• Marek Ivča

Glacial lakes in the Šumava national park

The Black and Devil’s lake has a glacial origin and therefore they represent a great natural treasure in the Šumava national park. Hidden away in a deep forest you can’t actually reach them with a car. You need to climb up every altitudinous metre but I can promise you, it will be worth it! Divine quietness, charming nature and glittering colours of the lakes will take your breath away!

The origin of the lakes dates back to the end of the Tertiary when the climate cooled down and a snow glacier avalanches were created. When they gradually melted down they pushed huge amounts of stones and gravel ahead. And so they formed these massive dams underneath the sloper - so-called moraine dams - that were holding water.

Black lake during the automn season

The Black lake with its surface of 18,43 hectares is the largest naturally formed lake in the Czech Republic. With maximum depth of 40 metres it is also the deepest lake in the Šumava. The Black Lake has no visible tributary and it is fed by numerous underground springs rising at the foot of the Lake Mountain (Jezerní hora). It’s situated just one kilometre from the German border so it has been restricted area for nearly 40 years during the Communist reign in last century. The name of the lake comes from the black colour of its waters which is very dark due to the reflection of the surrounding dense forests and a dark sediment (about 15 meters of sludge which consists of pollen from surrounding conifers) on the bottom of the lake. The mysterious atmosphere of the Black Lake inspired many significant czech writers, poets and composers which you might heard of, such as: Antonín Dvořák, Jan Neruda, Jaroslav Vrchlický or Adolf Heyduk.

Black lake during the winter season

Devil’s lake is the second largest glacial lake in the Šumava and it is situated at approximately the same altitude as the Black lake but the way there is more difficult. Worse accessibility definitely helps to preserve the nature very well and therefore we can witness many rare species of plants and animals around. Its name comes from the devil itself, according to the legend the devil wanted to pull down to the hell a girl who just passed by. He thought it was gonna be easy but she tied a big stone on his tail to stop him. The devil got furious and he created a big hole with his tail and so the Devil’s lake were created. There exist many more stories and legends about this lake in which elves and fairies still appear here, some of them are even emerging from the lake itself.


Lynx, endangered animal, with a home in the Šumava national park

Although many stories were said and written, don’t worry. By the daylight you won’t see any orcs, goblins or other strange figures. By the daylight you may ‘just’ witness a beautiful landscape, dense forests and if you are lucky some of the Šumava forest residents.


Šumava glacial lakes are perfect spot for active relaxation and contemplation. Come with us on Šumava Adventure tour!

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