The Křivoklát Castle is an attractive tourist destination; it was founded at the beginning of the 12th century by Prince Vladislav, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Prague - Malá Strana, Vltava River, and Charles Bridge, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Prague towards the northwest, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.The beauty of the countryside, known as Bohemian Paradise, has enchanted many artists, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Český Šternberk Castle, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Koněprusy Caves, the largest cave system in Bohemia, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Mělník Chateau and tower of the Church of St. Peter and Paul as seen from the historic locks in Hořín, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.
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Central Bohemia - Around Prague

Žampach Viaduct

Not far from Jílové u Prahy stands what may well be the highest stone railway bridge in Central Europe. The Žampach Viaduct was built in 1989-1900, spans the Kocour Valley, and is 41.73 m high (only a meter lower than the Nusle Bridge in Prague). It’s held up by seven arches, each spanning 12 meters, while the length of the entire bridge is 109.33 meters. The bridge is 5.77 m wide. The bridge was built in 1898-1900 by Italian workers, experienced in building similar bridges in the Alps. This carefully executed work has been serving for railway transportation without major repairs ever since.

GPS: 49°52'22.598"N, 14°29'15.802"E

Medník

A national natural monument on the NE slopes of Medník Hill (416 m ASL) on the left bank of the Sázava River. It’s protected for the rare and critically endangered Dogtooth violet (Erythronium denscanis). This is the only habitat of this Liliaceae plant in the Czech Republic.

GPS: 49°52'4.109"N, 14°27'28.893"E

Třeštibok Lookout Point

This is a great place for beautiful views onto the Sázava Canyon from two lookout points on rock promontories above the river near Jílové. The points are about 150 meters from each other; the first one is called Snake Cliff while the other one is named Třeštibok. The name sounds something like “side-crash” in Czech and probably comes from when log rafts were navigated down the Sázava River.

GPS: 49°52'37.066"N, 14°27'7.230"E

The Sázava Pacific

This romantic name is still used today to indicate two railway routes – route number 210 (Prague – Vrané – Čerčany, with a branch to Dobříš) and route number 212 (Čerčany – Kácov – Světlá nad Sázavou). The name came about sometime in the 1920’s as a throwback to the old American railways, since it was used by ramblers (“tramps”) who took the train to remote locations along the Sázava River. The first route to form, number 201, was built because of a sugar plant that used to exist in Modřany. The route was later extended to lead all the way to the Sázava river basin. The last section was built in 1900. The route was originally most important for economic reasons, but it was later important in fostering the development of tramping and hiking around Prague. In addition to regular transportation on the Sázava Pacific, there are a number of historic and festive rides held on the route today, usually associated with interesting cultural events (such as the Sázava Pilgrimage). www.pacifikem.cz

America Quarries

“Lomy Amerika” (also called the “Czech Grand Canyon”) is the collective name for a set of limestone pit quarries near the village of Mořina in the Czech Karst, interconnected by underground tunnels. Some of the quarries are up to 60 meters deep. The best known are Great America and Little America, as well as Mexico. There are other smaller quarries hidden in the woods. A starting point for visiting the quarries can be the small town of Karlštejn, well accessible by car or train. Note: The America Quarries are the private property of the Lomy Mořina quarry company and entrance to them is forbidden. Use extreme caution when in close proximity to the quarries! www.lomy-amerika.cz

GPS: N 49° 57.567; E 014° 11.917

Průhonice Park and Chateau

A unique natural landscape park covering 250 hectares, less than 15 km from Prague. The park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. The Průhonice Park boasts many unique characteristics – 1800 domestic and exotic species of trees, a rhododendron collection including around 8000 bushes, and a vast Alpine garden covering 3 hectares. The Neo-Renaissance chateau holds a permanent exhibition devoted to the park's founder. A conference and social centre in the chateau is available for cultural events, weddings, and exhibitions. The Small Courtyard holds the Taroucafé botanical café. The park is open year round. www.pruhonickypark.cz

GPS: 50°0'2.291"N, 14°33'27.287"E

Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky

The chateau was originally a water fortress from the 13th century, then was reconstructed in the late 16th century into Renaissance style. Its final appearance comes from modifications in the 19th century. The building was completely reconstructed in 2002, and will be opened to the public in the spring of 2014 to feature new exhibitions. The Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky is presently under the administration of the chateau grounds and studio of Zdenka Braunerová. This painter, graphic artist, and book designer built her studio next to the Brauner Mill in 1903-1904. The exhibition presents the period interior with pictures and items from the artist's estate as well as museum exhibits. www.muzeum-roztoky.cz

GPS: 50°9'29.924"N, 14°23'54.544"E

Štěchovice Dam

Štěchovice Dam - the impressive incorporation of this work of hydroengineering into the landscape, as well as the entire structure’s granite lining, makes this likely the most beautiful step of the Vltava Cascade. It was build from 1937 to 1945, and today it primarily serves to balance the irregular outflow of the Slapy hydroelectric power plant and to provide a continuous flow of water into the Vranská Reservoir. It also provides electricity. The reservoir below the dam extends all the way to the Slapy dam, is 9.4 km long, and holds a total of 11.2 million m3 of water. The concrete gravity dam itself is 124 meters long, 22.5 meters high, and contains five overflow fields, each 20 meters wide. There is no road or path leading over the top of the dam. Below the middle overflow field, there is a sluice through a lower drain hole 7 x 7 meters large; this can be used to completely drain the dam, and during construction it was used for the passage of rafts and other vessels.

The lock on the right bank is 12 meters wide and 118 meters long, and can handle vessels with up to 1000 tons of displacement. It overcomes a water level height difference of up to 20.1 meters. The upper support gates are 24 meters high, which is extraordinarily high for this type of construction and is unique in Europe.

There are two hydroelectric power stations in Štěchovice: a medium flow station with two Kaplan turbines with a capacity of 2 x 11.25 MW in top operating mode. The surrounding terrain’s suitable configuration allowed for the construction of another pumped storage hydroelectric plant with a drop of 220 meters and storage tanks on Homole Hill. Following reconstruction in 1992-1996, this plant is equipped with a single modern reversible Francis turbine with a generator with an output of 45 MW.