Jeskyně Pekárna National Nature Monument

The Jeskyně Pekárna (Pekárna Cave) NNM lies on the left bank of the Říčka stream to the east of the village of Hoštěnice and a few kilometres north-east of the city of Brno on the edge of the Moravský kras – Moravian Karst region. This is one of the oldest protected areas in the Czech Republic and has been protected since 1933, covering an area of 14ha. The cave and its surrounding are built in light-grey Vilémovice limestones.
 
The Pekárna Cave with its monumental portal is the most notable settlement of hunters (Magdalenien culture) from the period of 12000- 15000 years ago in the Moravian Karst region, but also in the wider surroundings. The cave became famous after engraved horse ribs were found here. These engraved bones include images of duelling bison – found by Prof. K. Absolon in 1927 and a bone engraving of grazing horses – found by Dr. Klíma in 1963. Bone fishing harpoons, two spoon-shaped objects decorated with engravings of animal heads which were carved from horses’ lower jawbones, a “Venus figure” or fertility symbol carved from mammoth ivory and many other objects have all been discovered here. A child’s burial site, which probably belonged to the Únětice culture, was uncovered in the mouth of the Kůlnička cave. Surface-level karst phenomena in the protected area include small limestone pavements and dolines.
 
The forests in the protected area are of a predominantly natural character, with a typical vegetation inversion. The tree layer on the floor of the valley is dominated by ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and artificially planted Norway spruce (Picea abies). The undergrowth includes perennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva), pink masterwort (Astrantia major), oxlip (Primula elatior), the striking “Carpathian” arum Arum cylindraceum, the protected martagon lily (Lilium martagon) and others. The slopes are covered with ravine forests with beech (Fagus sylvatica), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata) with dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis), nine-leaved toothwort (Dentaria eneaphyllos) and baneberry (Actaea spicata) in the undergrowth. The vegetation on the upper karst plateaux has the character of oak-hornbeam woods. Hornbeams (Carpinus betulus) predominate with scattered sessile oaks (Quercus petraea) and a herb layer including the sedge Carex hirta, the mountain melick grass (Melica nutans) as well as the protected lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia) and red helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra) and others.
 
The Pekárna Cave is notable for the occurrence of bats outside of the winter period. The most common types are brown long-eared bat (Pleucotus auritus), Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii), greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) and serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus). The rare upland moth – Cousin German (Protolampra sobrina) has also been recorded around the cave.
 
The territory of the national nature monument is of the most visited tourist destinations in the Moravian Karst region. Visitors can learn about the historical and natural points of interest if they follow the themed nature trail.