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Tourist Destinations
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- Moravian Karst
Welcome to the Czech Republic


History, Colonization and Discovering the Rocks
Thousands years ago, the whole area including the rocks as well as the border mountain ranges of the Krkonose and the Orlicke Hory Mountains was covered with virgin forest. This vast forested area was known even to the Romans as the Hercynian Forest. It is believed that an old route connecting the Elbe River Basin (via the East Bohemian settlement area, the Branka (Gate) Pass and the Klodzko Basin) the Baltic Sea coast where sought-after amber deposits were located. There is an unique finding of a bowl along with some fragments of ceramics from the Upper St. Hill near Adrspach originating from the Early Laten (Celtic) Age.

As far as the countryside was covered by the vast and thick forest that started to be colonized as late as in the 13th century, the interesting rock formations were not visible. The border forest provided natural protection to the Czech Land. The first historic references to the sandstone rock formations describe the Broumov Walls. This rocky range dividing the Police and Broumov basins was known even to the prehistoric people. The apt name of the Walls is first documented in 1213 and 1229 in the Brevnov Monastery documents. At that time the colonization had reached the edge of the Adrspach-Teplice Rock area from two directions: from the east along the Metuje River and from the west along the Drevic (Olsovka) Creek. The starting point here was probably the village of Starkov.

At the end of the 13th century the town of Teplice was found on the Metuje River and two fortified castles (Strmen and Adrspach) built in the rocks. Along with the third fortified castle (Skaly) that was built later they were strong defensive points in the wilderness.

Coins from the Thirty Years' War, a Finding from Horni Adrspach
In the middle of May, 1971, when making earthwork, a coin deposit was found and (unfortunately) partly damaged. The coins scattered in the excavated earth were brought home mostly by children. The finding was withheld from the public. Only later, part 21 coins of the finding were caught as some children brought them to school or to the Broumov museum. The coins were in a leather bag an imprint of which has been preserved on one of the coins. The coins date back to 1629 or later. At the present time, they are deposed in the County Museum in Nachod.

The Finding Consists of the Following Coins:
Seven three-kreutzel coins minted by Ferdinand II. (1619 to 1637)
Two Silesian twenty-four-kreutzel coins
Five Austrian three-kreuzel coins
One Marian groschen from the Hervoden Abbey
One Falc-Simmernian halfbatzen
One Saxon half-taler from 1624
One Tyrolean taler
One Mansfeldian taler
One Spanish taler
One taler minted by the town of St. Gallen in Switzerland

In the draft code of law issued by Charles IV, the Adrspach Castle is named among the inalienable royal properties (that may, however, be pawned)

The Adrspach "Rock Town" was the first place to attract the first inhabitants or visitors for its wild and romantic rock formations. The first person to be acquainted with the rock labyrinth was Ignac Dobrava - a former centurion of the Kolowrat Regiment. Ignac Dobrava sent several reports upon this area to Bohumir Langhans who was a head of the protestant School in Silesian Swidnica. He published a printed essay on the area accompanied with a 26 x 14.5 cm copperplate engraving depicting the rocks - the so-far oldest known picture of the area.

The Silesian Wars, the Seven Years' War and The Last of the Mohicans

Before he died (on October 20, 1740) Charles VI ensured her 23-years-old daughter Maria-Therese the right of succession and also the indivisibilty of the Monarchy by issuing a new succession rules (the Pragmatic Sanctions). The same year, Friedrich II (Friedrich the Great) came to the throne in Prussia. He sent a letter of condolence to Vienna and almost at the same time, he occupied Silesia without any formal declaration of war. By this act the first Silesian War (1741 to 1742) of the Austrian inheritance began.

There is a quotation said by an intellectual, warrior and military tourist Friedrich II: "Who did not see the Adrspach Rocks, the Princely Chapel in Grusau (Kresov) or the Charnel House in Sedlec, he did not see any beauties of nature, splendour or art".

Maria Therese accepted the Czech crown in Prague on April 29, 1743. At this occasion, miller T. Hampel had a column dedicated to Virgin Mary built in Adrspach. The people of the neighbouring villages however had to shelter in the rocks soon after that, in 1745 during the Second Silesian War (1744 to 1745). This is also the oldest date written on the rock in the Rock Chapel behind the Burned-up Mill. Among the years written on the rock there are also Tomas Hampel's initials who helped the people sheltered in the rocks in the hard times.

