Suché skály National Nature Monument

The Suché skály (Dry Cliffs) NNM can be found in the Český ráj – Bohemian Paradise region and PLA. The protected area was declared in 1956 on an area of 23 hectares and at elevations of 430-500 metres above sea level. The Dry Cliffs, which were also previously known as “Kantor’s Organ pipes” are located to the north of the village of Besedice alongside the Koberovy – Vráť road. A painting of the “Suché skály” cliffs by the painter František Kaván was recently featured on a Czech postage stamp.
 
The Suché skály Cliffs can best be seen from the vantage point on Sokol hill, but they can be seen from a number of other viewpoints in the Malá Skála and Železný Brod areas. The main subject of the protection is a 300-metre-long jagged rocky ridge, which is a part of the Lusatian Fault. This ridge was formed in the Tertiary and Quaternary periods when pressure from the Earth’s core lifted the originally horizontal Cenomanian sandy layers into a vertical position. These sandstones and conglomerates from the marine environment of the Cenomanian were then gradually shaped by weathering. The numerous fault polishes (slickensides) on the bedding planes document the tectonic movements and “sliding” movements of layers across the layer below. The Suché skály Cliffs are built of the hardest sandstone in the whole of the Bohemian Paradise region.
 
The Dry Cliffs are a unique geological and geomorphological locality, despite being less well-known than the rock complexes in the Trosky, Kozákov or Hrubá Skála areas. Suché skály NNM is especially popular among rock climbers.
 
The forest stands here are typical for much of the Bohemian Paradise, as they are dominated by Norway spruce and Scots pine. The undergrowth also includes bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), wavy hair-grass (Avenulla flexuosa), heather (Calluna vulgaris) and bracken (Pteridium aquilinum).
 
Suché skály is a traditional nesting site for kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) nested here until the 1960’s. Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) also nested here, and redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) can often be seen on the cliffs. The sand wasp Ammophila sabulosa and ant lions (Myrmeleontidae) also live on these remarkable cliffs.