Pravčická brána (Pravcicka Gate)
Pravčická brána (Pravcicka Gate)
April - October: daily 10:00 - 18:00
November - March: Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 - 16:00
National natural landmark – one of the most famous morphological structures of Bohemian city of rocks, located 3 km from Hřensko, nearby the state border with Germany. It has become the symbol of the National Park Bohemian Switzerland. With its size (the arch is 16 m high, total span almost 27 m, the arch is 7-8 m wide) it is the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe.
There are amazing lookouts from the rocks above restaurant Sokolí hnízdo (“Falcon’s nest”, building from 1881). Pravčická brána was visited since the end of the 18th century. Its frequent attendance used to cause increased erosion of the upper parts and destruction of the gate. Therefore, access of the public to the gate has been forbidden since 1982. The purpose of the protection is preserving the current state and natural development of sandstone rock massifs together with minimizing the negative influence of anthropogenic impact.
In 2009 Pravčická brána was shortlisted in New7Wonders global poll on seven natural wonders of the world, qualifying into 71 semi-finalists. This national natural landmark is yearly visited by more than two hundred thousand visitors both from Czechia and from abroad.
Monumental rock arch does not only fascinate visitors, who ascend to it, but also scientists, who have been wondering for long years how it is possible, that Pravčická brána has not already fallen down. The rock arch is actually too thin and fragile for carrying its own weigh and repeated expanding and shrinking caused by the outside temperature changes. Scientists assume that Pravčická brána is in fact formed by two separate rocks.
Thanks to that there is no such huge strain put to the arch, which could cause breaking the structure if the rock arch would be a part of the rock massif on both ends. Nevertheless, the gate is being monitored and gauged by a system of special devices, which study its every move. Experts also deal with the process of degradation the surface of the gate due to chemical erosion in consequence of long-term air pollution and reacting of the rock to acid rains. When you decide to stroll right below the arch of Pravčická brána, please take notice of old inscriptions, left by 19th century visitors. When they wanted to immortalise themselves in this impressive natural creation, a local pub tenant would lend them a ladder.
GABRIELINA STEZKA (Gabriela’s Trail)
It is a traditional promenade way linking Pravčická brána and Mezní Louka. It is probably named after Prince Edmud Clary-Aldringen’s sister, a pioneer of local hiking. The trail leads along the foot of Křídelní stěny via the most beautiful parts of Bohemian Switzerland.
Nowadays, the historical Gabriela’s Trail is a part of the main nature trail, the so called Okolím Pravčické brány, starting in Mezní Louka, leading via Pravčická brána, and finishing by Tři prameny.
- The length of the trail is 6 km.
- There are 12 stopovers on the trail.
- It takes about two and a half hours to walk the trail at calm, comfortable pace (including the stopovers by educational boards).
- The trail copies red hiking trail – majority of the nature trail is in the first zone of the national park, which is the one with the strictest rules.
- There is a considerable vertical drop in direction from Tři prameny to Mezní Louka. That can be really exhausting for elderly or ill people, especially when hot weather.
- The trail was already founded before 2000, yet in 2010 was repaired and got its contemporary appearance.
- At every stopover, there is an image of a sandstone milestone on the educational board, which gives you the info about distance of significant destinations on the nature trail.
Brožura Průvodce okolím Pravčické brány
Adults 75,- Kč/person (3,-EUR/person)
Children 6-14 years old / students and pensioners: 25,-Kč/person (1,-EUR/person)