Until that time, Maria Therese's ally had been England and Friedrich II's ally had been France. Nevertheless, in the following Seven Years' War the powers swapped the allies. During this was, part of the Adrspach villagers sheltered in the rocks again, which is witnessed by the two remaining years (1757 and 1762) written on the rock in the Rock Chapel.

The Seven Years' War was also being played out at sea and in North America between "New England" and "New France", i.e. Canada. In the autumn 1757, Fort William Henry was captured. The fortunes connected with this war have been immortalized in The Last of the Mohicans novel by J. F. Cooper. By a strange play of fate, the Seven Years' War events on various continents are interconnected by the year of 1757 that is written in the Rock Chapel. And what is even more interesting? In the place of Hony and in the village of Viznov you could find the so-called Laudon's Barrages dating back to 1758. At that time, General Laudon occupied also Teplice and vicinity. The general who was defeated on the American continent was Earl of Loudon, allegedly his distant relative. It is more probable, however, that general Laudon's ancestors came from Livland and the Scottish Loudons had nothing to do with them.

In 1770, the rocks were visited by poet Johan Wolfgang Goethe who was fascinated by them.

The Potato War, the Prussian Shower or rather a Lot of Fuss at the Plum Time
The name reflect the time of the war as it took place at the potato harvest and plum ripening. Prussians were often said to come to Bohemia to pick cherries. Their favourite stop would be the Branka (Gate) Pass where, on its southwest slopes cherry trees bloom and cherries ripen as the first in the whole region up to this day. That place also offers a wide view of the country and is also suitable for military encampments. The Prussian army used up this place very often during their invasions.

The oldest map in which the Adrspach Rocks are plotted was published in 1789 in Berlin and is connected to the year of 1779. It is a Prussian military staff map used during the "Potato War" or also the "Prussian Shower". These names were given to the war by Josef Myslimir Ludvik in his History of Nachod. The war was nicknamed "the Potato War" because the people in this region acquainted themselves with potatoes for the first time. Potatoes had already been common in Prussia and Prussian army was well-stocked with them. The Czech name for potatoes "brambory" is derived from "Brandenburg".

In 1781 these rocks were also visited by Josef Dobrovsky. With unfeigned admiration he wrote verses in the ancient Greek language into the Adrspach visitors' book.

In spring 1813, having returned from Russia, Napoleon Bonaparte was again at the head of an army of 150,000 soldiers in Germany and won in the battle of Bautzen. The French penetrated into Germany up to Breslau (Wroclaw). After that, on June 4, 1813 a truce was called until August 10, 1813. "In May 1813 on a Saturday before dusk, 3000 French infantrymen rolled up from Silesia to Braunau (Broumov) unexpectedly. They were mostly from Bayern and Winterberg, did not have any weapons, and were accompanied by their officers. Besides, they pulled to Braunau 300 hundred carts and wagons with two military cashboxes. The officers were accommodated in burghers' homes while the ordinary men pitched their tents at the Upper Suburb. We, students at that time, walked among them and spoke to them. They told us that they had sought refuge in Bohemia to avoid being taken Prussian prisoners. Then, after 10 o'clock in the evening at the dark night, they got on the move and were in a frightful hurry to Adrspach in order to be able to get to Saxony to join their people. The next day early in the morning, fifty Russian Cossacks galloped in here. They were all well built, they wore colourful uniforms, had long pikes. Having asked about the French in the square, they rushed at full gallop to Adrspach to catch the French soldiers. Nevertheless, they returned back in a few hours and left the town the same day after midday. They had made a great impression on all of us. ...There was a congress held in Opocno from the 15th to the 23rd day of June where the final Austria 's joining the anti-Napoleonic coalition was discussed. At that time, our Duches was honoured by the Russian Tsar's and the Prussian King's visit to the Ratiborice Castle."
Josef Myslimir Ludvik: "History of the Nachod Castle, Town, Demesne and their Owners" (1857).


