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Town Museum Františkovy Lázně

Mariánské Lázně Geological Park

The Geological Park was created in Mariánské Lázně in 1985–1988. It is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic and, in terms of its conception, unique in all of Central Europe. It inspired the creation of many other geological parks, which however did not match its scale or the size of its polished samples. The exhibit offers visitors a new perspective on an object so “common“ as an ordinary rock. The geological park lies on the slopes of the Žižkův Vrch Nature Reserve and in the Mill Valley, which can be reached via a pleasant path, or from the Town Museum of Mariánské Lázně or from the Forest Spring. Here, amid a beech wood forest, interlaced with a network of paths with its benches offering a chance to rest and contemplate, you will witness a unique exhibit out in the open nature. More than 300 rock samples, the largest of which weighs more than 16 tonnes, are situated in an area of nearly 10 hectares. The rocks on display form the foundations of the surrounding landscape – Mariánské Lázně and the Slavkovský Les Mts. Protected Landscape Area. The rocks and their composition significantly influence the composition of mineral waters and, thereby, living nature as well. Their extraordinary variety is the result of a long geological history, when eras of steady evolution alternated with periods of massive and rapid change, connected with the formation of new rocks and alteration of old rocks. Some rocks in particular made our region famous – for example serpentinite, which was used in the past to produce many beautifully worked objects.

The unique rocks are displayed not only in their natural state just as you may encounter them in nature, but also with large parts of their surface polished, which will probably be of surprise to many. It is not until being polished that even a common stone, which gets trodden on, reveals the extraordinary beauty that it hides. The polished surfaces clearly reveal the rock fabric’s compo­sition, its structure and texture. The park also contains several rare samples, which may rarely be encountered elsewhere. The geological park is closely connected with the natural science exhibit of the Town Museum, which also includes an extensive collection of minerals obtained from local sites and mines, most of which have already disappeared. A short film about the building of the Mariánské Lázně Geopark may also be viewed at the Town Museum.

Exposed rocks:

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GPS position

N 49° 58.618', E 12° 42.529'