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Křížky Nature Reserve and Upolínová louka National Nature Monument

 

Category: Points of Interest Region: Mariánské Lázně and its surroundings Town: Prameny

 

The name of the Křížky (Three Crosses) Reserve derives from the three crosses erected there in 1859. “Křížky", like several other places in the vicinity, has a special flora growing there. The underlying rock (serpentinite) releases large amounts of magnesium into the soil, allowing only for the growth of those plants that can tolerate it. Some of them are actually specifically adapted and they are not found anywhere else. Some of the plants develop dwarfed forms. The winter heath is very abundant at Křížky, turning the whole area purple in the spring by its blossoms.

If you would like to visit Křížky, set out from the municipality of Prameny by the road leading to Nová Ves. The crosses are easily visible from a distance.

The Upolínová louka (Globeflower Meadow) National Nature Reserve with the area of 18 ha adjoins Křížky, representing a complex of the typical wetland meadow biological communities of the Slavkov Forest, with occurrence of rare species of plants, especially the globe-flower. The international significance of the location lies in the occurrence of endemic species tied to serpentinite. The national significance is underlined by the occurrence of several endangered plant species, as the swamp willow, which used to be considered extinct in the Czech Republic yet it was discovered here in 1990.

The “Upolínová louka” is located across the road from Křížky (Three Crosses). A wooden walkway was renewed here in 2006, offering a view of the meadow vegetation. The Mnichov Serpentinites Nature Trail starts here as well. The globe-flowers blossom in mid-May.

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