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The territory of Bohemian Paradise - Global UNESCO Network of Geoparks - European Geoparks Network

Bohemian Paradise

The territory of Český Ráj comprises a wide range of geological phenomena: it is, in fact, a real geological atlas. Therefore, in October 2005 it was added to the list of the European Geoparks Network.

The UNESCO European Geoparks have created a network whose purpose is to maintain and save unique geological localities. In Europe, since 2000, the number of the geoparks has increased from the original four to twenty five.

The Geopark Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise Geopark) occupies an area of nearly 700 km2. In the course of time, during the hundred million year long geological development, the locality was repeatedly a sea and lake bottom, and there were several volcanic periods. The geological history begins in the Mesosoic era, when deposits of sand and gravel were created on the bottom of the cretaceous sea. During the Tertiary, the sandstone blocks were broken by volcanic activities and the red-hot rocks set solid under the surface, forming mounds and cones. The earth surface was exposed to effects of natural forces – the wind, water, frost and sun. The result is the present landscape characterised by ragged rocks, volcanoes, rivers, romantic valleys, forests, meadows and ponds. The water acting under the surface had created the unique Bozkovské Caves with really interesting carst formations. During the geological development, deposits of iron ore, copper and quicksilver were established, and also precious stones, coal, building stone, slate, sand, limestone and clay useful for later craft and industrial production. The local tradition of precious stone processing is considered one of the oldest in Europe. Another rarity is the presence of petrified relics of vegetation and araucaria, including relics of certain animal species.

The locality of Český Ráj is, in a way, an atlas of geological activities on the planet, and significant evidence of the importance of nature conditions for economic and cultural development of human society over the course of several thousand years.

GEOPARK ČESKÝ RÁJ - síť evropských geoparků UNESCO, author: Milan Drahoňovský
GEOPARK ČESKÝ RÁJ - síť evropských geoparků UNESCO, author: Milan Drahoňovský
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