The Semily area: Over Bozkov to Trails
SEMILY – Sejkorská kaplička (3 km) – Bozkov (5 km) – Bozkovské jeskyně (6 km) – Bohuňovsko, Palackého stezka (7 km) – Ústí Vošmendy (9 km) – Podspálov, vlak (10 km) – Riegrova stezka (14 km) – Bítouchov (14,5 km) – SEMILY (16 km)
THE SEMILY AREA
The landscape of the Semily area has been largely affected by its geological past. The rock folding that happened between two geomorphologic eras, the Devonian and Carboniferous periods, followed by malaphyre volcanic activity, set the foundations of a colourful geological profile and later provided findings of precious stones and petrified plants. Kozákov hill – the guard hill of Bohemia Paradise and today’s highest regional peak with an exceptional view – became active. The waters from the Jizerské hory and western Krkonoše Mountains took a long time to cut their way to the lower Bohemian Cretaceous Basin. Eventually, the Jizera River created a unique canyon between the towns of Semily and Železný Brod. The river’s power was later used by commercial entities and the textile and glass-making industries started to develop in the valley. Therefore, the region not only has beautiful nature, but also many technological sights, such as old factories, unique bridges and tunnels. The centre of the area is Semily, the town of games and toys with colourful surroundings.
Semily – In the past, the town was affected by several large fires, so there is not much left from its historic development today. The town of Semily has seen the advent of trade, crafts, minor production and finally industrial production using the power of the river. A reminder of those times is the large compound of Schmitt’s textile plant along the Jizera River. Interesting places include a Marian Column from 1738 (with the sculptures of the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist and St. John Nepomucene),a neo-Romanesque Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul from the early 20th century (with a view), a new Municipal Authority building (originally a factory rebuilt in 2006), the Museum and the Pojizerská Gallery, the Church of Saint John the Baptist on Koštofrank hill (originally wooden, in 1723 rebuilt in stone; a bell reading 1590 has been preserved), log houses from the turn of the century on Jílovecká Street (the last examples of the original development; they used to be occupied by craftsmen, workers and minor house owners). In one of these houses, you can visit a unique file-making workshop. All three houses are of the Jizera type and have been proclaimed a cultural monument. The Chapel of Bítouchov.
Sejkorskákaplička– the Baroque niche Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows from the end of the 17th century used to be a pilgrimage place. Not far from here is Masarykova vyhlídka (lookout) from where the first Czechoslovak president Masaryk observed Kozákov, Bozkov and a part of the Krkonoše Mountains when he visited the Semily area.
Bozkov – the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary with a 49 m lookout tower and a rare Gothic Madonna sculpture; folk architecture. Seasonal .
Bozkovské dolomitové jeskyně – the Bozkov dolomite caves are the largest cave system in northeast Bohemia with an abundant occurrence of silica benches and ledges. The caves were discovered in 1947 during a blast in a dolomite quarry.
Podspálov – there is a hydroelectric power plant above the confluence of the Jizera and Kamenice Rivers, built from 1921–1926, with water being conducted by a dug shaft (1323 m long) and a walled canal (437 m). The power plant has been carefully restored and is still in operation. It also has a high architectonic value and is an example of how technology and nature can co-exist. It is open to the public. Another technological sight is the road bridge over the Kamenice, the first one to be built diagonally towards the river stream in 1938. It is also unique because of a smaller stretch that was constructed by moving the divided arch.
Riegrova stezka – The trail was founded in 1909. It leads through the Jizera river valley from the town of Semily to Podspálov (a nature reserve) and passes several view points in the valley. Curiosities include a 77 metre long suspended balcony, built above the original river surface, a rock tunnel and the Spálov hydraulic power plant to which water is driven through an underground shaft. The nature trail teaches those interested about geology, flora and fauna, tourism and nature conservation and technical curiosities of the valley.
Accessibility for the blind - braille: