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Ustecky kraj

The Ústecký or Ústí nad Labem Region is located in the northwestern part of the Czech Republic, with the Ústí nad Labem city as its cultural and economic center and capital city. The region borders the Liberec Region in the northeast, the Karlovy Vary Region in the west, the Plzeň Region, and the Central Bohemian Region in the southeast. Its northwestern part is on the state border with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of Saxony. Located along the borders of Germany are the Ore Mountains, the Elbe Sandstones, and the Lusatian Mountains. The southeastern part of the region is formed mostly by plains. The Ústí nad Labem Region represents 6.8% of the area of the Czech Republic, as its area is approximately 5,339 kilometers squared. The Region is divided into seven districts (Děčín, Chomutov, Litoměřice, Louny, Most, Teplice and Ústí nad Labem). The Ústí nad Labem Region has approximately 821,337 inhabitants, which ranks fifth in the Czech Republic. The density of population adds up to 154 inhabitants per square kilometer.[1]

What Ustecky kraj is known for

The Ústí nad Labem Region is a relatively popular touristic destination, mainly because of its natural characteristics and high level of preservation. One of the most renowned natural parks in the area is the Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland Natural Park, which spreads out not only over the Ústí nad Labem territory but also over the German federal state of Saxony. The area of the National Park offers many different attractions and activities, from the numerous hiking and cycling trails to climbing or sightseeing. Among the most sought-after destinations belongs the Pravčická Gate, which is a symbol of the Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland Natural Park. Pravčická Gate is a national natural monument, created by the block of sandstones from the Cretaceous era, that form a stone gate. The gate is located 3 km northeast of the village of Hřensko in the Děčín district. With a width of 26.5 meters and a height of 16 meters, the Pravčická Gate is the largest sandstone rock gate in Europe. [4]

Another, among the many natural sights of the region, is located in the Elbe Sandstone Protected Landscape Area. The area of the Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland Natural Park was originally part of the Elbe Sandstone Protected Landscape Area, with an area of 32,302 ha; however, in 2000, the best-preserved northern part was declared to be the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, which has a current area of 24,300 ha. The Elbe Sandstone Protected Landscape Area is located in the Děčín and Ústí nad Labem districts. [5] Presumably, the biggest appeal of this protected landscape area is the Tiské Walls. One of the most famous rock towns in the Czech Republic is hidden here. The unique sandstone formations reach a height of up to 613 m, thus attracting a number of climbers every year. Two sightseeing tours pass through the territory of Tiské Walls. The trails lead through a labyrinth of rock towers, massive columns, narrow gorges, and overhangs. The Tiské Walls area is also the place where the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia" was filmed.[6]

Concerning the cultural inheritance in the Ústí nad Labem territory, there is one of the most prominent rococo buildings in Czechia, the Chateau Stekník. The chateau was originally built in the Baroque style, in 1681. Since then, many reconstructions took place, modifying the architecture into the form we can see in today's time. In 1997, the Stekník chateau was transferred to the administration of the National Monuments Institute and today the chateau offers various expositions and tours. [7]

The Terezín Memorial is said to be established to preserve a place of suffering and sorrow and to also serve as a constant reminder and warning to future generations. The Terezín Memorial is situated in the territory of the former Second World War ghetto, concentration camp, and a transit camp for western Jews that were being displaced to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Currently, the area offers various tours, museum expositions, and collections available for tourists and visitors. [8]


From a geographical point of view, the Ústí nad Labem Region is relatively diverse. Situated along the German borders are the Ore Mountains, the Elbe Sandstones, and the Lusatian Mountains. One of the oldest mountain ranges in the area is the Ore Mountains, formed mainly by deep igneous rocks or Paleozoic crystalline shales. The southern part of the region is formed mostly by plains, however, they gradually evolved into the historically most famous mountain in Bohemia, Říp and České Středohoří, with its highest peak being Milešovka. The highest peak of the region is Klínovec, part of the Ore Mountains. The lowest point of the region is the Elbe river near Hřensko, at an altitude of 115m above sea level, which is also the lowest point in the whole Czech Republic.[1]

Regarding the waters and watercourses of the Ústí nad Labem Region, some of the most notable rivers are the Elbe river, the Ohře river, and the river Bílina. In the Ústí nad Labem territory are also located various mineral springs and thermal waters. The largest body of water is the Nechranická Reservoir, built on the Ohře River in the western part of the region.[1]

The Ústí nad Labem Region is characterized by considerable diversity in terms of natural conditions, economic structure, and environment. The economic importance of the region is caused by the historically significant mineral wealth, in particular, the large deposits of brown coal, deposited low below the surface. Other important raw materials mined in the Ústí nad Labem territory include deposits of glass, foundry sands, and building stone.[1]

Concerning the fauna and flora of the region, one of the most important protected areas in this territory is the Bohemian Switzerland National park, unique for the sandstone phenomenon. Sandstone provides relief and specific ecological conditions which determine the diversity of species in the area. Thus, in a relatively small area, both thermophilic and drought-loving species, as well as mountain, foothill, northern or alpine species, or Atlantic and sub-Atlantic species can be found. The area of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park is highly forested and rocky, with only minor disturbances caused by human intervention. These conditions secure great animal species diversity as well. [2]

The region is located in the continental climate area where the alteration of the four seasons throughout the year is typical, correspondingly with the rest of the Czech Republic. The hottest months are July and August with an average daily temperature of 24°C. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 1°C. The most precipitation falls during May, June, and July with an average of 21 rainy days a month. The driest month is February with an average of 12 rainy days a month.[3]


The geological conditions of the Ústí nad Labem Region are the reason for the early settlements as early as the prehistoric period. During this time the area was inhabited by mammoth hunters that lived there in the Early Stone Age and later by farmers around the Ohře and Elbe rivers in the Neolithic, and eventually Celts and Germans. A notable milestone in Czech history is the arrival of the Slavs, during the nation's migration. The Slavic tribes settled the area by building castles that by the 10th century became the centers for development. At the beginning of the 13th century, a network of royal towns of Žatec, Louny, Most, Ústí nad Labem, and Litoměřice had been established. By the 16th century, the town of Litoměřice became more prominent and gradually developed into one of the most prominent towns in northern Bohemia. In the 19th century, the development of industry took place, and later, before World War II, the region became separated from the rest of the Czech Republic and annexed to Germany, as the German population always played an important role in the Ústí nad Labem Region. The greatest effect on the territory's development was presumably the events after World War II. As a part of the promotion of the principle of collective guilt, the German population was expelled and the territory was settled by Czechs, Slovaks, and Volhynians. In many places, major massacres of the German population took place after the war, one of the biggest ones took place in the city of Ústí nad Labem itself, which is known as the Ústí massacre. In today's time, the Ústecký Region is one of the self-governing regions of the Czech Republic.[9]