Skalní město Ostaš

Wostasberg


Useful Information

Location: Near Bukovice, north of Police nad Metují. From Bukovice follow rd 303 north, turn left at restaurant Ostaš. Parking at the end of the road at the campground.
(50.558262, 16.207577)
Open: no restrictions.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided.
Upper Labyrinth: L=3.5 km, marked white-blue-white.
Lower labyrinth: L=3 km, marked white-green-white.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Broumovské stěny, Správa CHKO Broumovsko, Ledhujská 59, 549 54 Police nad Metují, Tel: +420-491-549-020, Fax: +420-491-549-034. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1421 locals hide in the gorges from the crusaders of Sigismund of Luxembourg.
1627 the Jednota bratrská (Unity of the Brethren) hide in the gorges.
1956 Ostaš Nature Reserve declared.

Description

Skalní město Ostaš (Ostas Rock City) or Stolová hora Ostaš (Ostas Table Mountain) is a huge table mountain which is about 250 m higher than the surrounding plains. The plateau is 550 m long and 400 m wide, surrounded by a sandstone escarpment with 40 m high vertical walls. Actually it is a thick layer of red sandstone which is eroded into a labyrinth of rocks which are separated by narrow gorges. There are strange rock formations caused by differential erosion and small caves. The stranges rock formations are found in two areas, the Horní labyrint (Upper Labyrinth) on the eastern side and the Dolní labyrint (Lower Labyrinth) in the northeast. The name Ostaš come from St. Eustach (Ostach), the patron saint of hunters.

The crevices in the rocks were used by the locals as a hideout on various occasions. However, in 1421 it did not work very well. Sigismund of Luxembourg organized a crusade which failed. When they returned the frustrated crusader army, mostly hired mercenaries, were frustrated and started to plunder Bohemia. First they looted and set fire to the nearby town Police nad Metují. The people fled into the gorges, but a traitor revealed their hiding place. The mercenaries hunted the people killed men by throwing them from the rocks and women and girls by hanging them by their hair on trees. The traitor was later convicted to death and decapitated, one of the rock formations is today called head of the traitor.

The Jednota bratrská (Unity of the Brethren), also known as Evangelical Union of Behemian and Moravian Brethren, where founded Jan Hus and Petr Chelčický in 1457. They were a result of the Bohemian reformation, and are also known as Hussites. After 1620 the were persecuted in Europe as a result of a counter-reformation by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1627 they used the gorges as a hideout for some time, which was successful. Their hiding place was discovered in 1920. In the 1800s they emigrated to the United States and reorganized in the state of Texas, where the Church is now based.

To visit the rock labyrinth start at the campground at the Ostaš hamlet. The parking costs a small fee during summer, but the trails are free. There are two round courses of marked trails. The blue trail offers various views into the lowlands of Silesia and Poland.