Žďárské vrchy Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Žďárské vrchy Protected Landscape Area was established by the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Culture on 25th May, 1970 on the territory of the former counties of Žďár nad Sázavou, Havlíčkův Brod, Chrudim and Svitavy, which now lie in the kraj Vysočina – Bohemian-Moravian Highlands Region and Pardubický kraj – Pardubice Region.  The PLA covers an area of 709 km², of which 46 % is forested, especially in the higher central section of the area, 44 % consist of agricultural lands, 1.9 % is water covered, 0.9 % with settlements and 5.5 % of other land uses. The lowest elevation is at 490 m and the highest at 836 metres above sea level on the Devět skal peak.

The most northerly point of the area lies in the village of Trhová Kamenice. The most southerly point lies on the Oslava river near the village of Sazomín. The most easterly point lies on the road near the village of Havlíčkova Borová and the most westerly point lies in the village of Jimramov.

The mission of the PLA is to protect the harmonically balanced cultural landscape with a significant representation of natural ecosystems. The landscape character of the Žďárské vrchy uplands has been developing since the first Medieval settlers colonised these “border” forests. Below the forested ridge of Žďárské vrchy the broken landscape consists of interspersed fields and meadows with commercial forests as well as picturesque ponds and rural settlements with elements of the folk architecture of the Horácko region.

Water is a major phenomenon of the area as Žďárské vrchy is an important spring region located on the main European watershed between the North Sea and the Black Sea. The extensive network of rivers and tributary streams has been used since the Middle Ages to supply water to a widespread network of fishponds.

Among the most valuable sections of the PLA territory are the peatbogs and other wetland communities. A typical element of the region’s landscape are the gneiss rock formations formed on the forested ridge of Žďárské vrchy and a mosaic of trees and shrubs with hedgerows and stone walls in the agricultural landscape.