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The region of Usti nad Orlici, which was in the past the poor region of Bohemia, is nowadays an area where visitors can find an unusual variety of natural formations and cultural monuments as well as developing industry and agriculture.
The region is surrounded by Orlicke hory (the Orlice Mountains) and the ridge of Kralicky Sneznik mountains on the border with Poland. In the territory of Orlicke hory nature preserve, there is a valuable natural formation called Zemska brana (the Gate of Land). Zemska brana
is actually a deep valey formed by the river Orlice covered by spruce forest. The river is surrounded by rocks and on its banks there are many species of endangered plants. The beauty of Zemska brana enhances one side of valey, which opens to the Poland border, as does the stone bridge over the river Orlice, built by Italian architects in 1900 - 1903.
Paseracka lavka (the Smuggler's Footbridge), which was in the past actually used by smugglers for transfering goods, and Ledrickova skala (the Rock of Ledricek) with its small cave make the area of Zemska brana even more beautiful and this is why it attracts many visitors to come and see all natural wonders. The charm of the whole territory wouldn't be complete without the other natural beauties - the hills, valleys, ponds, fields, meadows, castles ruins, paths and roads. Recreation centers, hotels and cottages for tourists offer an ideal escape all year round to anyone seeking peace and preserved wilderness for relaxation or tourism.
Around the towns Chocen and Vysoke Myto, there are lowlands which continue to highlands reaching a height of 400 to 500 metres. In the north-east corner of the region are its highest mountains, Kralicky Sneznik. The highest hill, also called Kralicky Sneznik, reaches 1424 metres and at the height of 1390 metres is the source of the river Morava. Kralicky Sneznik are the third highest mountains chain in the Czech Republic lying among Bohemia, Moravia and Kladsko and was declared a natural preserve.
There are two centers for winter sports in the Kralicky Sneznik mountais - Dolni Morava and Cenkovice - where visitors can find accomodation in many hotels and boarding houses. In Dolni Morava two ski-lifts with slopes 1 000 metres long are waiting for fans of winter sports and in Cenkovice fans of skiing will find six ski-lifts and slopes for downhill skiing and many paths for cross-country skiing.
The region has not only places for winter recreation - visitors can also spend the summer holidays there. Those fond of water sports and summer tourism are invited to the Pastviny Dam at the foothills of Orlicke hory in beautiful landscape near the nature preserve of Zemska brana.
The region can offer to its visitors not only ideal places for summer or winter recreation, but also many historic monuments. For example, they can visit the Baroque Pilgrim Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and monastery in Hedec built in the 17th century which is the dominanting feature of the town Kraliky, the Romanesque Basilica of St. Catherine in Ceska Trebova from the 13th century or the Baroque Pilgrim Church of St. Nicholas from the 18th centrury in Vraclav which also has a gallery of plastic arts or the castle Litice nad Orlici.
Vistitors to the region of Usti nad Orlici will be surprised not only by the beautiful landscape with its many natural treasures, their attention will also be drawn by the cultural, architectural and historic places of interest - in every village or town they can admire fortresses, castles, churches, mansions of all styles which are silent witnesses to the history of this north-east corner of the Czech Republic.
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