The Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2019 and is thus one of our most significant locations. However, the Ore Mountains are not just about the mining industry. The fascinating wilderness and historic towns entice all lovers of adventure, beauty, and unique phenomena.
Riches from the depths of the Earth
The Johannes Adit looks like it came from a fantasy film set in a mythical world of magic and spells. It is carved out of the skarn bodies of the “Zlatý kopec-Kaff” mining district, where several centuries ago, miners dug out huge stopes, seen quite rarely worldwide. The largest one has a height of up to twelve metres. During the tour, you will learn everything about the five-hundred-year history of ore mining, and you will take away an experience you will treasure for the rest of your life.
If Johannes should enchant you, also visit the Kryštof Adit in the Mauritius Mine, where you will descend a thirteen-metre-long staircase in borrowed wellington boots and with torches. The gigantic underground stope at the end of the adit reaches heights of up to twenty-five metres in places, and the tour also consists of an impressive video-projection.
Criss-crossing three peaks
From the underground, we will now set out for the dizzying heights of the three most-famous Ore Mountain peaks. The highest mountain of the Ores is Klínovec, known by experienced tamers of wild slopes as a ski resort in the winter and as a bike resort in the summer. Cyclists and hikers alike will appreciate that the chair lift to the top also operates in the summer.
Plešivec also offers skiing in a modern ski resort with twelve kilometres of pistes. In the off-season, you can try the giant swing and high-ropes centre, or you can hike along the mythical trail full of stories and monsters. The offer of the ski resort is complemented by Bublava, located just above Kraslice.
On the other hand, Blatenský Hill is known for its lookout tower, located at the height of 1,043 metres above sea level, offering a view of Klínovec or of the German peaks Fichtelberg and Auersberg. It is well-accessible from several marked hiking trails, one of which is the red trail leading from Horní Blatná with a stop at Vlčí jámy (the Wolf Pits).
The magic of the wild mountain foothills
The aforementioned site of “Vlčí jámy” ranks among the most beautiful natural monuments in the Czech Republic. It is formed by the collapsed ceilings of underground stopes and the cliff walls of a former mine, and you can see lizards, bats, or the endangered Mielichhof’s copper moss, the growth of which is bound to revealed copper veins.
The Ryžovna Nature Reserve lies just several kilometres further, with revealed basalt rocks and numerous species of endangered flora and fauna. Especially the so-called stone organ rocks are breath-taking, formed millions of years ago by the shrivelling up of petrifying lava when the volcanic activity stopped.
You can combine your walk through Ryžovna with a trip to the nearby Boží Dar peat bogs, the reserve with the largest surface area in the Karlovy Vary Region. Here, you can see all phases of peat formation and harvesting, from its untouched state to its harvest to its replenishing. The whole area is interwoven with boardwalks and educational stops.
Two more nature parks that you should not miss are Přebuz and Jelení Hill. Přebuz is a complex of highland peat bogs near the source of the Rolava River, the most valuable of which are the “Velký močál” and the “Velké jeřábí jezero” bogs. On the contrary, Jelení Hill is an intensely forested area, where deer or wild boar run around and rare pygmy owls and boreal owls peer down at them from the trees.
Towns overshadowed by mountains
The highest located town in Central Europe is called Boží Dar, and its history is, typical for everything in the Ore Mountains, correlated with the mining of ores and peat. Aside from the ski resorts, both a cross-country skiing trail/cycle path (depending on the season) – Bauer’s training circuit – winds through the countryside, and children can look forward to the Baby Jesus Hiking Trail.
The second significant Ore Mountain town is Abertamy, located by the Mauritius Mine, where one of the five Czech churches consecrated to the Fourteen Holy Helpers is located, as well as an exhibit on glove making, which has an almost two-hundred-year tradition in Abertamy. The set of significant towns is completed by Horní Blatná, a Renaissance town with a square-shaped town square, the Church of St Lawrence, museum, and several hiking trails.