Geopark Ralsko

the phenomena of the landscape below Ralsko

The Ralsko National Geopark is situated within the former military area of Ralsko. It covers a total of 294 km2. The landscape of the geopark is a diverse mosaic of rocky sandstone towers, table mountains, quiet ponds and peat bogs, endless pine forests and the surprisingly steep volcanic peaks with their ancient beech forests.

This is a region to which the wilderness has returned. Amidst the three mediaeval castles - Ralsko, Bezděz and Děvín, in the endless pine forests, there lie places that are so empty and abandoned that one can hear one's own thoughts.

The landscape of the geopark as we see it today was considerably altered by activities in the Ralsko military training area in 1950-1991. During this period more than twenty villages and hamlets disappeared forever, together with churches and graveyards, while buildings used for military purposes sprang up. The area was closed off to the outside world and the places that the troops left alone were soon retaken by nature.

After the troops left work started to clear the devastated parts of the landscape of munitions, chemicals and surplus buildings, although it was no longer possible to restore the former villages.

And so nowadays Ralsko Geopark is a unique island of green with some unique natural values. Part of the Ralsko Geopark belongs to the Kokořínsko - Máchův kraj Protected Landscape Area.