Czech Republic

East Bohemia

The northern line of our borderlands is full of strong stories. Disappearing villages, hidden Sudeten treasures, exciting military history. You can only admire many of them thanks to old postcards, many of which have disappeared. Nevertheless, the area under Králický Sněžník has a magnet, which is still absolutely monumental. The Monastery on the Mountain of the Holy Mother, an ancient landmark of the area, hides a big story dating back to recent history. It is definitely worth discovering!

29 km | 4 hours | Active, Adrenaline

One monastery, five hundred stories

Route description:

„We start directly in Dolní Morava, a valley famous due to its popular Sky Walk and summer tourist crowds. Don’t worry, just a little cycling and the bustle of the popular tourist destination will be far behind you. However, an escape from civilisation is a little painful, because we will go up a steep forest asphalt road with a deadly slant, which will take you under the ridge of the peak of Klepáč. It closes the other side of Králický Basin, directly opposite Slamník, which is littered with attractions. A welcome relief is brought by a gravel path going down to a saddle back called Puchača. And now you can start enjoying technical sections of a forest path weaving its way through to the peak of Klepáč, which is almost 1,200 metres high. And now a break is a must. A wooden lookout tower, 25 metres high, is definitely worth conquering as it at least offers as interesting views as the giant lookout on the opposite hill, especially of beautifully undulating foothill meadows scattered with old homesteads in the Polish part of the region. And as a bonus, you will receive an interesting piece of information. Poles call this hill Trojmorski wierch. Yes, your guess is correct, waters from its slopes flow into three seas – the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Riding down Klepáč used to be great, but many wind-fallen trees have recently made it more difficult. Behind Horní Morava we strategically stick to the declining ridge; nice sections of the forest path are sometimes replaced with broken ones. Finally, we leave the forest and the new view literally knocks us from our bike. We are standing in vast mountain meadows, high above the valley, there are no people anywhere, and our solitude is only disturbed by a herd of cows calmly chewing grass. As the classic said: “It isn’t land, it is a garden!” And on the distant horizon we can already see our destination… A long slide down the meadow into the valley is a great reward. But now we are standing in a valley in Prostřední Lipka, so what shall we do? All you must do is ride a short distance along the asphalt road until you reach another unique place. Just beside the road we come across the infantry log cabin K-S 14 U Cihelny, one of many facilities of the nearly finished line of Czechoslovak fortification within this area, and right behind the log cabin is the Military Museum. Both are worth visiting, as well as the nature trail connected with those facilities, which we are taking. We stop by every notice board filled with interesting information; what we find the most interesting is visiting other buildings damaged during German tests of counter-fortification weapons. Giant holes in the concrete, twisted steel, even remnants of a “secret” weapon called Röchling sticking out of the walls of the Hůrka stronghold are extremely impressive. Anyway, the unique history of local fortification could easily form the basis of a very exciting trip – we can heartily recommend it. But let’s leave it for some other time, today we have a different goal. Yet we can see from the bunkers that the goal is not easy to achieve. The Monastery on the Mountain of the Holy Mother towers over Králíky, almost like Annapurna. The silhouette of the monastery on the mighty hill attracts our gaze like a magnet wherever we move. Originally, this hill, almost eight hundred metres high, was called Lysá hora. When the monumental monastery was finished in 1700, people started to call it the Mountain of the Holy Mother (Czech: Hora Matky boží). The popularity of the point of pilgrimage soared, and in 1728 it was visited by more than 150 thousand pilgrims. But the pilgrimage history of that Baroque jewel under Králický Sněžník is not the most interesting thing… The rise up the hill is long, so we can finally immerse ourselves in some recent history when the monastery experienced the most moving story of its existence. In spring 1950 the communists launched “Operation K”. They closed down that frequented point of pilgrimage, enclosed it with barbed wire and brought two hundred monks from all over the Czech Republic there over night. They planned to change their “unsuitable” belief by means of forced hard labour. Approximately five hundred monks underwent the inhuman conditions of the internment camp by 1961 – one monastery, five hundred unhappy stories. We are slowly approaching the large premises of the monastery. Noble curves, magnificent arrangement, majestic setting within the landscape. Every centimetre of the monastery leaves a strong impression on us. However, that feeling is further escalated upon visiting the Memorial to Victims of Internment, which is situated just inside the premises of the renewed pilgrimage point. A strong experience indeed. A tour of the abandoned monastery is a dignified and well-deserved highlight of today’s rich expedition.“


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Activity type

Mountain Biking

Audience type

Active , Adrenaline

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Horní Morava

-4° Air humidity: 81%
Cloudiness: 42%
Wind: (WNW) 18km/h
light snow
Friday -4° -7°
Saturday -4° -10°
Sunday -2° -1°
Monday -0° -0°
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East Bohemia

29 km | 4 hours
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