U tří znaků

Most tourists choose the shortest route from the north, but there are also several marked trails leading to the Čerchov from the south or east, where you can see many interesting sights. One of them is a place called U tří znaků (917 m), which can easily become a separate destination of a half-day trip.

A guided trip to history

You can choose the tourist signpost in Dolní Folmava as the starting point, from which you can first follow the yellow- and then the green-marked tourist trail to the former village of Bystřice, where today only the World War I memorial, the ruins of the glassworks and mill, and the derelict buildings of the communist Border Guard can be seen. From here, there is a significant climb up to U tří znaků, an elevated point right on the Bohemian-Bavarian border. The site is also a pedestrian border crossing, which you can use to visit the distinctive Kreuzfelsen rock (938 m), which is accessible from U tří znaků by a marked path leading along the ridge, approximately half a kilometre southwards. The rock with rather limited vistas is dominated by a massive cross.

A unique spot where borders of three historical regions meet

Let us go back closer to the place called U tří znaků, which lies just a few metres across the border on the Bavarian side. The main attraction is the rock where, when the border was drawn in 1766, the coats of arms of the three historical territories whose borders met here were carved. This is the Bavarian rhombus for the Electorate of Bavaria (CB = Churfürstentum Bayern); the Czech lion for the Kingdom of Bohemia (KB = Königreich Böhmen); and the Palatinate lion for the Palatinate (HP = Herzogtum Pfalz). This topographical monument commemorates the border treaty between Empress Maria Theresa and Elector Maximilian Joseph III of Bavaria of 3 March 1764. The new borderline was surveyed and marked with border stones between 1764 and 1766. The site is dominated by a nicely placed cast-iron cross on the rock above the coats of arms and pilgrims can also rest here under a wooden shelter, which was built here in the early 1990s as one of the examples of the developing border cooperation between the Czechs and Germans.

From there, you can either return the same way or continue along the ridge to the top of Čerchov. It is up to you how much time and effort you decide to spend in this part of the Czech borderland.