Broumovsko is a protected landscape area with unique rock formations at the edge of the Czech Republic. This almost God forgotten land is hiding several gems of spiritual importance, such as Broumov monastery, a former pilgrimage site, and a bunch of Baroque churches made by famous Dientzenhofers architects.
Broumovské stěny (in Czech) is about 12 km long mountain ridge of rocks towers that looks like a stony Manhattan from the bird’s perspective. It is a labyrinth of rock formations, caves, deep gorges, and views of the countryside. The main highlight is the lookout from the chapel called Hvězda (the Star) that you can access via a stone bridge. Just next to the chapel is an Alpine-style tourist lodge with a restaurant that has been hosting tourists for more than 150 years. It is a great destination for your hiking trip in this area.
Chapel in Suchý Důl
This green wooden chapel is an unusual rarity, not only in the region but also in the whole Czech Republic. Firstly, it is different from its style. Secondly, you might be surprised by the information that it supposed to be the Lourdes of Central Europe in the past.
Between the years 1892 – 1895, this place witnessed 23 Marian apparitions. Since then, it became a pilgrimage site with hundreds (!) thousands of visitors coming every year. People raised money for the chapel that was finished in 1897. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 2010, but local people rebuild it according to the original chapel again.
Well-known baroque architects, father and son Dientzenhofers (you might know their famous churches in Prague Old Town Square and Lesser Town, or Invalidovna) had been very active in the Broumovsko area. First and foremost, they participated on the construction of Broumov monastery, and they are authors of 8 churches in nearby villages (Vižňová, Ruprechtice, Vernéřovice, Heřmánkovice, Bězděkov, Otovice, Šonov, and Božanov). All of them were created between 1709 and 1743, thanks to the initiative of the abbot from the Broumov monastery.
All these churches are unique by their construction (they look like a turtle) and by their composition in the countryside (appearing out of nowhere). These churches used to be in horrible conditions, and they are undergoing substantial reconstruction at this time. There is an ambition to subscribe them on the UNESCO list and restore the pilgrimage route. So, we might expect a tourist boom in this area in the near future.
This small rock town is well accessible and offers an interesting route in the rocky labyrinth. It’s a great trail for children, but also for rock climbers and hike enthusiasts. From some points, you have a panoramic view of the countryside even without any climbing equipment.
How to Get to Broumovsko
You can find this area about 3 hours drive, North-East from Prague, on the borders with Poland. The central city of this area is Broumov, with a cultural center in the Broumov monastery where you can find accommodation in the original cells of the monks. The whole area is still not so touristic, but it has the ambition to become a spiritual destination in the near future, thanks to its religious sights.