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Three Crosses - Tři Křížky

The three crosses were erected here as a symbol of gratitude by spa patient who had been cured of their ailment in 1859. Endemite cerastium alsinifolium grows here, a plant not found anywhere else in the world. For this reason, entrance into the territory of the reservation is strictly prohibited.

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The Tři Křížky at 817m above sea level was declared a protected area in 1962. The entire area is part of a serpentinite area, the largest in Bohemia. Other protected areas include Pluhův bor, Dominova skalka and Vlček, declared national nature parks mostly due to the occurrence of unique plant species.

Basic information

Category

National nature park

Altitude

817m above sea level

Extend of specially protected area

4.01 hectares

Border length

1 300 m

Flora

There is an abundance of bell-heather, heath, and low milkwort to be found here. The meadow species include lesser butterfly-orchid, wolf’s bane, and moonwort are forest species dependent on serpentinite, include Dianthus sylvaticus. The stunted form of the common juniper is also typical here, as are certain species of ferns – serpentinite spleenwort and false spleenwort, both of which grow in bushes at the base of the rocks. The area is also the site of the critically endangered Galium sudeticum and the unique endemite Cerastium alsinifolium.

The activity of humans has played a long-term role in the formation of this unique locality. The occurrence of this specific community of flora is largely due, among other thing, to extensive grazing, for a long time the main livelihood of the local population. At present, the Protected Landscape Area authorities are trying to revive this activity. This is why you might spot the occasional herd of grazing goats in the Three Crosses area. An educational trail was built in this area in 1979 and there is an ongoing debate among botanists concerning its existence. This is why this educational trail has been closed, to promote research and to prevent devastation. The entire territory is inaccessible to the public and the fine for violating this restriction is a hefty 50,000 Kč. However, there is an impressive view from the top. The peak has been equipped with a lookout orientation gantry made of polished serpentinite showing the direction and distance from the surrounding hills.

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Karlovarský krajŽivý kraj