Introductory information

Basic information about the administrative organisation

Welcome to Šumava NP

The forested, mountain massif of the Šumava / Bavarian Forest spreads across the heart of Europe, alongside the German, Austrian and Czech borders, along the European watershed from which the Vltava and Elbe rivers run from the European "rooftop" down to the North Sea where the water from Germany (Bavarian Forest) and Austria (Mühlviertel) flows into the Danube River and the Black sea.

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As one of the largest contiguous forest complexes in Central Europe, it is also known as the Green Heart of Europe. There are two national parks spread across 920 km2 - the Bavarian Forest NP on the German side, established in 1970 and the largest, and the 680 km2 Czech Šumava National Park established in 1991.

A mystical landscape awaits - vast plateaus with mountain spruce reminiscent of northern Europe, melancholy peat bogs spread across the Šumava plateaus, flood plains in the Vltava River valley, glacial lakes in the steep glacier modelled corries below the ridge borders, which provide views of the alpine glaciers.
Although the forest is ever-present, you can also find other countryside - deep valleys with rock formations and with detritus boulders stretching over the torrent rapids or the remains of previous landscaping of mountain pastures and meadows evolved over many years and untouched by humans.

Although Šumava was first proposed as a nature park in 1911, followed by an attempt by Prof. Komárek in 1946 to classify it as a National Park and further attempts during 1968-1969 and then in the 1980's, it was a long time before Šumava was finally classified as a National Park. Incremental steps were completed for the protection of individual territories as natural preservation areas as well a "precursor" to protection in the form of a declaration as the largest protected landscape area (PLA) in the former Czechoslovakia (1963 - Šumava PLA with 163,000 hectares).

Šumava National Park includes the majority of the precious nature reserves in Šumava that require strong protection. The desire to explore nature and history, to be familiarized with the nature in the extensive territory of the NP and the orientation to the objectives of the national park to enable these cognitive and relaxation activities, which are so important for modern day living, is the aim of the "human" dimension, even in Šumava NP.

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