National park Czech Switzerland


August 14, 2022

Czech Switzerland National Park is one of the four national parks in the Czech Republic. It was declared in 2000, the main object of protection are the unique sandstone formations and the biotope linked to them. Massive rock towers, gates, walls, gorges, cities and mazes were formed by the erosion of Cretaceous marine sediments that were brought to the surface during the Quaternary period by Alpine folding. The most famous rock formation is Pravčická brána, which has become a symbol of the park. It has the status of a national natural monument and is the largest sandstone rock gate in Europe. Sokolí hnízdo castle was built next to it. České Švýcarsko is located in the Děčín district between the villages of Hřensko, Chřibská and the village of Brtníky. It occupies an area near the state border with Germany, which separates it from the Saxon Switzerland National Park. The area of ​​the park is 79.23 km². The area belongs to the geomorphological unit of the Děčín Upland, which is part of the Krušnohorská Hornatina. The protected landscape area of ​​Elbe Sandstone surrounds the park from the south and west, and the protected landscape area of ​​the Lužické Mountains adjoins it from the east. There is only one village in the park, namely Mezná belonging to the municipality of Hřensko, as well as the ruins of a water mill and several rock castles (e.g. Falkenštejn, Šaunštejn). Forests cover 97% of the territory. The originally dominant forest beech was displaced by the heavily predominating Norway spruce today. The herb layer here is not very diverse in species, but the moss layer contains hundreds of species of mosses and lichens. Once a well-known plant of the park was the Kentish hydrangea, but it no longer occurs in the park, as well as a number of animals such as European moose or wildcat. Dozens of bird species nest in Bohemian Switzerland, including the black stork or peregrine falcon, whose local population is the largest in Central Europe.

Location and Name

České Švýcarsko National Park is located in the Ústí Region in the Děčín District, in the southwest of the Šluknovské Víběžek. It covers the territory of several self-governing units, namely the towns of Krásná Lípa and Chřibská, and the municipalities of Hřensko, Janov, Růžová, Srbská Kamenice, Jetřichovice, Doubice and Staré Křečany. The area of ​​the park is 79.23 km². Almost the entire northern and part of the western side adjoins the German border, beyond which the Saxon Switzerland National Park (Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz) continues, which with its area of ​​93.5 km² even exceeds the size of Bohemian Switzerland. The eastern side of the park is bordered by the Lusatian Mountains Protected Landscape Area, while the other sides are surrounded by the Elbe Sandstone Protected Landscape Area, which is also connected at the border by its German counterpart – the Saxon Switzerland Protected Landscape Area (LSG Sächsische Schweiz). The territory of both protected landscape areas, including both national parks, is referred to as the Bohemian Switzerland (Sächsisch-Böhmische Schweiz) or Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbsandsteingebirge). The German and Czech territories of the Elbe Sandstone together form one of the most important European sandstone areas. The name "Czech Switzerland" itself was derived from the name Saxon Switzerland, used for the German part of the Elbe Sandstone since the 18th century. The Swiss painters Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff, who worked at the Academy in Dresden and painted the landscape along the Elbe, which reminded them of their homeland, earned this romantic name. Bohemian Switzerland is sometimes called Zadní hory - this is the name given to the landscape by the Liberec writer Miloslav Nevrlý.


Elbe Sandstones are the northernmost outcrop of the Czech Cretaceous Basin. Most of them are formed by Turonian sandstones, which form significant landscape features on the surface. In the high season