Svatošské skály National Nature Monument

The Svatošské skály Cliffs NNM was declared in 1933 on an area of 1.95ha and lies at elevations of 380-430 metres above sea level in the parish of Hory u Jenišova in the Karlovarský kraj - Karlovy Vary Region.
 
The cliffs are a unique geological formation in the canyon-like valley of the Ohře river between Loket and Doubí u Karlových Varů. The cliffs are formed of granite rock walls with characteristic block jointing. Here we can find rock walls, towers and „needles“. The rocky blocks are up to 50 metres in height and on their summits we can often find rare erosional depressions or „kettle holes“. The attractive appearance of the rocks is further enhanced by the many legends about the prince of ghosts Jan Svatoš (Hansi Heilinger in German). The rock formation known as the “Fossilized Wedding Procession” is named after these legends.
 
The locality is only accessible on foot or by boat or canoe along the river. Marked tourist trails begin in Loket, Doubí u Karlových Varů and Cihelna. The national nature monument is a part of the Doubí – Svatošské skály themed trail.
 
The basic morphological form here are very steep erosional slopes, which were formed by the activity of the river as it cut itself a deep valley. The slope angle is most often 40-50°. Rock formations such as needles and towers emerge from the slope surface, and remind us of the famous sandstone castellated rocks. The steep slopes between the rocky outcrops have a covering of sandy-rocky or even boulder talus with granite blocks fringing the foot of the cliffs.
 
The rocks are built of the “Loket type” of granite, which is a light-coloured, two-mica rock of medium to coarse grain size, and also contains large twincrystals of orthoclase up to 10cm in diameter. In the mineralogical composition biotite predominates over muscovite. Occasional small seams of quartzite and quartzite-chert (jasper) can also be found in the cliffs.
 
Only common tree species were recorded when dendrological research was carried out in this small national nature monument. These include Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Weymouth pine (Pinus strobus), Norway spruce (Picea abies), beech (Fagus sylvatica), silver birch (Betula pendula), alder (Alnus glutinosa), aspen (Populus tremula), sessile oak (Quercus petraea), pendunculate oak (Quercus robur), goat willow (Salix capcaea), crack willow (Salix fragilis), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides).
 
Notable herbs which grow on the rocky cliffs include yarrow (Achillea millefolium), sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica), sheep’s sorrel (Acetosella vulgaris), ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria), wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris), cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum), bifid hemp-nettle (Galeopsis bifida), smooth hawkweed (Hieracium laevigatum), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), rattlesnake root (Prenanthes purpurea) and sea mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum).
 
The fauna includes the common species for forested and rocky biotopes. The monument is a nesting site for the eagle owl (Bubo bubo).