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Beauties of our Homeland: The Súľov Rocks Issue number
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The Súľov Rocks appear to be growing out of the surrounding landscape of basins and rounded mountain ranges. Their unusual shapes attract attention from a far distance. The massif of the Súľov Rocks is built from a rock which got its name due to its particularity – the Súľov conglomerate. Rain, wind and frost gradually formed a kind of rock city here. The rock formations are reminiscent of towers, windows, pinnacles, gates, and different figures, all stimulating the human imagination.
The uniqueness of this area is also reflected by the fact that the beginnings of conservation of the Súľov Rocks go back to 1929. One reason for the conservation of this conglomerate was the fact that in the past, Súľov Rocks were one of the richest areas of the orchidaceous family (orchideaceae) in Slovakia. However, most of the rare species of orchids gradually disappeared in the area due to the absence of traditional meadow maintenance. The Súľov Rocks National Nature Reserve (NPR), with a land area of 543.23 ha, was declared in 1973. Varied natural conditions still enable the presence of various rare species of plants and animals. The richness of organisms in this small area is truly a rarity.
The variety of species of local plants is provided by the calcareous character of the sub-soil in the Súľov Rocks. Varied microclimatic conditions of the area have enabled the colonization of thermophilic plants on the sun-exposed south-oriented rocks. The representatives of the mountain, Carpathian flora found niches in the cooler shady rock faces and clefts.
The route of the nature trail leading through this area goes around the ruin of Súľov castle, as well as close by a 13 metres rock arch, which is called “Gothic” because of its characteristic pointed shape similar to gothic portals. In many places the trail offers beautiful views of the surrounding natural scenery.
In the northern part of the NPR, a narrow valley carved by the Hlbocký stream is adorned by the 14 metre tall Hlbocký waterfall. In the buffer-zone of the National Nature Reserve Súľov Rocks, in the Čierny Potok Valley, the Súľovský Hrádok Natural Monument was declared in 2001 in order to ensure the more strict conservation of certain species of plants.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Peter Pajger

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