Ecoregion Šumava

Šumava is spread in the Middle of Europe along the southwestern border of the Czech Republic in the mountain belt about 130 km long and contains following parts: Šumava (CZ), Bavarian forest (D) and part of Mühlviertel (A). Those areas belong to the most preserved nature in Middle Europe. Šumava is from 60% - 85% forested and is the largest forest region in Bohemia. Together with Bavarian forest creates the biggest integral forest region in Middle Europe.
Šumava represents the main European divide between the North Sea /the Elbe and the Black Sea /the Danube/.

Great natural historical value of the territory is given by several factors: uplands in geological sub-soil, physiognomy of the landscape, elevation and climate. We can find here not only psychrophile mountain species, but also various thermophiles. Fauna and flora remained preserved here on large scale in naturalness and thanks to the influence of relatively cold climate and large difference in elevation in the area of Šumava, different types of species have evolved here. Most valuable are peat-bogs and glacial lakes. Very valuable are also cliffs, stony rubbles and water courses.

The Czech part contains about 202 municipalities at the area of 5 000 km2 with the population of 200 000 inhabitants and residential density of 40 %.

Šumava has ideal conditions for bicycling, hiking, water sports and winter sports, agro-tourism and there is plentiful offer of accommodation and catering.

Scientists presume, that formation of Šumava began one milliard years ago and it is much older than the Alps. Šumava mountains have rugged topography and it is as a result of long-lasting forming processes. During the long periond interacted volcanic processes - gigantic pressures from the abyss, and also climatic influence - variation of freezing temperatures and soft weather. Also flowing waters and streams took part in shaping the surface. Last changes noted Šumava landscape during the glacial periods, the last one ended about 10 thousand years ago but traces after the glacial periods in Šumava mountains are still evident.

The unbroken ridge of the Sumava Mountains had for a long time formed a natural unpenetrable border of the country. There were only a few places where it was crossed by old merchant tracks. The colonization of the region began as late as the 13th century. The abundance of timber and quartz contributed to the development of glass-making in the 15th and 16th century. Since the end of the 18th century timber from the Sumava forests had for a hundred years been floated down floating channels and watercourses as fas as Vienna and Prague.
There was gold hidden in the Sumava mountains too. It had already been found by the Celts in rivers and later on by the mediaeval miners in gold mines. Since the middle of the 20th century a boundary between "two worlds" has been passing through the Sumava mountains for four decades and life had nearly come to a standstill there. The social changes which took place in Central Europe after 1990 have brought new opportunities in the region.


Zelená støecha Evropy
Lesnaté rozsáhlé území Šumavy pøi hranici Èeska, Nìmecka a Rakouska je èasto nazýváno "Zelenou støechou Evropy".

Covering some 200.000 hectars the Šumava region is the largest woodland area in Central Europe known as the "Green roof of Europe".

Horská Kvilda

Gelologicky staré území Šumavy charakterizuje zarovnaný povrch šumavských plání v centrální èásti území s výškou nad 1000 m. Z nìho na okrajích vybíhají horské høbety, oddìlelené údolími s vodními toky. Všudepøítomné lesy obèas støídají horské louky a pastviny kulturní krajiny.

Šumava is one of the oldest mountain ranges in Europe. The highland in the central part of the area above 1000 m alternates with mountain-ridges devided by deep valleys with water flows. The omnipresent forests are occasionally replaced by mountain meadows and pastures of the cultural landscape.

Rosnatka okrouhloliská
Rostatce okrouhlolisté se daøí na bažinných pùdách šumavských rašeliniš

Insectivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifollia) flourishes on the mire soils of the Šumava peat bogs

Hoøec šumavský
Na horských loukách Šumavy kvete v pozdním létì chránìný druh Hoøec šumavský

There is one of the typical species of the Šumava region - The Šumava gentian (Gentianna pannonica) -in blossom in the mountain meadows in late summer.

Hranièní sla
Tajuplná krása šumavských slatí. Rezervoár ve vodním režimu krajiny, místa výskytu jedineèné flory a fauny.

Mystery and beauty of the Œumava peatlands. A giant reservoir in the water regime of the landskape, areas of occurence of rare floral and faunal species.

Vltava u Stožce
Èistá voda huèících horských potokù plyne klidnì v korytì Vltavy u Stožce.

Pure running water of the mountain streams flows restfully in the stream bed of the Vltava river near Stožec.

Scharzenberský plavební kanál
Šumavské chalupy

Kamenné tarasy

O staleté pøítomnosti èlovìka svìdèí dochované typické obytné stavby i technické památky. Mezi nì patøí i plavební kanály k plavbì døeva nebo kamenné snosy na okrajích bývalých zemìdìlských pozemkù.

Documents showing human activities of the past are the local residental buildings, the same as some monuments of technical skills, e.g. the timber floating channels for timber transport and the boulder borders along the former agricultural plots of land.

Soumaøi pøivezli sùl z nìmeckého Pasova po Zlaté stezce až do Prachatic.

Beasts of burden have brought salt along the Golden Pathway from the German Passau as far as Prachatice again.

Èeský Krumlov
Obnovené slavnosti Pìtilisté rùže v Èeském Krumlovì - každoroèní pøipomínka slavné historie mìsta.

The celebrations of the Five-Leaf Rose in Èeský Krumlov - annual re-established celebrations.

National Park Šumava -
In 1991, a large part of the Sumava mountain range situated along the SW frontier of the Czech Republic with Germany and Austria, was decreed a National Park, considered the highest legal measure of natural protection in our country.

Covering an area of 69 030 hectares, the Sumava NP is the largest among the three national parks in the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, together with the area of 13 000 hectares of the neighbouring Bavarian Forest NP (since 1970, extended 1997) the Sumava NP covers only about 1/3 of the total area of the Sumava Mountains and the Bavarian Forest, forming together the largest forest complex in Central Europe. Due to its situation within densely populated Central Europe, to its relatively high wild - life conservation, and to rich water resources, the Sumava NP is often referred to as the "Green Roof of Europe", the international significance of which is ever-increasing.

From the first proposals for protecting Sumava as a natural park in 1911, followed by prof. Komárek s appeal in 1946, and by other attempts in 1968 - 1969, and later in the 80s it took a long time to achieve the establishment of the Sumava NP. At that time only particular measures dealing with the protection of individual areas as natural reserves meant the first stage for the establishment of the largest Protected Landscape Area in the then Czechoslovakia (1963 - Protected Landscape Sumava covering 163 000 ha).

The Sumava NP includes most of highly valuable natural phenomena of the Sumava mountains requiring strict protection such as glacial lakes, mountain and valley undulating grounds or remnants of primeval forests. At the same time, one of its major features is nearly omnipresent permeation of this barely touched "virgin nature" with traces of centruries of presence of man. It lends specific charm and unusual mysterious to this sparcely populated area.

The desire to learn both nature and history, to get familiar with vast areas of the National Park, as well as the National Park orientation aiming at the realisation of cognitive and relaxing activities give evidence of "human" dimension in the Sumava NP. It is to the benefit of its permanent inhabitants, but also to visitors of the National Park.