Na Špičáku National Nature Monument

Na Špičáku NNM consists of a forested limestone massif amid the agricultural landscape between the villages of Písečná and Supíkovice and close to the town of Jeseník in the north of the Olomoucký kraj - Olomouc Region. The monument covers an area of 7.05ha and has been protected since 1970. The subjects of the protection are the well-developed surface and underground karst phenomena in the grey crystalline limestone of Devonian age.
 
The cave system is formed of a network of horizontal passageways on two levels. The passageways are heart-shaped or egg-shaped in profile and were modelled by flowing meltwater from the Pleistocene continental ice sheet, and expand into chambers with a very poor or destroyed dripstone decoration in places. Layered and pitted limestone pavements (karren) can be seen on the rocky ridge of Velký Špičák.
 
The forest stands are dominated by beech (Fagus sylvatica), with scattered yew (Taxus baccata) – which forms a natural, stable population here. Other scattered tree species in the monument include Scots pine (Pinus sylvatica), European larch (Larix decidua), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), Norway maple (Acer platanoides) as well as juniper (Juniperus communis) on the summit rocks.
 
More than 110 vascular plant species have been recorded in the forest undergrowth and these include the martagon lily (Lilium martagon), white helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium) and broad-leaved helleborine (Epipactis helleborine).
 
Several bat species hibernate in the cave of which the most numerous is the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). The greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) and the barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) also overwinter here.
 
The underground area at the Velký Špičák massif is the oldest known cave in central Europe as the oldest historical document in which it is mentioned dates from 1430 AD. The oldest epigraphic record on the walls of the cave has been dated to 1564 AD. The cave was opened to the public for the first time in 1884 – 1885 and has been open to the public continuously since 1955. The Na Špičák cave has been the only one in central Europe to have barrier-free access since 1994.