Mikulov

Nature Reserves

The Pálava Protected Nature Reserve includes four national nature reserves (Děvín-Kotel-Soutěska, Křivé lake, Slanisko by Nesyt and Tabulová hill, Růžový hill and Kočičí stone), five nature reserves (Liščí hill, Milovická slope, Svatý kopeček, Šibeničník and Turold), one national natural monument (Calendar of Ages) and four nature monuments (Kočičí rock, Kienberg, Růžový hill and Anenský hill).

The very list of these small nature reserves proves that the Pálava offers numerous valuable natural beauty spots. Each of the abovementioned territories offers unique natural beauty, the possibility to observe varied flora and fauna – only be a quiet and considerate guest and the P!álava nature will reveal all its secrets to you.

Mikulov

On the top of Svatý kopeček there is the preserved levelled ground. The slopes include small isolated rocks and Karst shapes. The steppes are occasionally overgrown with thermophillic bushes, such as hawthorn, and the typical steppe population of low iris and rock and sand iris.

Svatý kopeček

Svatý kopeček is the richest locality of broomrapes in the Czech Republic. The society of steppe invertebrates is represented for example by the rich population of praying mantis, rose chafers, stag beetles and May beetles. The towers of the chapel are populated with several pairs of jackdaws and the abandoned quarry with a couple of eagle owls. You can also find there green lizards and ring snakes.

Turold

Sample imageThe Turold cliff (385 m above sea level) is formed of Jurassic limestone and upper chalk sediments. Biologists have found there over 250 plant species, including sun rose, Adonis flower, cornflower, pasqueflower, iris etc. Artificially introduced species include sage. A large part of the territory of the present reserve is covered with cultured forest with prevailing black pine, summer oak and ash tree. The locality is known as an important bat wintering location. The regularly nesting bird species include eagle owl, warbler and nightingale. This nature reserve includes a geological park, built during the quarry re-cultivation. You can find there 17 rock blocks from various parts of the country, chosen to represent the widest possible scale of typical representatives of our geological history. Every rock sample is labelled and provided with an occurrence map and a microscope image.

Šibeničník

The limestone cliff called Šibeničník [Gallows Hill] (238 m above sea level) with the rock and the meadow steppe, is another very interesting geological and botanical locality. The hill in the only part of the Pálava hills with the occurrence of meadow pasqueflower, grey spurge and yarrow. The rocky slopes are covered with small areas of rock steppes with the occurrences of Baden bluegrass, grey fescue and hedge parsley in the rock fissures. The western slopes of the northern hilltop are covered with turf steppe hosting the single population of steppe oatsgrass in Moravia. This species was discovered there by the outstanding Czech botanist Josef Podpěra. The nature reserve is also the home of forest titlark, wryneck, golden oriole and other bird species.

Kalendář věků

The Calendar of Ages is situated at the northern foothills of the Pálava hills east of the South Moravian municipality of Dolní Věstonice. It is an abandoned brickyard with the bottom at about 180 m above sea level. Quarrying uncovered there a profile about 20 m high, in the middle of which a vertical cut of rectangular profile was made after termination of the quarrying. In the bottom of the brickyard drills discovered another 15 m thick stratum of loess, slope sediments and fluvial sands with singular gravel spots and with two soil complexes. In the close surroundings of the abandoned brickyard intense speleological survey was carried out in 2000, focusing on mapping of the loess pseudo-Karst. The survey resulted, among other things, in detailed mapping of the underground space, called Bats´ Cave (about 70 m long and 20 m deep). The survey discovered more underground spaces and other pseudo-Karst phenomena.

Kočičí skála

The nature monument called Kočičí skála [Cats´ Rock] (361 m above sea level) is situated about 2 km north of Mikulov. It is a small limestone rock, with hedge parsley populating the fissures. While the western slope of the cliff is covered with meadow steppe with tor grass, the eastern slope is mostly covered with themophillic bushes.

The north-western slope of the rock is the only existing location with the occurrence of narrow-leaved forget-me-not at the Pálava hills. The locality also offers a couple of protected rare plants such as spring Adonis flower, asters, globe daisy, milk-vetch, narrow-leaved flax, breakstone and Bolognese campanula.

Kienberg

The peak of Kienberg hill (244 m above sea level) is covered with loess. The sand sediments hide Mesozoic fossils. The vegetation includes grass with scattered bushes. The locality is known for its occurrence of more species of hymenopterous insects living in soil-covered slopes.

Surroundings

Děvín-Kotel-Soutěska

These are three neighbouring hills, one of them, Děvín (554 m above sea level) being the highest peak of the Pálava. Its top also holds the Děvičky castle ruin (this is not true, Děvín is in the middle and the Děvičky castle is at the northern edge above Pavlov). The territory was announced protected area as early as in 1946. In the relatively small area many alpine species (such as large blossom sand flower, with the single occurrence in the Czech Republic in this territory) meet with steppe plants (such as low iris, with the largest population of the whole Czech Republic in this place). The fauna is represented by the rate Saga grasshopper or the green lizard. As for birds, in addition to hoopoe the territory is a nesting place for eagle owl. The territory was partly damaged with the past breeding of goats and mouflons.

