Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code CZ940001)
  • Since 2000
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 15 km2 (1547.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Manager Vojen Lozek, Vladimír Svihla Správa CHKO Ceský kras Karlstejn 85 267 18 Karlstejn Tel. ++420-311-681 713 Fax. ++420-311-681023 E-mail ckras@iol.cz
Information Tomás Trojan Správa CHKO Ceský kras Karlstejn 85 267 18 Karlstejn Tel. 0311/681 713 Fax. 0311/681023 E-mail ckras@iol.cz
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General character of the site The Karlstejn National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a specially protected area (SPA) of supra-national importance. In addition to a lot of unique nature values, there are significant geomorphological features. With respect to species protection, the above-mentioned SPA harbours some endemic plant and animal species, which reach the northwestern most limit of their distribution range there. High species richness of plant communities in the SPA is caused by karstic and riparian phenomena. Calciphilous plant communities have been evolved in complete succession series across relatively extensive areas. In the Karlstejn NNR a viable self-sustained population of the Dracocephalum austriacum: the plant species is considered to be endangered at the pan-European level. Of animal taxa found in the Karlstejn NNR invertebrates, in a particular insects and molluscs are the most important. The site has been continuously settled by humans for at least 3,000 years and is a good example of the combination of high natural values and cultural monuments. In a particular the Karlstejn Castle that is one of the most famous historical buildings in the Czech Republic, established in the 14th century by Charles IV of Luxembourg. Although the area has been used by humans since the primeval times the Karlstejn NNR has maintained its original character. The SPA plays a significant role in global stratigraphy and is also unique with respect to global paleontological research on the Paleozoic age. The Budnany rock is an auxiliary profile of the Klonk world stratotype. Therefore, the reserve is considered to be most typical part of the Bohemian Karst area. 
Quality A relatively large area has been protected within the same boundaries since 1955, partially even before. European to global importance is based on its geological structure and as paleontological site, harbiouring auxiliary profiles of the world stratotype between the Silurian and Devonian.Because of combined character of the site, paleontological, geological, geomorphological, botanical, zoological, ecological and environmental characteristics were used for explanation the European Interest. The information used is that from the Official List of the State Nature Conservancy in the Czech Republic, files of the Bohemian Karst PLA Administration and from the Integrated Information System on Nature Conservation. 
Vulnerability Because the NNR is surrounded by the Bohemian Protected Landscape area it gives a guarantee for long-term exclusion of unsuitable human interventions in the future. The NNR is guarded by rangers (The Nature Guard members) who can penalise offences against the Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the Protection of Nature and the Landscape.Probably due to global climate changes, travertine sites are affected by the fact that they have become more and more dry habitats. 
Owner Most of the lands in the NNR is owned by the State either by the Czech Forests or the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic. Only a small part is owned by local communes or by private persons. Other sites have been purchased by the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic so the proportion of the area in private hands been decreasing. 
Documentation Reserve book of NNR Karlstein, Coll., PLA Czech Karst, 1972-1999Protected areas of the CR I.part, Col. CUOP, Prague 1995Cesky kras, Kuklik M., Academia Prague, 1988Agenda 21 and the region Czech Karst, Hrebik S., Koniklec Agency, Prague 1998Etc. And a lot of articles in scientific journals.List of next articles and books will be prepared at December 99. 
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Geomorphology From a point of view of geology, the Karlstejn NNR belongs to the central part of the Barrandien Basin, created especially by Silurian and Devonian series or complexes of strata. Most of the NNR is formed by folded limestones. A lot of both naturally and artificially open Silurian and Devonian strata are important profiles, sites for excursions and paleontological sites known all over the world. A travertine cascade and Quaternary outcrops also should be considered as one of the best preserved in the Czech Republic. The St. Ivan´s Spring is also situated in the NNR, being a source of very pure and clear deep water. 
Educational interest The Karlstejn NNR can be reached by marked paths for tourists. In addition, five educational paths have been established there, one of them for boating visitors. The Kubrycht´s Cabin Information Centre is located just right at the starting point of the tourist paths. On of the educational paths gives visitors more detailed information on natural and cultural heritage of European importance. Another one aims at geological characteristics of the NNR. In addition, the PLA Administration issues educational leaflets and brochures for general public and some target groups.Both the PLA Administration and St. John´s High Teacher Training School are visitors centres, frequently visited by tourist in a particular in the summer period. The co-operation between both the above subjects has started and there are benefits for both the partners. For example, a field station for injured animals is carried out by both institutions. On the territory of the NNR a lot of research projects have been implemented, focusing on plant and animal population and communities 
Cultural heritage Many caves located on the territory of the NNR (e.g., Nad Kacakem Cave or Barrande´s Cave) are considered to be significant archeological sites, in a particular those of Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. The culturally unique part of the area is the Karlstejn Castle which served as a treasure save for Bohemian Kings. In addition, the St. John’s complex includes a monastery, caves and a church and has been an important cultural centre since the 9th century. 
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100