The UNESCO Geopark and the Rock Towns

Written by Nikola Volrabova

Cesky Raj (The Bohemian Paradise) is a protected landscape area situated across three Czech regions – the Liberec Region, the Central Bohemia Region and the Hradec Kralove Region; its center having in the Town of Turnov (the Liberec Region). It was declared in 1955 and so it is the oldest PLA in the Czech Republic. On its 50th anniversary it became part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

The beautiful nature surrounds the Jizera River and it is very rich in the natural diversity and historic monuments. The Cesky Raj’s visitors can admire breath-taking rock towns, karst caves, romantic valleys or pond systems. Those were the reasons why the visitors of the Sedmihorky Spa started to call the area ‘Czech Paradise’ back in the 19th century.

The UNESCO Geopark Cesky Raj was declared in 2005. The purpose of geoparks is to support the sustainable development of its region, the local researches and education. This area is geologically very interesting thanks to the fact that throughout the history there were several volcanic activities and it used to be the bottom of lakes and seas repeatedly. This geopark offers hundreds of geological locations so it truly is an encyclopedia of geology.

This picturesque landscape is known for its sandstone rock formations, which began to be shaped hundreds of millions of years ago. The best known formations are Hruboskalske Rock Town where you can count up to 400 sandstone towers; the Prachov Rocks (Prachovske Skaly) with many vantage points and stairs carved into the rock and whose towers are among the highest; Klokocske Skaly Rocks with large numbers of rock cavities, reminiscent of a dragon’s back; and Prihrazske Skaly Nature Reserve. These unique rock formations with caves, rock gates and windows, together with castles, chateaux and ruins, create the romantic charm of the region. These rock towns are easily accessible via safe and marked tourist trails.

There are also several historic monuments worth pointing out. The Trosky National Castle is a ruin of gothic castle from the 14th century and also the main symbol of the Cesky Raj area. The Svijany Chateau has several expositions about the Svijany brewery or the Waldstein and Vartenberks family. There are other monuments linked to the Waldstein family, for example the Waldstein Castle or the Waldstein Chateau, both of them very valuable.

For more information about the Liberec Region where this place is located click here.