Komorní hůrka National Nature Monument

The Komorní hůrka Hill NNM covers an area of 7.08ha at elevations of 475-503 metres above sea level and was declared in 1951 and again in 1988. Komorní hůrka Hill belongs to the group of the youngest volcanoes in the Czech Republic and was active around 726,000 years ago. The hill was first researched and popularized by the German poet J.W.Goethe, who is also credited with discovering the youngest volcano on Czech territory – Železná hůrka – which is located close to Komorní hůrka. The protected area lies close to the West Bohemian towns of Cheb and Františkovy Lázně in the Karlovarský kraj - Karlovy Vary Region.
 
The national nature monument is open to the general public along a themed trail, which leads visitors to the most important natural and historical sites within the monument.
 
The volcanic hillock of melilitic nephelenite as well as olivine only rises slightly above the surrounding terrain, which is predominantly of phyllite shales. The original profile of the volcano is broken up by former extensive quarrying of rock and powdery volcanic effusive material in the eastern section of the locality. On the exposed area we can find abundant volcanic material (ash and smaller pieces of volcanic pumice – up to 12 centimetres in size), as well as burnt fragments of rocks from the basement of the volcano – phyllite, quartzite and quartz.
 
The extensive area of the protected area, which includes the forested hillock and grassland communities formed on the site of the former quarry, is the home of a whole range of significant and unique plant species. Green-winged orchids (Orchis morio) are common here and thermophilous species are represented by perfoliate penny-cress (Thlaspi perfoliatum), houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinalum) and downy oat-grass (Helictotrichon pubescens). Other notable plants growing at Komorní hůrka include the bugle Ajuga genevensis, bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus), spring sedge (Carex caryophyllea) and spring cinquefoil (Potentilla tabernaemontani).
 
The sun-warmed south-facing slope of the volcano and the cooler, damp forested slopes in the northern part of the territory provide ideal habitats for a large number of different animal species, especially from the insect world. During systematic research on the locality 73 species of carnivorous ground beetles were recorded here. Other notable insect species living here include the rare weevil Bagous diglyptus and the leaf beetle Gonioctena olivacea. The spider Agriope bruennichi has also been observed at Komorní hůrka, although it was previously only known in warm regions in South Moravia.