Beautiful UNESCO sights in the Liberec Region

Do you know all the monuments in the Czech Republic that are listed as UNESCO natural and cultural heritage sites? We know there really are a lot of them, perhaps too many to list here. However, the ones from the Liberec Region have plenty to offer – the Jizerskohorské bučiny beech woods and the blown Christmas decorations from the Rautis workshop. And if you’re unfamiliar with these, we’ll be glad to present them and add a few tips for trips in the surrounding area.

The Jizerskohorské bučiny National Nature Reserve is the largest protected territory in the Jizera Mountains and also one of the largest in the Czech Republic. The beech woods cover an area of 27 square km and start at Oldřichovský Špičák, then continue through Hemmrich above the Viničná cesta trail as far as the slopes of Poledník and the gorge of the White and Black Štolpich streams. It has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site primarily due to its preserved virgin forests. The beech woods now thus rank alongside the world’s finest natural treasures such as the famous Yellowstone National Park, the Białowieża Forest, Lake Baikal, and the Serengeti plains in Africa.

One of the most beautiful local viewpoints is undoubtedly Ořešník. Although you have to climb a few steep steps carved into the rock to get to the top, the views are well worth it. And if Rákosníček isn’t making fun of us, we might see as far as Smrk, Ptačí kupy, and even Hejnice with the Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And have you heard of the Velký and Malý Štolpich waterfalls? They’re just a short way away from the Ořešník viewpoint and are one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the Jizera Mountains. At the top of the gorge, Velký Štolpich forms a waterfall with several levels, as well as smaller falls and cascades along the stream. There are also several waterfalls along the Malý Štolpich stream.

The second route we’d like to recommend is the Oldřichovské bučiny nature trail above the village of Oldřichov v Hájích. This is lined with lots of interesting rock formations with some strange shapes and names – Snowman, Oldříšek, Underworld, Mushroom, and Cat’s Head, to name but a few. And the dominant landmark amongst all of them is a magnificent gorilla head! Besides all these granite rocks, the nature trail also offers a number of educational stops, such as a wooden bed with a widening pipe, which lets us listen to the sounds of the forest. Another interesting feature is an artificial hollow tree with models of birds, so when you look into it you can see how they live there.

Now, let’s head to another of our UNESCO cultural heritage sites and take a visit to the Giant Mountains. The village of Poniklá is home to the Rautis workshop, where Christmas decorations made of blown glass beads have been produced by hand for more than 100 years. This is the only place in the world where the original technique of making distinctive beaded Christmas decorations has been preserved to this day. If you’re interested to see how these decorations are made, take a trip to Poniklá and experience the magical ancient beauty of these ornaments. The tour takes you through the entire production process, from when the glass beads are hand blown, then silvered and coloured, until the decorations are actually put together. And, at the end, you can even make some pretty Christmas decorations for yourself.

Literally right opposite the Rautis workshop you can find the Museum of Giant Mountain Crafts. This private museum, run by Mr and Mrs Pičman, has been open since 1999. Besides traditional farming, craft and home production exhibits, the museum also offers examples of old clothing and decorative textiles and various techniques for making and decorating them, a view of the children's playroom with its old toys, the local pub and the period fashion salon. 

However, you can also combine a visit to Poniklá with other activities and even go beyond the Giant Mountains and take a trip to the Bohemian Paradise. Bozkov Dolomite Caves lie just 20 kilometres or so from Poniklá. Extending over 1000 metres, this is currently the largest known cave system in north-eastern Bohemia. The caves are characterised by their abundance of quartz benches, cornices and mouldings, as well as some lovely stalagmites, stalactites and sinters. The main attraction of the tour are the small lagoons, while at the end of the route you get to see the biggest underground lake in Bohemia, with its crystal-clear blue-and-green water. We should add one important warning here! Don’t be misled by the warm outdoor weather. As the temperature in the caves is around 7 to 8 °C and the tour takes roughly 45 minutes, we recommend wearing something warm.

The Jizerskohorské bučiny beech woods and the Rautis beaded Christmas decorations are now officially Czech wonders of the world, and for good reason. However, we know that there are lots more of these wonders to be discovered in our region, with something to appeal to everyone. For more tips, check out our social media at REGION LIBEREC and our website at

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