Thanks to its exceptional diversity of landscape and species and methods of farming used, this area was declared a protected area as early as 1973. In 2001, it was declared a nature reserve.
Places of interest in the Písecké Mountains
Jarník Lookout Tower
The lookout tower stands in the middle of the Písecké Mountains at an altitude of 606 m, around 4 km from the town centre. The total height of the steel structure is 58 m. The lookout tower, standing in the middle of the Písecké Mountains at the altitude of 606 m, is located around 4 km from the town centre. The total height of the steel structure is 58 m. Its upper section serves for radio-communication purposes. Its assembly began in spring 1997 and was completed in October of the same year. The lookout is open to the public all year round, depending on weather conditions. If it is locked, the key is available in the nearby Živec chalet. The entry is free of charge, but at one’s own risk. There are two separate staircases, one for ascending, and the other for descending. The observation deck, located 35 m above the ground, offers splendid views of the whole Písecké Mountains, the town of Písek and its environs. The lookout tower is situated in the town forest park at an altitude of 606 m, around 4 km from the town centre.
This romantic pond is frequently compared to mountain lakes. There is a small islet accessible over a footbridge. Archaeological finds have shown that the islet had been a fortress built in the 15thcentury. A hill of the same name rises over the Němec Pond, to the elevation of 587 m. Motifs with the Němec Pond can be found in literature, as in poems by Jaromír Borecký (Rybník v lese) and Adolf Heyduk (Rybník pod Němcem).
An interesting spruce grew at the wellspring until the 1920s, called U pěti bratrů (“At Five Brothers”). The huge spruce ramified one meter above the ground to five branches reaching the height of thirty metres. The tree used to be a popular tourist attraction.
There are two explanations of how the pond came by its name. According to the first one, its surface was placid all the time, always “mute” (“němý” in Czech). According to the second one, it used to be owned by one of the German citizens of Písek (“Němec” means “German”).
Velký Mehelník is the highest peak of the Písecké Mountains, rising to an elevation of 633 m. Its name, Mehelník, was apparently derived from the word “mohyla” (“mound”) due to its shape. However, the term was also used for hills covered with woods. But its original name could have been Mhelník due to frequent fogs (“mlha”) in the area. In any case, the hill is surrounded by numerous tales and legends. The best-known tale is about robbers called “Petrovští,” who dwelled on Mehelník and ate from dishes on the stone “Robbers’ table”. It may have served in the past as a sacrificial table to pagan gods. Later, romantic symbols of skulls were carved into the stone. The legend was included in the book of legends by Josef Svátek.
A New Year’s Eve hike up to Mehelník takes place annually, attended by tourists and nature lovers from near and far. Another hill, Malý Mehelník (elevation 588 m), rises nearby.