The Central Bohemian Uplands along the Elbe cycle route
Ústí nad Labem - Děčín
The Elbe cycle route between Ústí nad Labem and Děčín is, with the exception of a short section, a separate cycle path. Many interesting tourist destinations await you on the 25 km long route. There is a beautiful castle in Velké Březno, the ruins of Vrabinec Castle above the village of Těchlovice and a little further from the trail in the picturesque village of Zubrnice, the Museum of Folk Architecture and the local museum railway. In Ústí nad Labem, visit the zoo, Erben's Lookout or the Větruše Chateau.
Map of the cycle path - Ústí nad Labem - Děčín
The Střekov Castle is located at the Střekov part of Ústí nad Labem, the district capital. It is one of the most notable sights of the town. Well-maintained castle ruins form an impressive skyline in the south of the town above the right bank of the Labe river, on a 100-metres high phonolite rock. The castle was built in 1318 to protect the business trail. The romantic look of the castle ruins has always attracted the attention of many important personalities (for example the painter Adrian Ludwig Richter, Erst Gustav Doerell, the composer Richard Wagner, the poet Karel Hynek Mácha and many more). At the castle, you can see the Knight’s Hall, a cylindrical gothic tower or the 3-dimensional wooden scale model of the castle. From the restaurant terrace you can enjoy the beautiful view of the town and the valley of the Labe river. After 1989 the ownership of the castle was returned to the Lobkowicz family and it is one of the most visited sights of the town. You can also go on a special night tour of the castle.
Větruše is one of the most notable highlights of Ústí nad Labem town. It was built on the edge of Labe river valley, right under the Suchý Vrch hill by a knight named Labohoř in year 826 to protect the settlement from enemies. Today, Větruše is a popular trip destination. Part of the main building is a restaurant with a terrace, a hotel, and a lookout tower. The tower offers a beautiful view of the Labe river valley and Ústí nad Labem town. Other attractive points of this place are the natural maze and the mirror maze, as well as the children’s playground and sportsgrounds. Near Větruše, you can also find a medieval execution site and follow an educational trail to the underground of Ústí nad Labem. At Větruše, you may also start following another educational trail called Větruše – Vrkoč with nine information boards.
The ZOO is located in the Krásné Březno part of town on the slope of Mariánská skála on unusually hilly terrain. Visitors can watch more than 1300 animals representing over 200 species. Ústí nad Labem ZOO also participates in the world-wide protection of rare and endangered animals. Within many international programmes, the Ústí nad Labem ZOO has managed to help, save and proliferate a lot of endangered species of animals. In the ZOO, there are many pavilions for various animals, children will love scale models of animals, and slides in the area called “The Children’s World”, a place where they can touch various domestic animals (“The Children’s ZOO”) and “The Dinosaur Educational Trail.”
The Velké Březno municipality is located about 8 kilometres from Ústí nad Labem, the district capital town. The most attractive tourist destination in Velké Březno is the local chateau. It was built from 1842-1845 for the highest burgrave of the Czech Kingdom, Sir Karel Chotek in the style of late Austrian Empire. It was later rebuilt in the style of romantic Neo-Renaissance. It was also home to Žofie Chotková, the granddaughter of the chateau founder. Being the wife of František Ferdinand d’Este, the Habsburg heir to the throne, she was assassinated in 1914 in Sarajevo together with her husband. That moment led into World War I. The chateau is surrounded by a beautiful English landscape garden with a number of rare trees and bushes. In Velké Březno you can also pay a visit to the well-known brewery of Velké Březno, the history of which dates back to 1606, and see an example of a classic technology of beer producing. Take a tour around all the main producing halls and taste some beer.
The Zubrnice municipality is located about 15 kilometres from Ústí nad Labem in the forested area right by the Buková mountain. Part of the village is now an open-air museum, showing the village life at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. The collection consists of grafted, half-timbered and brick buildings. You can see a grafted two-floor building, a village shop and a small water mill with high drive, powered by the water of Luční Creek. The exposition of an old village school is also very interesting. Sometimes, there is a market with traditional products. In the old railway station, there is a Railway Museum where you can learn about the history and presence of the local railway, visit a small railway office with the original equipment, and take a ride on an old draisine (an auxiliary light rail vehicle for personnel transportation). You can get to Zubrnice from Ústí nad Labem, Velké Březno, and Malé Březno, or by the history train on the Zubrnice Museum Track.
Vrabinec castle was built on a steep, split rocky hill not far from the Babětín settlement (Těchlovice village). The castle was named after a sparrow’s nest probably because of its scattered and slightly odd structure. The origins of the castle date back to 1404, but already in 1515 it was an abandoned castle. The castle ruins are the main point of the Protected Natural Area of the same name, covering the area of 8,77 hectares and located 198 to 350 metres above sea level. The reason for protecting this particular area is the fact that it is an island of thermophilic flora in the middle of colder and more humid parts of the Landscape Protected Area Central Bohemian Highlands. It is located above the slopes of the Babětín valley, and has been protected by the government since 1993. The protected area is attractive for its romantic wilderness of the geomorphological form and the interesting view from the top of the rocks.
Velký Chlum Lookout Tower is located near the hill of the same name just above the Děčín-Křešice. You can access the tower from several places, by following two marked tourist trails. From Děčín, follow the red-marked tourist trail. From Boletice nad Labem, follow the yellow-marked tourist trail. The admission to the stone lookout tower is free and if the weather is good, you might see the tops of the Central Bohemian Highlands, the Krušné Hory mountain range, the Bohemian Switzerland and the Děčínský Sněžník mountain that also has a lookout tower on the top. It is possible to get to the lookout tower by car.