National geopark


Regions of the Czech-Bavarian Geopark

The territory of the Czech-Bavarian Geopark includes several geologically, geographically and historically defined regions. Together, they provide a fascinating journey through Europe´s geological past and an understanding of the ongoing geological processes.


Region of Cheb

The territory of the Cheb region includes the Cheb Basin and adjoining areas. The Cheb Basin is a geologically young subsidence structure. In relation to the Krušné Hory Mts. and the Slavkovský Les Mts., the basin floor subsided over approximately 35 million years by about 600 m, with more than 300 m in the past 3 million years. The Cheb Basin is limited in the east by the Mariánské Lázně Fault Zone, which triggers numerous weak earthquakes.

Western Krušné Hory Mts.

The western Krušné Hory Mts. rise north of the Ohře Rift, and their northeastern part rises up to 1043 m ASL (Blatenský Vrch Hill; the highest peak of the Krušné Hory Mts., Klínovec 1244 m, lies outside the geopark). As a result of a substantial young uplift, the southern slopes of the Krušné Hory Mts. are heavily dissected, and the ridge sections have a flat relief.

Ohře Rift

The elongated structure of the Ohře Rift (Eger Graben) lies between the Krušné Hory Mts. and the Slavkovský Les Mts. This no more than 10 km wide depressed area is not the work of the Ohře River. It formed on an important tectonic line with a NE-SW direction. Hundreds of metres thick layers of sediment including important brown coal seams were deposited in it during the subsidence that lasted tens of millions of years in the Tertiary Period.

Slavkovský Les Mts. (Kaiserwald)

The Slavkovský Les Mts. rise south of the Ohře Rift and, further to the south, are adjoined by the Teplá Plateau, which subsides slightly to the south as a result of extensive domal uplift of the Earth´s crust. The forest landscape of the Slavkovský Les Mts. with its numerous peat bogs is scattered with many traces of mining. The land is composed of granites, serpentinites, gneisses and mica schists. The Slavkovský Les Mts. are a protected landscape area.

Tachov Furrow

The Tachov Furrow stretches between the Slavkovský Les Mts. and the Český Les Mts. Its morphologically distinct eastern limit is defined by the path of the Mariánské Lázně Fault Zone, which also forms the edge of the Cheb Basin further in the north.

Bohemia / Bavaria

Český Les Mts. / Oberpfälzer Wald

The mountain range of Český Les (in Bavaria known as the Oberpfälzer Wald) extends along the border for one hundred kilometres from Dyleň in the north to the Všeruby Highlands in the south. Its highest peaks reach elevations of 900 to 1000 m ASL. From a geological perspective, the Český Les Mts. are composed of metamorphic rocks and granites. The Český Les Mts. have been a protected landscape area since 2005.



Stiftland (in Czech “Štiftsko“) is a historical area situated between the territory called Sechsämterland (“Land of Six Districts“) in the north (eastern Smrčiny Mts.) and the Oberpfälzer Wald in the south. In the west, it reaches rougly to the A9 motorway that runs north-south. The name Stiftland comes from the period, when the area was controlled by the Cistercian Waldsassen Abbey (Stift = monastery). Stiftland has a varied geological structure, containing crystalline schist of the so-called Waldsassener Schiefergebirge, granites and young volcanic rocks as well.

Steinwald and the Naab-Wondreb Basin

Steinwald (“Rock Forest“) is a mountain massif composed of mostly granite. Its highest peak Platte rises to an elevation of 946 m ASL. In the east, Steinwald merges into the Waldsassener Schiefergebirge (a part of Stiftland). The morphologically distinct limit of Steinwald in relation to the Naab-Wondreb Bowl lying furhter south originates from faults.

Oberpfalz Highlands and Hesserberg

The Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) Highlands lie between the Frankenalb and the Oberpfälzer Wald/Steinwald and the Naab-Wondreb Basin. This area, which is characterized by wide planes with elongated mountain ranges and prominent basaltic cones, is further influenced by the flow of the Heidenaab River and its tributaries. Swamps often formed in areas with a low rate of runoff. The Hessenreuther Forst, North Bavaria´s largest unbroken forest stand, covers the slopes of Hesserberg (711 m ASL). The Oberpfalz Highlands are composed of sedimentary rocks (sandstone, clay) of Mesozoic age.

Oberpfälzer Wald, Stiftland, Steinwald and the Naab-Wondreb Basin, and the Oberpfalz Highlands and Hesserberg together form the “Oberpfälzer Wald“ tourist region, which includes the Steinwald and Nördlicher Oberpfälzer Wald Nature Parks.

Fichtelgebirge and Sechsämterland

This area includes the Hohe Fichtelgebirge in the west, which rise to elevations of 1053 m ASL (Schneeberg) and 1023 m ASL (Ochsenkopf), and also Sechsämterland (= central Fichtelgebirge). Sechsämterland (“Land of Six Districts“) is a historical administrative name from the  margravial period. The Hohe Fichtelgebirge are largely composed of granite intrusions, and, in addition to granite, schist (mainly phyllite), marble and quartzite occur in the Sechsämterland as well.

The Hohe Fichtelgebirge and Sechsämterland form the “Fichtelgebirge“ tourist region, which includes the Fichtelgebirge Nature Park.

Oberfranken Highlands

The Oberfranken (Upper Franconia) Highlands lie between the Fichtelgebirge in the east and the Frankenalb in the west. It is the southwestern continuation of the Oberpfalz Highlands, and it also has a similar geological structure. Basaltic cones and other volcanic formations do not occur in the south, limestone bands however are prominent. A difference lies in the relief as well. Compared to the Oberpfalz Highlands, prominent valleys cut into the elongated mountain ranges. This is the result of the deepening of the Main River and its tributaries.

Frankenalb and Fränkische Schweiz

The westernmost part of the geopark belongs to the northern Frankenalb, an area composed of limestones with numerous karst occurrences. At the heart of the Frankenalb lies the Fränkische Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland) with its deep valleys, picturesque rock formations and caves. Sandstones are widely distributed at the transition to the Oberfranken Highlands.

Frankenalb and Fränkische Schweiz belong to the “Fränkische Schweiz“ tourist region, which includes the Fränkische Schweiz-Veldensteiner Forst Nature Park.