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Třetihorní subtropy

Ohře Valley

The municipality of Staré Sedlo lies in the northern foothills of the Slavkovský Les Mts. in an area where the oldest sediments of the Tertiary Sokolov Basin are underlayed by granite. In the area of the municipality, the formation, which is predominantly composed of conglomerates, sandstones and quartzites, is named after its most typical occurrence as the Staré Sedlo Formation. The formation occurs more or less continuously at the base of sediments spreading through the entire basin. In the surroundings of Staré Sedlo, the basin is getting deeper towards the southwest direction where the Josef brown coal seam sits above the sandstone. The seam was intensively mined in the distant as well as recent past.

Sketch map with 21 pseudokarst caves

Important geological sections with pseudokarst caves and a paleontological locality of Tertiary flora are located in the picturesque landscape of the Ohře River valley. As the river eroded the bedrock it formed a canyon and many pseudokarst sinkholes, cavities and caves were created. More than 20 rock caves and their openings are located in the area, mostly below the highest edges of denuded slopes at the height of 30–40 m above the river. The largest cave called Cikánka (“Gypsy”) is located on the right bank of the Ohře and is more than 40 m long.

The Cikánka (“Gypsy”) Cave

The development of the Staré Sedlo Formation is also interesting from a natural science perspective. The formation contains 30–35 million year old, often well-preserved remains of subtropical vegetation. The fossils were already studied by Johann Wolfgang Goethe during his several visits. The area is protected in the Údolí Ohře (“Ohře Valley“) Nature Reserve.

Fossil plant

GPS position

N 50° 11.052', E 12° 42.877'