OrlickéMountains
Unconquerable
fortresses
Whichever part of this
mountain range you visit,
youwill find one thing rarely
seen elsewhere in theworld
to this extent – a fortification
systembuilt along the border.
There are small bunkers
and larger fortresses hidden
at almost every kilometre
in the deciduous forests.
Theywere built shortly before
1938 for the purpose
of defending the
Czechoslovak Republic.
The hills of the Orlické
Mountains are unassuming,
with gentle peaks covered
with woods and pastures.
This region seems to resist the
march of time, and to this day
it has preserved its simple,
unpretentious character.
Anyone who likes hiking but
dislikes crowds, who would
rather meet a deer along the
path than a group of tourists,
and who likes picking
mushrooms and blueberries
more than visiting tourist
attractions will find plenty
of peace and relaxation
in this region.
The unique system of
fortresses and bunkers
here was never used in the
Second World War. However,
the structures have been
preserved to this day as
a silent reminder of those
turbulent times. Nowadays,
they are maintained
by volunteers or have been
made into museums.
Tips for
your trips
Hanička Fortress
Located near Rokytnice
in the Orlické Mountains,
it is among the largest
underground fortresses. Above
ground you can see a unique
set of surviving armoured
devices and a display of
combat technology. In the
underground spaces you can
see an atomic bomb shelter
dating from the Cold War.
Interestingly, the original
prewar fortress was converted
in secrecy in 1975 into an
atomic bomb shelter for the
elite of the ruling Communist
Party.
Bouda Fortress
Situated near Mladkov, it is
the best-preserved fortress
in the prewar artillery
fortification system of the
former Czechoslovakia.
Visitors will be impressed by
the extensive underground
spaces and a one-of-a-kind
train track leading 57 metres
below the surface.
Cycling along the crest
From the Masaryk Chalet
(Masarykova chata) on
Šerlich Hill – the only
restaurant on the mountain
crest – the red-marked trail
leads past Velká Deštná,
which is the highest peak
and where there is a lookout
tower, all the way to the
Hanička Fortress. Along the
way you will enjoy beautiful
views of the entire mountain
range. Cycle paths without
significant elevation changes
are manageable by children
and those in less-than-prime
physical condition.
Zemská brána (Land Gate)
A nature reserve where
a several-hundred-metre,
boulder-filled channel of the
Divoká Orlice River is lined
by distinctive gneissic rocks,
creating the impression of
a frontier crossing.
Častolovice Chateau
and mini zoo
An ideal destination when
you’re in the mood for
a low-key family walk. This
charming chateau, one of the
few in the Czech Republic
occupied by its owners,
is open to the public. The
pleasant environment is
truly balm for the spirit. The
chateau is surrounded by
a park with white fallow deer,
and there is a mini zoo for the
children.
What to do when it’s
raining?
Craft Museum
in Letohrad
At the Craft Museum
in Letohrad, located in
a historical complex of
buildings and the largest
of its kind in the Czech
Republic, you will learn
about nearly forgotten
tradesmen such as
coopers, cartwrights and
shinglers.
10 Czech Mountains
11
Hanička Fortress
A family hike
Divoká Orlice
Deštné v Orlic-
kých horách
Rokytnice
v Orlických h.
Říčky
v Orl. h.
Rychnov
nad Kněžnou
Ústí nad
Orlicí
Častolovice
Žamberk
Letohrad
Pastviny
Divoká
Orlice
Mladkov
Bouda
Králíky
Červená
Voda
Čenkovice
Šerlich
Hanička
Velká
Deštná
Zemská
brána
Masarykova
chata
1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11 14-15,16-17,18-19,20-21,22-23,24