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Třetihorní subtropy

Lookout Ohře

You are on the lookout, which was built during the construction of a unique bridge on Highway No. 6 from Karlovy Vary to Sokolov in 1974. One of the largest single arch bridge in the Czech Republic with a length of 296 m was opened in 1975 and reconstructed in 2009–2012.

The bridge before reconstruction (2009)

Building a bridge (photo by Milan Petřík)

Reconstruction of bridge (2010, photo by Jana Maxerová)

We are at the northern foot of the Slavkovský les Mts., in places where the granite bedrock are superimposed by oldest Tertiary sediments of the Sokolov Basin. The sedimentary formation, which is predominantly composed of conglomerate, sandstone and quartzite, is named after the nearby village 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. On the place of the former coal open pit Michal is now a lake with the same name.

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.

Fossil plant

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.

GPS position

N 50° 11.201', E 12° 41.934'