The Popov Cliffs and Tourists
The massive sandstone peak stands 565 meters above sea level. Several boulder rocks are placed together in such a way that they have created not only a viewpoint but also a small rock gate and several caves. There are several places caved in on the surface of the rock. The peak of the rock was opened for tourists in 1907. In the first half of the 20th century, when tourism was flourishing, small Hugo Cottage was underneath the Cliffs.
If you look around at the viewpoint itself from the lower rock, you will notice an underpinning of the highest boulder. The underpinning dates back to 1934 when the boulder loosened. Tourists from Hrádek and Dolní Sedlo saved the viewpoint with it.
Views from the Popov Cliffs
Tourists may travel with their eyes around the nature of the Nisa valley, the Lusatian (Lužické) and the Zittau Mountains (Žitavské hory), the Central Bohemian Uplands (České středohoří), the Ralsko Hills (Ralská pahorkatina), have a look to the German neighbours where the Zittau Basin (Žitavská pánev). It is also possible to see Poland from the highest point of the viewpoint thanks to the panoramic view. When the weather conditions are good, it is possible to see the peaks of the Jizera Mountains (Jizerské hory) and the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše). From one place, a visitor to the Popov Cliffs see the distant hills of the Lusatian Mountains with the highest peak Lausche (Luž), the conical mountain Klíč (Key), Hvozd Mountain with two peaks or the nearby sandstone rocks. The symbol of Liberec region Ještěd can be found when looking in the other direction. When looking towards the north, the tourists cannot miss the open-pit mines in neighbouring Poland.
Origins of the Popov Cliffs
The Popov Cliffs are in an area called the Lusatian Fault which originated in the beginning of the Tertiary. The Lusatian Fault is sharp disturbance of Mezosoic sandstones in the south-west and older rocks in the north-east. Due to different rocks on the surface, we may see different flora on the two sides of the fault.
The German name of the rock that was used in the past is a little mystery. Pfaffenstein is used most commonly, which most probably means the Priest Rock. However, the name Pfaffstein also relates to the word Pfaff meaning “whistling” in one dialect. During windy days, the whistling can be heard on the Popov Cliffs, and every tourist can try to hear it.
The easiest way to get to the Popov Cliffs is from Dolní Sedlo. The walk is slightly steeper when going up from the square in Hrádek nad Nisou, nevertheless, the way there and back does not take more than two hours.