|Šumava National Park and Reserve|
Administration of the area
Branch office in the Český Krumlov Region :
Administration of the Šumava National Park and Reserve is a regular member of FNNPE and EUROPARC
Administration of the Šumava National Park and Reserve
Ing. František Urban, Manager of the Public Services Office
1. máje 260
385 01 Vimperk
+420 388 413 019
E - mail :
Administration of Šumava National Park in Vimperk
382 26 Horní Planá
The Šumava National Park and Reserve is situated at the southwest border of the Czech Republic with Germany and Austria. The National Park is located in three different regions - Český Krumlov, Prachatice, and Klatovy.
The National Park, along with the Preserved Area Šumava, form a biospherical reservation which has an area of about 167 000 ha. The National Park has an area of 69 030 ha, the Preserved Area lies on the remaining 97 970 ha. It surrounds the National Park from the north-west, north, and south, and therefore has the function of forming its protective zone.
Between 600 and 1378 m above sea level.
The area of this biospherical reservation is vast, and therefore several different types of climate occur here. The most common is the mild wet weather, depending on height above sea level, mainly at the valley of the river Vltava, and cold wet weather.
Administration of the area
Branch office in the Český Krumlov Region :
The area gets heavy precipitation, mainly snow, which is often at the mountain heights (800 - 1600 millimetres a year). The average annual temperature is between 6,5 and 3,5 °C. The average temperature in July is between 12 and 15 °C. In winter there are often severe frosts.
The brown and light sand-and-clay soils are those most commonly found here.
Šumava creates the main European water-shed between the North and Black sea. It is characterised by its naturally high level of water accumulation - spring areas, peat bog sources, and sources of under-ground water. The quality of ground-level water is still very good (pH 5 - 7), which is proved by the existence of certain species found here, such as the fresh-water mussel.
At Šumava there are many river springs. The major rivers in the area are the Vltava, Vydra and Křemelná, which create the river Otava at their confluence, then Volyňka, and Blanice. There are eight glacial lakes at about 1000 - 1100 m above sea level. On the Czech side of the Šumava they have an area of 42 ha, their names are Laka, Prášilské, Plešné, Černé, and Čertovo.
There are only a few flower species because of the region's consistency of geological structure and soil conditions, and also because of the predominance of forest vegetation. Šumava is a botanically heterogeneous area - there are large differences between its west and south-east region, which was more influenced by the Alpine species at the end of the ice-age. This explains the origin of gentian Gentiana panonica, lovage Mutellina purpurea (Mutellina purpurea) or arnica (Arnica montana).
Higher up the mountains we could find dwarf birch (Betula nana), grass Trichophorum caespitosum (Trichophorum caespitosum) or quillwort Isoetes Iacustris (Isoetes lacustris), which grow under water in the glacial lakes. At the peat bog sources there are both forests and lower pine vegetation.
The fauna living at Šumava has developed since the post-ice age,
The upper streams of the Šumava are minimally polluted, and therefore one of the most important areas in the Czech Republic, where common otter (Lutra lutra) still survive. Another rare specie is the pearlshell Margaritifera margaritifera (Margaritifera margaritifera), which is considered critically endangered, as is the brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri), crayfish Astacus torrentious (Astacus torrentious), or noble crayfish (Astacus astacus).
The unique fauna of the invertebrate animals, which are connected with the peat bog sources, contains many precious relic species originating from the north, and this was the major reason for it to be entered into the Red book of endangered ecosystems. These species are the most important and interesting: ground beetle Carabus menetriesi (Carabus menetriesi), moorland clouded yellow (Colias palaeno ssp. europome), backswimmer Notonecta glauca (Notonecta reueri) and bog fritillary (Proclossiana eunomia).
Traditionally we can find forest species of gallinaceous birds at Šumava, for example Tetrao urogallus - a critically endangered specie, Tetrao tetrix, or Bonasa bonasia. Other important and rare bird species are kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).
The precious small mammals are bat Myotis bechsteini (Myotis bechsteini), critically endangered bat Rhinolophus hipposideros (Rhinolophus hipposideros), shrew Sorex alpinus (Sorex alpinus), or nothern birch mouse (Sicista betulina), which is a representative of the Alpine fauna at Šumava. Often appearing are the eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), pine marten (Martes martes), eurasian badger (Meles meles) and wild boar (Sus scrofa).
From the group of large ungulata we could name red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe-deer (Capreolus capreolus). At present the moose (Alces alces) also appears here, its presence is the result of natural migration.
There is only one large predator left, the nothern lynx (Lynx lynx), which is the Europe's largest feline beast of prey. It was successfully reintroduced to the Šumava between 1982 and 1989, when 17 specimens were introduced (10 males and 7 females). In quite a short time the population of the lynxes stabilised and they started to spread into the Šumava surroundings (Blanský les, the Novohradské Mountains, surroundings of Netolice, etc.). At the end of the year 1995 the estimated number of lynxes was more than 70, which is the highest in the Czech Republic. Originally the lynx appeared at Šumava until the second half of the 19th century, when its population was obliterated by humans. Its comeback was made possible by the large afforested areas, a relatively low level of inhabitants, and a satisfactory food base created mainly by deer.
History of the area, inhabitants, monuments
Its position in the middle of Europe, at the cross-roads of the major routes in the main direction from north to south, established the connection of Šumava to the cultural world of Middle Europe. The original inhabitants were probably the Celts and they disappeared in the early A.D. years. There is no information about the following epoch until 1000 A.D., it is assumed this was the period when the Celts moved away. The next inhabitants of the area between 1000 and 1200 cultivated the grounds previously inhabited by the Celts. Up to the half of the 15th century all the area was covered with natural primeval forests, which were a part of the border forest. Even in former times there were historical paths and border crossings, along which the villages and towns sprang up. (Historical Routes in the Český Krumlov Region).
The Šumava forests began to be cut down, in the valleys the agricultural soil was cultivated, and in 1500 about a third of the area was inhabited, mainly in the north and north-east. At that time nearly all today's towns and villages were founded.
After the Second World War rapid changes took place in the traditional usage of the land. They concerned a complete stop to all activities at the border zone for nearly forty years, and were followed by a rapid decrease in the number of inhabitants. Due to political and economic concerns of the country, the Šumava became of little interest. Despite all that, the changes caused by humans at Šumava are not as radical as they seemed, and the land can be restored to its original appearance with an appropriate degree of care.
The character of the Šumava landscape is completed by several historical monuments, proofs of past inhabitancy, and the presence of man in the area :
|canals previously used for transport of wood (Vchynicko - tetovský and the Schwarzenberg Navigational Canal)|
|historical ecclesiastical buildings, chapels, land stones, crosses, monuments, and others (St. Tomáš Church, the Stožec Chapel, the Vintíř Chapel, etc.)|
|documents concerning the historical allocation of the land (regulations of streams and rivers, stone walls to mark the borders of estates, trees along mountains routes, etc.)|
|mountain residential buildings (královácké courts, volarské houses) including localities of a open-air museum character ( the village Dobrá u Volar, and others)|
The poetic beauty of the Šumava became an inspiration for the works of many painters, authors, and other artists. (Karel Klostermann, Adalbert Stifter).
Protection of the environment
Because of its position in the middle of Europe, and a relatively high level of non-pollution and water sources, the Šumava is often considered part of the "Green Roof of Europe" - an area of international importance. First attempts to create a national park at Šumava date from 1911. Further steps towards achieving that target were taken in 1946. In 1963 the Protected Area Šumava was established by the Ministry of Culture of the Czechoslovak Republic according to Law no. 40/1956. It had an area of 163 ha and was the largest protected area in the country at that time. In 1991 in Paris the biospherical reservation Šumava was declared with the patronage of UNESCO, which covered the whole of the protected area, thus proving its significance on an international scale. On the 20th of March 1991 the National Park Šumava was established by the government of the Czech Republic, as an area with the highest possible level of nature protection.
The National Park Šumava is divided into three basic zones, which are important to re-establish the ecological stability of the landscape :
1st zone has an area of 9004 ha, and represents 13 % of the Park area.
This strict natural zone contains the most precious, important and stable areas of the Park with natural ecosystems - remains of primeval forests, wet grounds, and peat bog sources. The areas of the 1st zone are left to their natural development without any interference by man.
2nd zone has an area of 56 856 ha, and represents 82 % of the Park area.
This directed natural zone contains the majority of the remaining forest and other ecosystems with different levels of condition and structure of the vegetation, from the original or changed, to the badly damaged and unsuitable. The target of all activities is to restore and maintain the natural balance, and to gradually change the present ecosystems to their original form.
3rd zone has an area of 3 200 ha, and takes 5 % of the Park area.
This edge zone contains areas, which have been highly affected by human activities, and the residential centres. The target is to support and keep this zone as a residential one, with services, agriculture, tourism, and recreation, if this does not go against the main target of the National Park.
The protective zone of the National Park
was not officially declared, its tasks are completed by the Protected Area Šumava, which is divided into four zones.
The total area of the National Park Šumava :
|forest land||55 600 ha||81 % of the total area|
|meadows and pastures||5 169 ha||71 % of the total area|
|arable land||756 ha||1 % of the total area|
|streams and rivers||583 ha||1 % of the total area|
|remaining ground||6 922 ha||10 % of the total area|
The number of residents in the area of the National Park Šumava up to the 3rd of March 1991: 2,492
|the designation of a biospherical reservation and presence on the list of UNESCO|
|the Šumava peat bog sources written on the list of the Rams Convention concerning the protection of wet grounds of international importance|
|the Šumava peat bog sources written into the Red book of ecosystems by the International Union for Nature Protection (IUCN)|
|international protection of the nature in the area of Bavorský forest - Šumava, the title the Ecological Building Stone of Europe|
|Šumava/Böhmerwald is declared "European Landscape of Year 2000"|
The area of the national Park Šumava contains most of the precious natural phenomena of the Šumava with the need for strict protection, like the glacial lakes, peat bog sources, or the remains of primeval mountain forests. At the same time its basic characteristic is the constant mixing of this untouched nature reserve with the traces of the many years presence of man, which gives this area its charm and magic. The wish to know a little more about history and nature, to live peacefully with the beautiful environment of the area of the National Park, that is the purpose of the lives of both the people living here and visitors to this area. The National Park Šumava is an area which brings its beauty, strength and "defenceless" to modern man, and enables him to recognise its laws.
Further information :
Černá v Pošumaví
Map information system Šumava - Lipno area
Tourist Service in the Český Krumlov Region
Places of interest in the Český Krumlov Region
Description of Natural Conditions in the Český Krumlov Region