The oldest and most extensive mountain range in Bohemia located at the southwestern border of the country is a part of the Czech Massive. Its area extends almost to one fourteenth of the whole territory of the Czech Republic. The inner core of the Bohemian Forest stretches 125 km from the Všeruby Pass to the Vyšší Brod Pass and its width from the state border to the edge of its foothills does not exceed 15 km.
The Bohemian Forest is generally divided into 6 smaller units:
The mountain range of the Bohemian Forest crosses the state border both with Austria (Mühlviertel) and the Federal Republic of Germany (Bayerischer Wald). In Germany, the Bohemian Forest is called Böhmerwald.
The highest peak of the Bohemian Forest is Plechý (1,378 m above sea level), and Great Arber on the German side (Grosser Arber – 1,456 m above sea level), which is also the highest peak of the mountain range as such.
The Bohemian Forest constitutes a divide between the North Sea and the Black Sea. The largest part of the Bohemian Forest is drained by the Vltava running north and only minor streams and brooks drain water to the Danube and eventually to the Black Sea.
The main purpose of nature protection is to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of environment and forms of life on Earth. To create conditions for permanent maintenance, renewal and rational use of natural resources, preservation of natural heritage, characteristic and original appearance of landscape and maintenance of environmental stability. In 1990 the Bohemian Forest was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
The Šumava National Park (ŠNP) was established by a decree of the Government of the Czech Republic of March 20, 1991. The headquarters of the administration of ŠNP are located in Vimperk. With 690 km², ŠNP is the largest national park in the Czech Republic. It includes areas of extensive coniferous and mixed forests with a number of unique bogs and glacial lakes.
It is divided into three zones
The Šumava Protected Landscape Area (PLA) was established on December 27, 1963 as the largest protected area in the Czech Republic. After the declaration of ŠNP, the area of the PLA amounts to 982 km². The headquarters of the PLA are in Vimperk, together with the ŠNP Administration.
Respecting the basic rules of conduct in the Šumava National Park will allow you to enjoy undisturbed moments in the park.
The environment of the national park is not completely free of all dangers, such as falls of dead trees or breaking branches of dry trees. Therefore, be increasingly careful in your own interest and abide by the recommendations of the NP Administration and the Šumava PLA.
Observance of the Code of Conduct and of the applicable legislation concerning nature protection is monitored by the Nature Guards. Therefore, observe the Code of Conduct during your visit to the Šumava National Park, abide by the instructions of Nature Guards and address the guards with your questions and inquiries.