4/ Vápenný Podol and Prachovice quarries

Altitude: 430–525 m above sea level
Area: Vápenný Podol 4.5 ha, Prachovice 111 ha
Material: Paleozoic marble


The original pit quarry was situated in the area between the Church of St Václav and the Vápenný Podol – Prachovice road. At the bottom of the quarry there was a pond with carbonated water. During mining, the entrances to the two largest caves in the Pardubice Region – Páterova and Podolská – were discovered. The caves represent an important wintering site for bats and are registered as a Special area of conservation. At present, the original quarry has been completely covered by the spoil from the younger and larger Prachovice quarry, thus ending the almost 400-year history of limestone quarrying in the vicinity of Vápenný Podol. Mining in the quarry near Prachovice is still going on today and since the 1950s a cement plant and a marble processing plant have been processing raw material there.


Marble of Vápenný Podol contain numerous fossils of Devonian age - e.g. trilobites of the genus Dalmanitina, crinoids of the species Scyphocrinites elegans or nautiloid cephalopods Orthocycloceras fluminense. In the mining area of the current large quarry at Prachovice, graphitic shales and metamorphosed dark bituminous limestones of Silurian age with graptolites of the Octavites spiralis and Monograptus belophorus zones are exposed.



Associated with vegetated spoil tips: Pink Crown (Sarcosphaera coronaria), Helvella branzeziana, Helvella costifera, Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum), Tuber mesentericum, Lyophyllum paelochroum, Hysterangium stoloniferum, Dead Man’s Foot (Pisolithus arhizus), ouško menší (Otidea minor)

Other habitats: Peziza exogelatinosa, Discina fastigiata, Vuilleminia cystidiata



Calciphilous species: Dutchman's pipe (Monotropa hypophegea), Fringed Gentian (Gentiana ciliata), Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella), Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum grandiflorum subsp. obscurum), White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium), Broadleaf Speedweed (Veronica teucrium), Small Alison (Alyssum alyssoides), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Polygala comosa



Xerophilic species: weevil Stomodes gyrosicollis, weevil Trachyphloeus alternans, ground beetle Brachinus explodens, ground beetle Licinus depressus, Crepuscular Burnet (Zygaena carniolica), Transparent Burnet (Zygaena purpuralis); snails: Blind Awlsnail (Ceicilioides acicula), German hairy snail (Pseudotrichia rubiginosa)

Wetland species: Dusky Large Blue (Phengaris nausithous), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum)



Associated with disturbed areas and rocks: European Green Toad (Bufotes viridis); Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca); Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo)

Wetland species: Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

Species found in caves: Geoffroy's Bat (Myotis emarginatus), Noctule (Nyctalus noctula), Brown Big-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus), Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis), Daubenton's Bat (Myotis daubentonii), Whiskered Bat (Myotis mystacinus), Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros)


Photo captions:

Prachovice quarry

Vápenný Podol quarry before filling with soil (1974)

Vápenný Podol quarry being filled in (1975)