When the mining region Erzgebirge / Erzgebirge 6.7.2019 was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, I accepted it with a mixture of pride and concern. I am glad that all my life I have lived in a landscape that has revolutionized the world mining technology and, especially in the Middle Ages, the miners were pioneers of new technologies. At the same time, I am also afraid of the negative effects that the increased number of tourists will bring in connection with their inclusion in the list of cultural monuments. That is one of the reasons why I decided to write some tips for trips around the award-winning mining monuments, perhaps at least to reduce the concentration of visitors in the most exposed places. Since I specialize mainly in the Western Ore Mountains, we will move in this region of the Karlovy Vary Region and deliberately omit Krupka, Mědník Hill in the Ústí Region and places in Germany. Let's take a look at the lesser-known points of interest in Unesco zones.
Mining cultural landscape Jáchymov - In addition to the medieval mines in the immediate vicinity of this spa town, you have the opportunity to go to lesser-known places in the area, where you will not meet crowds of tourists. If you want to complete them by bike, then prepare for a really large portion of effort, because Jáchymov lies in a valley between the steep slopes of the Ore Mountains. Indeed, all roads here lead uphill, but you have the advantage of returning to the accommodation without pedaling. One of the attractions of the historical part of Jáchymov is the medieval mint near the town hall building (the popular series Rapl was filmed here, among other things). Few people know that across the street there is a stylish herbal factory, which is housed in the building of the original pharmacy from 1520. It offers potions, syrups and herbal mixtures, mostly from local Ore Mountains herbs. More information can be found at Krusnohorskaapatyka.cz
If you set out on the opposite slope along the blue hiking trail, you will reach ruins of Freudenstein castle, also called Šlikův Hrádek. From the castle itself remains only an interesting tower Šlikovka, but there is a wonderful view of the city. Continue along the asphalt road in the direction of Mariánská, and go right through the village on a dirt road in a sharp right-hand turn. After it you get approx. After 1,5 km to a significant peak, which does not lead the tourist sign, so you can enjoy the view from it alone. And believe it, especially the sunsets are famous, it is called Popov Mountain and 900 meters above sea level offers superb views of Klínovec, Ostrov, Karlovy Vary and the Krušné hory Mountains on a deforested peak with a cross. About a kilometer below the entrance, you will find the extinct village of Popov with its remains of the original Sudeten settlement, a protected Popov linden tree and a rocky view point with a cross. You can then return to Jáchymov along the yellow trail or along the road around the former dump and around the Church of All Saints you will get back to the mint. One day really is not enough to get to know all the interesting places, so if you want to stay longer, there are plenty of accommodation options nearby. Although there is no camp, but one tip for wonderful accommodation in nature I have. It is Penzion Jezírko in a picturesque landscape just above the switchbacks at Boží Dar. There is peace, amazing cuisine, pond and all around the woods.
If you are a fan of challenging hikes on foot or even by bike, head for the Snake Mountain. From the roundabout in the city center, take the road to the famous sporthotel Mustek. Behind it, follow the yellow hiking trail along the creek until the dirt road begins to climb and slowly bites into the hillside in the switchbacks. After a few kilometers, when your clothes are sweaty and you feel like you're almost on top of the climb, watch out for the right turn. It is also marked with a triangle, a symbol of the peak. Snake Mountain measures 941 mnm And since you start from 600 mnm, it is quite a steep elevation on a short route. It offers spectacular views over a large debris field, where snakes must definitely like, to the Jáchymov valley and the mountain ridges above Mariánská. If you do not want to return the same way and you still have enough strength, you can continue through the lighter terrain to the forest and mountain meadows to Boží Dar and from there back by bus to Jáchymov. The mining landscape is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also offers many other beautiful corners. Similarly, it is also in another locality Horní Blatná - Hřebečná, which I will write about next time.