opposite the Decin Chateau. It is called the Shepherd Wall, the flat peak of the rock providing views of Elbe valley and the Decin Chateau.
There is als a zoo in Decin, which has a bear in its emblem and was opened in 1949. Its premises are located in a peaceful forest park, making it a perfect place for pleasant family outgoings. The zoo breeds about 450 animals of approximately 150 species.
Bohemian Switzerland National Park
The entrance gate to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park is formed by the village of Hresnko, situated at the border with Germany, and houses almost 300 inhabitants, the first written record of the village dates back to 1475.
The access road from Decin to Hresnko is gorgeous, it goes through the Elbe river canyon between sandstone rocks and the river itself; the rocks which are 100 metres makes the landscape looks like mountains even though its altitude is really low.
Hans Christian Andersen visited Hresnko several times during his life. Hrsenko and its surroundings were a great source of inspiration for his works.
Gorges of the Kamenice River were adapted so that they could sailed through using punts. These adaptations were done by the estate owner Edmund’s Gorge in favour of tourism, the trip along the river takes about 15 minutes.
The Janov Golf Course, is located in the beautiful environment of Bohemian Switzerland, and border on the national park. The course has 9 holes and is nearly five kilometres long, its elongated arrangement offers six shorter holes and three long ones.
The village of Janska is situated in the district and it was part of of Ceska Kamenice until 1992. There are former factories dating back to the Second World War in Janska, in the canyon of the Kamenice River.
The underground factory was discovered at the end of Second World War, after the war it was used by the Czechoslovak army and in 1960’s fuel stores for the Warsaw Pact armies were built here having the capacity of 8 million litres.
The first record of Jetnchovice dates back to the 14th century. It is a place where lumber mills for woods from surrounding forest were established. Dolsky Mill stood in Kamenice valley as early as 1515. Modern development of tourism started in the 19th century, several inns were built, and tourism became the main source of income fro inhabitants.