Podyjí National Park

Basic information

Podyjí National Park lies in the south-west section of Moravia in the former county of Znojmo (now the Jihomoravský kraj – South Moravian Region) and along the state border with Austria. The NP was declared on 1st July, 1991 on an area of 62.59 km² with a buffer zone of 27.97 km².

The backbone of the national park is the canyon-like valley of the central part of the Dyje river valley between the towns of Vranov nad Dyjí and Znojmo. The canyon is deeply incised into the surrounding flattened georelief of the Jevišovická pahorkatina hilly land. The highest point of the NP is Býčí hora near Vranov nad Dyjí (535.9 m) and the lowest is on the Dyje river in Znojmo (226 m). The central part of the NP only covers the left bank of the Dyje river, as the right bank lies in Austria and was declared as Nationalpark Thayatal in 2000.

The reason for declaring Podyjí a Protected Landscape Area in the 1980s, and later as national park was undoubtedly that the territory is a unique example of an extremely well-preserved deep river valley with incised meanders and also the notable concentration of geomorphological phenomena in the landscape. Around 35 km of the Dyje canyon has never been heavily affected by human activity. The forests which cover approximately 84% of the NP have a near-natural structure and species composition and up to 40% of them are left to natural development processes. Podyjí NP is characterised by its high species diversity, especially among plants and invertebrates and many relict species which are sensitive to human intervention also live here.

The NP territory is one of the most valuable in central Europe and the World Conservation Union has included Podyjí in the list of category II protected areas: national parks. Podyjí NP has also been a holder of the European Diploma of Protected Areas of the Council of Europe, which is awarded to selected protected areas for natural value and excellence in management.