ADRSPASSKO - TEPLICKE SKALY
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
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
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 PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION )
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).
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.