Inanimate nature

Inanimate nature is imprinted on the unforgettable character of Šumava and influences the diversity of the species and the richness of the animated nature. The geological process fundamentally conditions the topography of the landscape, creates richly shaped surfaces and together with the climate conditions also creates the water conditions and various types of soil.

The hundreds of million years of geological history are the main reason for the diversity found in Šumava. The surface has been repeatedly raised through orogenetic processes and aligned several times only to be broken down by erosion. Many kilometres of the earth's crust have been removed and the present day rock surface, created deep inside the earth, emerged with the help of soil erosion. In particular we can find different types of gneisses and granites, representing the two dominant groups of Šumava rocks, i.e. metamorphic rocks and deep-seated eruptive rocks.

The more resistant rocks, which could better resist weathering and erosions, currently stand out above the surrounding surface, as bizarre rock formations or massive terrain elevations, enriching the Šumava landscape.
In the most recent geological periods, many of the glaciers disgorged their contents down into the valley, leaving behind the steep cliffs of glacial cirques and mountains of material in the form of morainic mounds which still retain water from the lakes. The force of the glaciers also shaped Plechý Mountain, the highest peak on the Czech side of Šumava. The glaciers are also responsible for the massive pyramid shaped mountain of Velký Javor in neighbouring Bavaria, near our border.

The gneissose Boubín with its famous virgin forest has a sea of rock on its hills, created from broken rocks, separated by alternate freezing and defrosting.
The Vydra and Křemelná Rivers cut into the Šumava massif, creating deep canyons. On the flat and slightly undulating surface of the Šumava plains, an area with water accumulation and vast peat bogs, we can find plant species which have survived from the Ice Age.
For a perceptive observer, inanimate nature can be an interesting textbook that provides an overview of its own, long development, continuing through to the present times and in many cases, it is the key to understanding the process rules, identifying what is happening in that specific part of nature, where organic life plays the principle role.



Šumava belongs among the largest and oldest mountain-range in Central Europe with extensive glacial relicts of the peak platforms, located on several levels at altitudes 1,000 m.a.s.l. These are maintained in its central part and are called the Šumava plains. The Šumava Mountains are also home to the European watershed of the Black Sea and the North Sea. The mountains have a distant geomorphologic position towards the main European erosion basis. The relics of the paleo reliefs at the Šumava plains are considered to be among the oldest on the European continent.

Throughout the known geological evolution, Šumava was exposed to various terrigenous, destructive and denudation processes. . According to the latest geological research, Šumava is formed by a complicated arched structure of Variscan metamorphic rocks and is part of the Moldanubian Zone. This structure borders on the SE with the Danube fault line which basically surrounds the Bohemian Massif. A significant tectonic element is the Bavarian quartz ridge which lines the Šumava foothills.

Significant geological and geomorphologic locations
  • Facebook
  • Send by e-mail
  • Print