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Bavaria / Czechia

The area where the borders of Czechoslovakia, the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany once met marks the beginning of this stretch of the Iron Curtain Trail. Cycling along the EuroVelo 13 in Carlsbad and Pilsen regions offers a mix of forested mountain areas of Smrčiny, Český les and National park Šumava with visits of historic towns such as Cheb, Waidhaus, Eslarn, Furth i.W. and spas Mariánské or Fratiškovy lázně.

The starting point is near resting point and small border crossing near Hranice v Čechách in Czechia. Once you have set off, you will find it worth making a first stop at Trojmezí (Gottmansgrűn), the oldest settlement in this region, at the point known as the Triangle Border, where the borders of Saxony, Bavaria and Czechia meet. Two kilometres past Trojmezí you come onto the beginning of the road used by military convoys alongside the former signalling fence, where you can still see an old checkpoint.

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You then continue from historic town Aš past castles and chateaux like Hohenberg, Libá and Ostroh surrounded by Smrčiny (Fichtelgebirge) mountains to famous spas of Františkovy lázně (Franziskenbad) with a charming promenade and mineral springs. From here its a short ride  to regional enter and mediaval town of Cheb (Eger) situated at Ohře (Eger) river. The historic center offers well preserved mechant historic houses, castle and beautifull gardens along the Ohře river trail.. Back on your bike, you continue towards Cheb and come to the former checkpoint of Svatý Kříž (Waldsassen), where a monument commemorating 82 victims of the Iron Curtain was erected in 2006 on the Czech side.
 You can visit another memorial to cutting the barbed wire on December 1989 near Nové domky together with IC museum at the border crossing in Rozvadov. Cyclin through the Český les - Obepfälzer Wald is rewarding for cyclists searching less populated regions. Untouched nature with glaial lakes can be also enjoyed in cross border National park Šumava - Bavarian Forest. In Železná ruda/Bayer.Eisenstein you will cycle along the once divided train station.

 

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    Mineral Springs in
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    Glacial lakes in
    Šumava National Park
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  • Landscape protected area Český les

    LPA Český les stretches across two regions - Carlsbad and Pilsen. Mostly forested areas with meadows, pastures and creeks. The highest peak Čerchov of the mountain range (1042 m asl.) can be visited close to the Czech Bavarian border. Many villages were destroyed here in 50s because they were too close to the former Iron Curtain.

  • Brewing heartland, Czech Republic & Germany

    The Czech lands and Bavaria are champions in brewing as well as in consuming the hops based beer. The growth of Bohemian towns came with brewing of beer among their other privileges already in 11-12th centuries. It was in 1842 that the West Bohemian city brewery of Plzeň first created a unique bottom-fermented lager "pilsner": for which this city is commemorated as the “original source” (Czech: “Prazdroj” or German “Urquell”). Another world famous beer "Budweiser" comes from South Bohemian České Budějovice (Budweis in German), where Budvar is traditionally brewed with purely Bohemian ingredients. The Czech Republic features about 50 large and medium-sized breweries and around 260 microbreweries, Along the ICT you can taste some of brands like Chodovar (pictured - a beautiful rock carved brewery in Chodová Planá near Mariánské lázně) or Eggenberg in Český Krumlov and Hostan in Moravian Znojmo together with numerous local brews in Bavaria and Austria. Picture by jockrutherford (flickr.com, Creative Commons, accessed 08/07/2015)

  • Eurasian Lynx

    Together with its Bavarian twin, the Czech national park of Sumava is a haven of wildlife along EuroVelo 13. It is a place where human influence has been relatively limited and the protected area comprises of only 9% of agricultural land and 0.1% if urban area. The mountain range is covered by the most extensive forest in Central Europe and has been under UNESCO protection since 1990.

  • Marienbad

    The world famous spa was established in 1805 and since belongs to the most charming spa town of the region. Splendid architecture, great setting at foothills of Slavkov forest. Famous is the local spa collonade with healing springs and with the Singing fountain.

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