Českosaské Švýcarsko

( Bohemian Switzerland )

Bohemian Switzerland (Czech: České Švýcarsko; German: Böhmische Schweiz), also known as Czech Switzerland, is a nature region in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in the northwestern Czech Republic, protected as a national park.

It has been a protected area (as Elbe Sandstone Mountains Protected Landscape Area) since 1972. The region along the right side of the Elbe became a national park in 2000 and is adjacent to the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany. Together with Saxon Switzerland, the region is known as Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland.

 The Mariina skála rock

A large number of castles were built in the Bohemian Switzerland region in order to guard the trade routes. Several of these castles were also used as medieval robber baron hideouts. The region had been very sparsely populated since ancient times by a few Germanic, Slavic and Celtic tribes, but was finally colonised in the 12th century by German-speaking settlers. Until the end of the World War II it was home to German Bohemians (later known as the Sudeten Germans). Since its German population was driven out after 1945, the area has been almost exclusively settled by Czechs.

The area first began to draw tourists in large numbers in the second half of the 19th century.[1] Artists of the Romantic era were inspired by the wild beauty of the rocks. For example, the artist Ludwig Richter or the composer Carl Maria von Weber, who set his famous opera Der Freischütz in the vicinity of Rathen.[citation needed]

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