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Sopky v Geoparku

The Podhorní Hill

Podhorní vrch is a marked dominant near Mariánské Lázně with a beautiful outlook and abandoned quarry at its northern foot. A tertiary volcano with two peaks (Velká Podhora 847.2 m and Malá Podhora 846.0 m) breaks through the amphibolite basement associated with the Mariánské Lázně metabasite complex. It has 500 m in diameter and its most recently estimated age is 12–17 million years.

The older part of volcano consists of a compact effusion, in which stone pit was founded, and of breccia-like lava and agglutinated volcanic ejecta. The younger part is formed by filling of a vein cleft 20–30 m wide and more than 100 m long. The volcanic rock is a weakly olivine nephelinite, a dark grey massive basaltic rock with phenocrysts of black pyroxene and green olivine.

During the mining it was possible to collect interesting minerals in the quarry at Podhorní vrch. Zeolites formed whitish crack fillings in the massive basaltic rock. Crystallized nepheline and mellilite were together with clinopyroxene, leucite, sanidine, sodalite, magnetite and apatite forming up to several decimetre large coarse-grained inclusions, which were created by local enrichment in volatile components during final stages of magma solidification.

The Podhorní Hill at the end of 19th century

Podhorní vrch is the highest peak of the Teplá highlands (Tepelská vrchovina). Thanks to its geological and mineralogical exceptionality it has become a subject of interest for significant natural scientists of 19th century (J. W. Goethe, H. Ch. G. Struve, A. K. Rosiwal and others). Podhorní vrch was in the past a favourite trip destination of spa guests with a known café. After the World War II the café disappeared and nowadays there is an anaesthetic telecommunication transmitter. The area is also a significant botanical locality. The fresh beech forests in the eastern part and sycamore- and ash stands in the summit part have been declared as a natural reserve in the year 1997. The open scree slope of the Malá Podhora hosts thermophilic plant species.

Tourist restaurant in the mid-20th century

GPS position

N 49° 58.298', E 12° 46.234'