Křivé lake

This locality is not accessible to the public for it is a rare example of a meadow with remains of a natural river basin, river meadows and moors and water populations. The territory is the home for many unique plants (such as Viennese drugsquill, swamp viola, mud earthnut pea, Siberian iris, pungent wood-sage, mud milkweed, swamp meadow-rue and others). The population of spring snowflake is the largest in the Czech Republic. The reserve protects unique example of riverbank biotopes, with all major animal species, including branchipods and some examples of shelled species. The pool banks are home for the rare large ground beetle, and the solitary oaks are home for the still common huge longhorn beetle. The polls are ideal reproduction environment for a large number of amphibians, such as green tree frog, sharp-nosed brown frog, small brown frog, croaking common frog, and the critically endangered large newt. The Křivé lake is the nesting locality for sea eagle, red and brown hawk, and white lark colonies coming in spring. The reserve was originally announced as protective area for the reason of the unique nesting of large geese on the willows. Recently European beaver has become a common species populating the reserve.

Slanisko [Saline Land] by Nesyt Pond

This national nature reserve is the most valuable Moravian locality with halophytic flora. Soluble salts necessary for occurrence of these vegetation species come from the bedrock sediments of the Tertiary sea and from mineral springs used in the past by the sulphuric spa in Sedlec. The rarest plants found in the territory include serpent root, halophytic aster, seaside ribwort, halophytic rush etc. Among other animal species found here there are six endangered butterfly species, such as moths, etc. The saline land is situated by the largest Moravian pond called Nesytu (315 ha), part of one of the oldest pond systems in Moravia, the Lednice Ponds. The ponds are internationally significant marshlands. At the same time they are valuable bird land of the Natura 2000 system. The ponds are nesting place for our rarest red-headed red-nib duck.

Tabulová [Table Hill], Růžový vrch [Rose Hill] and Kočičí kámen [Cats´ Stone]

The nature reserve is situated north of Mikulov. At the foothills of Stolová hora [Table Mountain] (458 m above sea level) there is a turf steppe with a lot of rare plants (such as Abyssinian salvia, with the only occurrence in the Czech Republic here, large blossom pasqueflower, Lumnitzer´s Pálava carnation, rock and sand iris, Ivan ´s feather grass, golden-headed lily etc.). The invertebrates are represented by common stag beetle, field cricket, or webworm. Mammals are represented for example by field hamster.

The top of Růžový hill offers a number of Karst phenomena, such as drills and weathered Karst windows. The rock steppes include for example blue sesleria, rockfoil, Baden meadow grass etc. The steppe terraces offer goldmoss stonecrop, white stonecrop and houseleek. North-eastern slopes include the typical early spring snowdrop. Another typical feature of the reserve is occurrence of steppe invertebrates (such as blue-winged locust, praying mantis etc.). The bushes include nests of butcher-bird, Wallachian warbler, forest warbler, wild turtledove, common nightingale, and more. The two steep cliffs of the Růžový hilltop are crowned with the Sirotčí hrádek castle ruin.

The smaller nearby limestone cliff called Kočičí kámen [Cats´ Stone] (351 m above sea level) is covered with vineyards and thermophillic steppe flora (such as grey fescue, Baden meadow grass, Wallisca fescue) and its western part is covered with meadow steppe with heath false brome.

Liščí vrch [Fox Hill]

Also the nature reserve of Liščí vrch [Fox Hill] is inhabited by steppe societies with the largest population of fluffy flax in the Czech lands. Rare species include purple golden rod, spring Adonis flower, low iris, high globe daisy, field false flax, forest anemone, Siberian campanula etc. Butterflies living in Liščí hill include for example fruit swallowtail, giant silkworm or large purple wood bee. The nesting birds include for example meadow bunting, common butcher bird, Wallachian warbler, wild turtledove, field lark and common wryneck.

Milovická slope

The typical growth of the Milovická slope includes thermophillic oak woods with varied plant undergrowth, and turf and meadow steppes. The vegetation includes over 200 plant species, such as large blossom pasqueflower, low iris, colourful iris, milk-vetch, large blossom bastard balm, Oman Christ ´s Eye, ground clematis, forest anemone etc. The place is the single locality with the occurrence of one species of broomrape in the Czech lands. The steppe invertebrates include dung beetle. Forest edges are populated with for example stonechat, forest honey buzzard, common wryneck, grey woodpecker, forest pipit etc.

Anenský vrch [Anne ´s Hill]

Anenský vrch [Anne ´s Hill] is covered with steppes with scattered bushes and a couple of rare plants. The locality is a significant place with the occurrence of field quails.