Panská skála is a natural landmark situated near the town of Kamenický Šenov in the Liberec Region, in northern Bohemia. The name can be translated as “the Lord’s Rock”. Due to its appearance, it is colloquially known also as Varhany (“pipe organs”). Its hexagonal basalt columns reach up to 12 m (39 ft) and resemble the ones in the famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. And here it is on the map:
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Panská skála covers an area of 1.26 km² (0.48 sq mi) near the road from Kamenický Šenov to Nový Bor. The base of the rock is at approx. 560 m (1837 ft) above sea level and the peak at 597 m (1,958 ft) above sea level. It is estimated that the basalt columns emerged about 30 million years ago, as a result of volcanic activity. There is a small lake in the depression at the foot of the rock.
Panská skála was declared a protected geological monument in 1895, as the first such site in Czechia (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). However, the protection wasn’t very strict and the rock continued to be used as a quarry. In 1914, the authorities purchased the area from its private owners and prohibited further rock extraction. After World War II, the Czechoslovak government extended the protection of Panská skála. Nowadays, it is a major tourist attraction of Kamenický Šenov.
Getting to Panská Skála
The easiest way to get there is by private car. There is a small parking place nearby. The distance from Prague is only approx. 105 km (65 mi), so you can definitely return on the same day. If you’re staying in the Bohemian Switzerland, it’s much closer. From Hřensko it is only ca. 25 km (15 mi) to Panská skála.
It is also possible to get there by public transportation. If you’re staying in Liberec, there is a direct bus (line no. 690940) to Ústí nad Labem via Kamenický Šenov. Get off at Kamenický Šenov – Prácheň, prodejna and walk only a few hundred meters from there. The journey takes about one hour, but there are only very few connections. You will have more options if you go from Liberec to Nový Bor and take the bus no. 500461. A one-way trip will take more than one hour and a half in this case, but the connections are more frequent.
If you’re staying Prague and would like to go there by public transportation and return on the same day, it is also possible. Bus no. 500490 goes from Praha-Nádraží Holešovice to Nový Bor and from there you can catch the aforementioned line no. 500461 to Kamenický Šenov – Prácheň, prodejna. A one-way trip takes about 2 hours. Detailed timetables can be found here.