Šumava National Park
Motto: The Šumava National Park preserves the unique mountain nature within an area of attractive cultural features; it enables undisturbed development of this area and its recognition. It aspires to be a place where people can meet with wild, natural beauty.

Basic information

A National Park was established in the Šumava Mountains by the Decree of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 163/1991 Coll. on 20th March, 1991, which sets out the conditions for its protection.

“The main mission of a national park is to protect and improve its environment, especially to protect or renew the self-renewing functions of the natural systems, to strictly protect wild animals and plants, to maintain the typical landscape character and appearance, to fulfil scientific and educational roles as well as to support the use of the national park territory for sustainable tourism and recreation.”

The National Park is situated along the south–west borders of the Czech Republic with Germany and Austria covering the area of 69 030 ha. Approximately half of the territory lies in the Plzeňský kraj – Plzeň Region and half in the Jihočeský kraj - South Bohemian Region. The Šumava Protected Landscape Area, which surrounds the National Park and covers an area of 1 000 km², serves as a buffer zone.

Šumava National Park protects the typical ecosystems of the central European mountain landscape, especially forests, glacial cirque lakes, peat bogs and mountain meadows, including all of their succession stages as a natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations. It provides enough space for the protection of species and genetic diversity, and it simultaneously represents a unique ‘natural laboratory’ allowing the monitoring of natural processes on a scale which is not possible elsewhere.

Environmentally sustainable use of the National Park for tourism and recreation is focused on the experience of nature. Sustainable tourism also provides a source of income for local entrepreneurs. Public education is focused on the interpretation of the National Park’s goals, the presentation of natural processes and enhancement of the understanding of nature and landscape protection.

Šumava National Park is a part of the central European inhabited area and enhances the ecological, economic and cultural potential of the region. Local communities develop along the principles of sustainable life and are respected as important partners in decision-making processes.

The co-operation with the neighbouring Bayerischer Wald National Park focuses on gradual convergence of landscape management methods, joint presentation at an international level and the implementation of mutually beneficial projects.

The Šumava Protected Landscape Area fulfils the role of a buffer zone for the national park. Sustainable use of natural resources helped to form the cultural landscape here, which actively contrasts with the wild nature of the national park. Both NP and PLA territories belong to the internationally declared Šumava Biosphere Reserve, and essentially belong to the wider Šumava region of mountains and foothills. By gradually fulfilling the international criteria for European national parks, Šumava NP is contributing to the maintenance of the natural and cultural heritage of a reunified Europe.