The Orlické Mountains and Podorlicko – the beauty of untouched nature
The melancholy of deep forests, the mysterious beauty of step valleys, the colourful silhouettes of old beech trees, the wild River Orlice, villages in the foothills spread all over the region, the rugged landscape interspersed with a dense network of cycle and hiking paths, which lead you to romantic chateaux and a unique system of military fortifications. Come and get lost in the Orlické Mountains!
A poplar location for trips is Zemská brána, a rocky section of ground right near the Divoká Orlice, a river which gouged out the romantic valley with rock formations here. The ruins of Potštejn and Litice castles are an inherent part of the region. It is certainly also worth visiting the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Neratov. A curiosity here is the glass roof and unusual north-south facing of the church, thanks to which rays of sunshine fall right on the sanctuary at precisely noon on Easter Sunday.
Hanička artillery fort hidden under the ground
Whilst wandering around the Orlické Mountains, you must not forget to visit Hanička Fort, which belonged to the system of pre-war fortifications in Czechoslovakia. The artillery fort, which now serves as a museum, was secretly converted into a nuclear bunker in the 1970s. Under the fortress, at a depth of 20 to 36 m below the surface, is an intricate network of corridors, shafts, a unique water treatment plant, ammunition warehouses, dining halls and barracks for the men. The tour ends on the combat level of the surface of the building, where you again reach the surface via 126 steps. The temperature under the ground is 5 – 8 degrees, so we recommend warm clothing and suitable footwear. You can also walk the six-kilometre nature trail which passes by the light military fortification buildings in the area around Olešnice.
Extensive collections of pictures and weapons in Opočno
The collection of historical monuments, which is part of the complex of Chateau Opočno, stands testament to the way of life here in ages past, the sophistication and thinking of Bohemian society. Opočno Chateau will astound you with its three stories of arcade loggia in a rectangular shape. You can admire the well-preserved historical interiors here, which hold extensive collections of pictures and weapons or have a walk in the naturally landscaped park which surrounds the chateau. If you would like to get to know crafts long forgotten, all you have to do is visit the Letohrad Craft Museum. Board games, building sets, tin soldiers or trains are hidden away in the Museum of Toys in Rychnov nad Kněžnou.
Where else to set out for?
If browsing historical gems would wear you out, set out for Hradec Králové with its dominant feature, the White Tower. You can visit the local observatory and planetarium, the botanical gardens, or get to know the Hučák hydroelectric power plant, the Art Nouveau building of which stands proudly on the River Elbe.