The Rock Town Loop
The first formation to be seen on your left is the Indian not far from the Skalni Mesto Hotel. From there, you can get to the entrance of the actual loop. The loop starts at Box Office No. 1 just outside the Lesni Zatisi Hotel or at Box Office No. 2 at the Information Centre opposite the train station. The first distinctive spire of on the loop is the Rock Guard followed by the Aerie and the Jug one of the most gorgeous formations with its dolphin-shaped handle. On the right-hand side of the pathway tower the Giant's Armchair and the Grandmother's Armchair. Across the creek (which is actually the Metuje River) stands the astonishing Sugar Cone on its tip supported by children with sticks and twiglets. The pathway then turns and you will walk past the Organ and the Helmet on your right just at the Rerichova Rokle (Watercress Gorge) pathway junction. The loop continues to the left past the Knight's Casque which is, however, visible only if you look back. After the Knight's Casque you get to a more open space called the Suburb. The most distinctive formations in the Suburb are the Glove and the Twins in the Swaddling Clothes.
Immediately after the Glove there is just a narrow passageway provided with a Gothic Gate, formerly the entrance to the actual Rock Town. The Long Corridor beginning just after the Gate will lead you to the Elephant Square followed by the Sweetheart and the Giant's Bedroom. Farther on the left-hand slope you can admire the Carpets and the Mushroom. The gorge you are passing through changes into an open area after the Ten Commandments. On the area you can admire the Tooth and the Devil's Bridge behind it. On the left towers the Eliska's Spire one of the highest spires in the area. The pathway will then lead you past the Thunder Boulder, the Little Madonna, the Dwarf, and the Lioness Head on your right to the Small Square with the Silver Spring and the Little Waterfall. To get to the Big Waterfall, you have to take the branch pathway on your right-hand side. At first the pathway built in 1820 leads you up the stairs. On your way up, do not forget to look back to admire the St. Wenceslas Crown with the Lamb as well as the rock panorama with the Russian Cossack. From the highest point of the pathway, it takes just a short time to get to a square-like area from where you can enter the cave chamber with the Big Waterfall. When entering the cave, do not overlook a bust of Johan Wolfgang Goethe with a plaque as a reminder of his visit to these rocks. Above the waterfall lies a romantic Rock Lake offering short narrated punt trips. After returning to the Small Square, the loop continues to the right past the Powder Tower to the Rock Castle from where there is the most beautiful view of the Lovers, the highest and the most gorgeous rock formation in the area. At its foot, on the way to Rerichova Rokle (Watercress Gorge) you will find the Rock Chapel dedicated to those who connected their lives with these rocks. The loop then continues to the vista point above Rerichova Rokle offering breathtaking views of the Lovers' Mountain, the Rock Castle and two spires called the Guillotines followed by the Turtle, the Sugar Refinery with a tall stack and, below the stack, an awesome view of a majestic and monumental rock group: The St. Stephen's Crown on the left, the Mayor in the middle and the Mayoress on the right. The loop will lead you through the long and narrow Mouse Hole between them to the Giant's Piano. The loop ends with the Rock Echo Point where, as early as in 1783, the guides blew French horns and fired a mortar for tourists' pleasure. The sound echoed from the Cross Hill wall and returned sevenfold. The loop can be ended by a walk around the former Sandpit now flooded with water offering short boat trips. Those who come from the Information Centre enter the rocks just here at Box Office No.2.

Cross Hill (elevation 667 metres) with its rocky ridge towers above the village of Adrspach just opposite the Adrspach Rocks. To get to the vista point at its top, follow the renovated Calvary. About 200 metres from its beginning stands a statue of St. Wenceslas, the Czech patron saint. The Calvary partly follows the route of the original trail going from the Adrspach Castle to the village of Zdonov and to Silesian Frydlant (now Mieroszow in Poland).

Adrspach Castle
The Adrspach Castle ruin stands on the Starozamecky Hill (elev. 681 m). The vista point on the rock spit offers a gorgeous view of the Rock Town, the Cross Hill and of a major part of Dolni Adrspach. In the west, you can admire the Krkonose Mountains with Snezka - the highest point in the Czech Republic. The castle played a more important role in the reign of king John of Luxembourg during his campaigns to Silesia. The castle was entered in his son's (Charles IV) code of law as a royal property. At that time, its importance started to decline. Silesia had already become part of the Czech Crown lands. There are two ways leading to the castle ruin. One is a tourist path from Adrspach and the other one (called Equestrian Route) is wider and winds around the Starozamecky Hill from its right side. After the Hussite Wars the castle (along with all the neighbouring castles) was bought out by the Silesian Towns Association. All the castles were then pulled down and fell into oblivion for many centuries. In the people's The castle has brought itself to people's notice as a highwaymen's castle or as a castle without history.