Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

Křivoklátsko was declared a Protected Landscape Area by the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Culture on 24th November, 1978. The region had already been included in the UNESCO network of Biosphere Reserves one year earlier on 1st March 1977, due to the region’s high natural values which are of supranational importance. A total of 4 national nature reserves, 16 nature reserves, 5 nature monuments and 43 monument trees or groups of trees have been declared on the territory of Křivoklátsko PLA to protect the most significant values and most preserved ecosystems. An SPA – Bird Area and 10 sites of community interest within the Natura 2000 network of European protected areas have also been declared on the territory of Křivoklátsko PLA.

Křivoklátsko PLA lies in the western part of Central Bohemia. The small town of Křivoklát, which lies at the centre of the region, is only 40km from Prague as the crow flies. For the purposes of administration Křivoklátsko PLA lies in the territory of two regional administrations – the Středočeský kraj – Central Bohemian Region and the Plzeňský kraj – Plzeň Region, and five former counties (Beroun, Kladno, Rakovník, Rokycany and Plzeň – sever). The protected area lies in the parishes of 96 towns and villages, which are administered by 69 municipalities – of which 57 lie within the PLA or on its border. The PLA covers a total area of 628 km².

Almost all of the territory belongs to the Křivoklátská vrchovina Hill Country, with a part of the northern section of the PLA belonging to the Plaská pahorkatina Hilly Land, with a high proportion of semi-natural and natural forests, where 84 native forest tree species and more than 1,800 vascular plant species and sub-species are represented. The nine-leaved toothwort (Dentaria enneaphyllos) is a typical plant in the spring nature of Křivoklátsko, which is why the Křivoklátsko PLA uses a stylized image of it in its emblem. The backbone of Křivoklátsko PLA is the valley of the central reaches of the Berounka river. The right bank belongs to the Zbirožská vrchovina Hill Country, whereas the left bank belongs to the Lánská pahorkatina Hilly Land. The highest point is the peak of Těchovín (616 metres) and the lowest point is on the Berounka river at Hýskov (217 metres). The greatest differences in elevation, most rugged terrain and most interesting natural geological outcrops are found around the Berounka river and its tributaries. A great variety of natural conditions, from damp and shaded positions in the inversion valleys, through slopes with a great variety of rocky basements and rapidly-changing microclimatic conditions up to hilltop areas with extremely warm and arid conditions – known as “Pleš – bald hills” can be found around the Berounka. This is one of the most notable examples of the “river phenomenon” with a wide variety of locality types and the plant and animal communities which occur in them in the context of the Central European Hilly Lands. The notable variety of geological structures has also influenced the wide range of landscapes in areas which lie further from the river, especially in the southern part of Křivoklátsko.