On your day trip from Prague do not miss the Organ of the North – a magnificent rock formation.
You can find a lot of natural parks and reservations in Czech Republic. Going straight North from Prague for two hours you reach a basalt formation that looks like an organ. Therefore, it got its nickname – the Organ of the North. You find it in the shire of traditional glass production bordering to Germany and Poland.
Anyway, on the way you can visit other interesting sites: cities, factories, or castle. On the way you can pass the Škoda car factory and museum. Further, you can do quiet a detour on your way to Dresden or Berlin. Lastly, you can visit a very old medieval castle Kost (Bone) and walk in a valley of another rock formations made of sand stone located in the Bohemian Paradise.
History of Organ of the North
The official name of the basalt formation is Panská skála – Manorial rock. It was formed more than 30 million years ago when the African lithospheric plates collided into the Europe one. In the Mesozoic and Tertiary eras occurred the alpine folds which led to active volcanic activity and formation of new fractures in the cortex. This basaltic magma did not reach the surface and was cooling off in the supply channels – that is was you can still see today.
The rock was mined until 1895 when it was banned and proclaimed even the oldest geological reservation in Bohemia. Until then the mined mineral was mainly transported to Benelux to the sea ports. Basalt is resistant to sea water and thus was the perfect material to build new modern harbors.
The Organ in the North is open all year round for free (at your own risk). You need to be careful while climbing. The rock is 597 meters above the sea level but you need to mind your health condition. Also, you need to wear a good pair of shoes. As it is a popular destination, there are paths on each side to go up. The closest town is Kamenický Šenov, a very known place of glass production (table hand cut glass, chandeliers).