Adršpašsko – teplické skály National Nature Reserve

The Adršpach and Teplice castellated rocks are known throughout Europe as a pseudokarst relief formed in the block sandstones. The NNR lies in the Královéhradecký kraj – Hradec Králové Region and the Broumovsko PLA, and close to the border with Poland. Here we can find extensive rock plateaux, wildly divided rocky ridges, canyons, gorges and labyrinths between the rock pillars and covered with forest growths with notable montane and submontane flora and fauna. The rock city complexes are of unique natural science and aesthetic value and are the most extensive complex of castellated block sandstone in Europe. The most valuable parts of the complex have been protected in a reservation (currently 1771.8 ha) since 1933.

The Adršpašsko-teplické skály cliffs rise out of the northern part of the Polická vrchovina hills as a tableland formed of Upper Cretaceous rocks and broken by many faults. The castellated rock complexes themselves are built of quartzose sandstones (Quadersandstein facies) of Middle Turonian to Coniacian age. The rocky relief lies at elevations between 500 and 786 metres and some of the individual rock towers and pillars are up to 100 metres in height. Notable underground relief forms including caves and abysses are also found here. The Teplická jeskyně cave, with its length of 1065 metres, is the longest pseudokarst cave in the Czech Republic. Other cave systems which are currently being explored will probably turn out to be even longer.

Due to this extremely dynamic relief the Adršpašské and Teplické skály castellated rock complexes have the most emphatic temperature inversion of any castellated rock complex in the Czech Republic. The cold, moist microclimate in the canyons, gorges and caves supports the occurrence of glacial relict species. A mosaic of native forest communities have been conserved on the NNR territory, including relict pine stands, fragments of waterlogged and peaty spruce stands in inversion positions and the remnants of the predominantly acidophilous beech forests. Another subject of protection is the tall grasslands (in inversion positions in the castellated rock complexes), where a fragment of the local ecotype of ravine spruce stands has also survived. The moss communities in the NNR are also very rich and 261 moss species have been documented here, of which 41 are in the “Red Book” of endangered mosses in the Czech Republic.

Notable zoological features in the NNR are that the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) regularly nests on the rocks and a colony of jackdaws (Corvus monedula) also live here. Mysterious glacial relict species can be found in the pseudokarst caves such as the spider Batyphantes eumenis and the ground beetle Trechus striatulus, which has been found in the newly discovered system of Crevice caves in the Teplice castellated rocks.

Commercial tourist routes pass through the Adršpach and Teplice castellated rock complexes. Other areas of the rocks are accessible along marked tourist trails and allow us to walk among the most monumental and most romantic rock formations and hidden corners or to view this landscape from the rocky peak of Mt. Čáp (786 m). Rock climbing is permitted on certain designated parts of the territory. This unique world of rocks will touch your heart, engage your curiosity and reward your body. We hope to see you here soon!