December 18, 2021

Sandstone Kingdom: Hrubá Skála

A series documenting Czechia's locations full of fascinating rocks.

Some millions of years ago, central Europe used to be the bottom of a sea. Once the body of water shifted away, erosion started carving the depositions accumulated on the seabed into numerous spectacular areas full of sandstone towers, cones, needles, and canyons. I recently visited a few of those, but putting them all into one collection would be too long, so I decided to publish each location separately. Here's the first, Hrubá Skála:

The area is hidden in a rolling landscape of Bohemian Paradise nature preserve, about an hour drive north from Prague.

To fully enjoy the scale and textures, one has to come closer. That itself can be an exciting experience, as it can lead you through a maze of rocks placed in a beautiful forest.

It is accessible by multiple hiking trails, and a strolling loop through takes only a few hours.

The place is atmospheric, no matter the season. It is a popular rock-climbing destination during the summer, but the winter reveals the mighty shapes in full force.

The best views of the area are from the southern rim. One can enjoy the rocks from afar..

...and up close.

Seeing how the vegetation adapts to the local conditions is pretty neat, too.

All together, it forms a dreamy unit.

But it isn't just natural towers that stick above the trees...

Hrubá Skála also features an eponymous chateau that sits on one of the table rocks:

It was built as a fortified castle (first recorded in the mid-fourteenth century) and changed shape as time went on — its current look comes from the nineteenth century. It serves as a fancy hotel and spa now. Not a bad place to relax, that's for sure.

That's all for now — more posts featuring fascinating sandstones to come. Meanwhile, you can browse my other posts with cool rocks, such as:


Yellow Mountain


Saxon Switzerland

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Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Collections


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