Global Network of National Geoparks

Preparation of the geopark bohemia centralis

Published :September 22, 2006

J.Kvacke & M. Paskova1

1Ministry of the Environment of the Czech republic. Vršovická 65. 100 10 prague, Czech republic

Keywords: Bohemian Karst, Bohemian Trilobite Centre, Bohemian Nauti Centre and Bohemian Reef Centre, Bohemian Petrified Forest, Bohemian Ice Age Park, Barrande Sternberg.
The pivot of the potential geopark follow the Berounka River basin between Prague and Pilsen. It is built of Proterozoic and Palaeozoic bedrock and accompanined with Tertiary and Quaternary sedimernts.
The area is particularly rich in geological monuments, fossil and archaeological sites and diversified plant and animal societies. The area is also important from the historical point of view. In this area, famous palaeontologists like Joachim Barrande and Kaspar Sternberg carried out their seminal studies.
Reconstruction of the Palaeozoic Sea environment is prepared in a Centres: Bohemian Mars Centre, Bohemian Trilobite Centre, Bohemian Nauti Centre and Bohemian Reef Centre. There are also abandoned coal fields exposed in western part of the area. Carboniferous swamp forest buried by several meters of volcanic ash is preserved as Bohemian Petrified Forest. Fossil plants conserved by volcanic ash are carefully excavated and studied by fytopaleontologists. Quaternary period is documented by fossil skeletons discovered in karst caves. This period is going to be reconstructed as a Bohemian Ice Age Park. Geomorphology of the area is characterized by high cliffs of the Berounka River valley and isolated rocks, small waterfalls and caves which give a special atmosphere of the place. The area of the potential geopark is valuable for its easy accessibility and well preserved nature. It is unique combination with frequently visited sites as the Koněprusy Caves or Karlštejn Castle and less visited areas of Krivoklát Castle and Radnice abandoned coal fields (brownfields). Hiking and biking trails in these areas are very popular among both Prague inhabitants and foreign visitors.
The geopark management is going to consist of Iocal communities associations, possibly also regional / local NGOs and regional development agency with strong cooperation of experts in natural sciences (especially geosciences), representative of Bohemian Karst Landscape Area Authority and Geology Section of National Museum.