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Svatý kopeček (Holy Hill)

Holy Hill is one of the most important dominant landmarks in Mikulov. The area has been declared a nature reserve in view of the extensive occurrence of rare and protected plant and animal species. A Way of the Cross will lead you to the summit of Holy Hill with its Pilgrimage Chapel of Saint Sebastian, bell tower and Holy Sepulchre.

Sample imageHoly Hill (363 metres above sea level) is part of the Pálava Hills. Cliffs of Jurassic limestone form an oval ridge with a flat top and steep slopes. Many plant species protected by law can be found on Holy Hill, for which reason it was declared a botanical reserve as early as 1946, and has been a nature reserve since 1992. Original plant species have survived in the steppe community on the top of Holy Hill. A rocky steppe rich in diverse species grows on the southern slopes (dwarf iris, feather grass and mountain germander). A unique botanical feature of the area is the occurrence of several species of parasitic broomrape. The eastern slopes are covered with bushes dominated by hawthorn. The northern slopes were covered with forest in the past. Abundant thermophilic insects can be found on the steppes. Holy Hill is also a locality extremely rich in animals associated with steppe and forest steppe biotopes. The birds that can be seen here include the red-backed shrike and the song thrush. Lizards such as the sand lizard and the European green lizard can also be found here. A pair of eagle owls nests in the abandoned quarry.

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