Bohemian Paradise Reserve
The Bohemian Paradise is a nature reserve of 181.5 square kilometers located in the northeastern part of the Czech Republic between the cities of Turnov, Mnikhovo-Gradište and Jicin. Since 2005, this region is considered the center of the UNESCO European Geopark.
Hundreds of millions of years ago, the territory of the Bohemian Paradise was a seabed covered with volcanoes. Over time, under the influence of the sun and wind, a unique landscape formed here, consisting of deep gorges, bizarre cliffs, intricate caves, crystal clear lakes, dense forests and flowering meadows. They put their hand and people to this magnificence – they built castles, fortresses, citadels and founded cities.
The modern panorama of the Bohemian Paradise is a uniquely beautiful sight, representing a harmonious combination of the grandeur of nature and man-made masterpieces. The reserve is inhabited by many species of animals and plants: owls, herons, bats, mouflons, roes, and so on. The geological structure of the region is of great interest: there are deposits of rare minerals and precious stones.
Bohemian Paradise is an ideal place for active tourism. In the reserve there are hundreds of routes for hiking and cycling. Having overcome a difficult path through rocky labyrinths and stairs cut into the stone, you can reach one of the viewing platforms and enjoy the unique view, and then take a refreshing dip in Fly Lake and relax on its beach. There are many environmental reserves and entertainment centers, including children’s.
Rocks of the Bohemian Paradise Reserve
Among the natural riches of the Bohemian Paradise should highlight the rocky cities, which are characterized by the nobility of the Gothic, and the frivolity of the Baroque, and the pretentiousness of the Rococo.
The main attraction of the region – the Prahov rocks – an ancient sandstone platform, dissected by canyons, valleys and cliffs. Here you can find a lot of rocks in the form of pillars with corners, slots and peaks, as well as dozens of viewing platforms. In one of the rocks cut down the castle Parezh.
Another popular tourist site is the Rough Rocks, a group of stone columns more than 50 meters high, interlaced with steep canyons and picturesque valleys. Some clusters of rocks have their names: “Sahara”, “Lighthouse”, “Mouse Hole” and so on. Sandstone pillars “sprouting” from the lake look very unusual.
The pearl of the Bohemian Paradise – Small rocks formed from the remains of an ice block, Dry rocks and the Vranov ridge. The Beseditsky rocks with labyrinths and the Bozhkovsky caves with the largest underground lake in the country are no less attractive. Impressive and Boretsky rocks with unusual stone gates and windows, as well as dozens of other natural phenomena.
It is worth going to Bohemian Paradise not only for ecotourism lovers, but also for lovers of architectural beauty. In the local rocks and cities are located a large number of historical buildings.
The ruins of the Trosk fortress, located near the town of Rovno-Pod-Trosk, are considered to be a recognized symbol of the region. Initially, this building, dating from the XIV century, consisted of two towers called “Baba” and “Virgo”, erected on the peaks of two very tall cliffs and united by a fortified wall. Today, as a result of the fires and the warrior, only ruins remain from them, from the peaks of which a stunning view of the Bohemian Paradise opens.
Not far from Jicin, you can see another famous landmark of the reserve – the stone Gothic castle Coast, built in the XIV century. For several centuries of its existence, this impregnable stronghold practically did not give in to reconstructions, thanks to which it was preserved to this day in its original form. Now the castle has a museum, and festivals are held.
In addition, in the Bohemian Paradise, you can visit the Rough Scala Castle built on top of a mountain, the former bandit’s nest is Welstein Castle, the oval hunting Gumprecht Castle, Gruby Rogozes Castle in Turnov, which has the richest interiors and an unusual park, baroque palaces in Jichin and Mnhovovo Gradište, as well as many, many other interesting places.
How to get there
You can get to the Bohemian Paradise from Prague by bus from the Black Bridge metro station to Turnov, or by train from the main train station to Turnov, which takes about 2 hours (about 100 kilometers). By car from Prague on a straight road number E65 (less than an hour and a half on the way).