Pravcicka Brana

The shortest route to reach the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe!

Also in Sachsen, Germany

Hiking Moderate

Distance
7.3 km
Ascent
316 m
Descent
316 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
149 m
High Point
421 m
Gradient
15˚
VIEW ON MAP
Pravcicka Brana Map

Description

Pravcicka Brana (the word “brana” means “gate” in English) is the "biggest natural sandstone arch in Europe,” according to CzechTourism.com.

The arch boasts a "span of 26.5 metres, an inside height of 16 metres, with an 8 metre maximum width,” according to Wikipedia. Thanks to its formidable stature and stunning natural beauty, Pravcicka Brana is one of the most renowned natural attractions in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Due to its popularity, "In 1826 an inn was built by the Pravčická brána,” according to Wikipedia. "In 1881 Prince Edmund of Clary-Aldringen built the Hotel "Sokolí hnízdo" (English: Falcon's Nest) with 50 beds.”

Unfortunately, due to erosion over time, the arch, which is on private land, has been roped off to the general public. While you can still view it and come close, the arch can no longer be climbed on.

From the parking area, the hike itself is well-marked and easy to follow. It begins by following the road, and then turns left, heading up a valley into the hills. If you find yourself wondering, “does this major-looking trail lead to the Pravcicka Brana?” the answer is “yes.”

Due to its popularity, this trail has been well-maintained (perhaps over-maintained), turning it into a wide walking path. While at times you’re walking over cobblestones and sandstone rock, water bars have been put in place to minimize erosion, and handrails have removed any fall danger from the upper reaches of the trail.

Along the way to the arch you’ll enjoy the deep forests of Bohemian Switzerland, along with other rock formations that break up the sea of trees. So often we head to the alpine, above the reach of the trees, in our pursuit of natural beauty. But if you look around you, the beauty that can be found beneath the canopy of the forest is stunning and awe-inspiring in its own way. Different, yes, but peaceful and idyllic in its own way.

While the trail itself is non-technical, this hike could prove strenuous for those who are looking for a photo op and are unaccustomed to hiking. The route mapped here is the shortest possible hike to reach Pravcicka Brana. There is no closer location to park a car than the one mapped here. The elevation gain isn’t massive, but it’s not a joke either. The miles pass quickly if you choose to embark on this hike, but if you’re looking for a roadside photo op, this isn’t it. You have to sweat a little bit to reach the views!

Sources: https://www.czechtourism.com/c/pravcicka-brana/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prav%C4%8Dick%C3%A1br%C3%A1na

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation