Rudické propadání National Nature Monument

The Rudické propadání (Rudice Sinkhole) NNM covers the head of the blind valley of the Jedovnický potok Stream and the cave system. The protected area was declared in 1990 and covers an area of 4.4ha. The territory is built in light-grey Vilémovice limestones of Devonian age on the geological border with shales of the Drahany Culm.
 
The territory is noted for its karst phenomena. The Rudice Sinkhole is the largest and deepest karst sinkhole in the Czech Republic and the water falls over several cascades to a depth of 86 metres. The Jedovnice Stream then flows through the horizontal part of the cave before emerging near the Býčí skála Cave. The Býčí skála and Amatérské jeskyně cave system with a length of 12km is the second longest system in the Moravian Karst region. The Kolíbky rock amphitheatre with castle koppies and limestone pavements is also an important archaeological locality with settlement evidence from the Magdalenien culture.
 
The majority of the national nature monument is forested. However, most of the natural forests have been replaced by spruce stands, which would probably only occur naturally in the coldest inversion positions. Along the banks of the Jedovnice stream the trees are mostly alders (Alnus glutinosa). On the slopes we can find Norway spruces (Picea abies), hornbeams (Carpinus betulus), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and beech (Fagus sylvatica) with an undergrowth including Alpine rose (Rosa pendulina), mountain currant (Ribes alpinum), yellow archangel (Galeobdolon montanum), herb paris (Paris quadrifolia) and others. On the deforested slopes of the Kolíbky rocks we can find more thermophilous species such as dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), wild spindle tree (Eonymus europaeus), marjoram (Origanum vulgare), swallowwort (Vincetoxicum hirundaria), white stonecrop (Sedum album), wall germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) and others. Ferns such as the red spleenwort (Asplenium trichomenes), brittle bladder fern (Cystopteris fragilis) and common polypody (Polypodium vulgare) also grow in crevices on the rocks.
 
A stable population of the broad-fingered crayfish (Astacus astacus) live in the Jedovnice stream. The blind, troglobiontic (cave-dwelling) crustacean Niphargus tatrensis has been found in the Rudice Sinkhole cave. The cave is also an important hibernating site for bats. The most abundant are lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros) but greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) and barbastelle bats (Barbastella barbastellus) also hibernate here.
 
The territory of the national nature monument was heavily influenced by human activity in the past. Slag from the nearby iron foundry was dumped on the slopes and in gulleys above the sinkhole in the 18th and 19th centuries. The stability of these slag heaps is now disturbed and slag is washed through the sinkhole into the cave.
 
Tourists can learn more about this attractive locality by following the themed nature trail.