Velka Amerika – Vysoký Újezd, Czechia - Atlas Obscura

Velka Amerika

Vysoký Újezd, Czechia

This former quarry is now a picturesque gorge that hides a sunken lake. 


Situated near the village of Mořina in Czechia, the Velka Amerika quarry site is a former center of industry that has left a stunning natural attraction in its wake that looks like it could be a setting in Middle Earth.

Limestone mining in the area began in the early 20th century, with a number of mine sites popping up in relatively close proximity to one another. One of the biggest was Velka Amerika, otherwise known as the Big America Quarry. There was also a Small Amerika quarry in the region, which along with the other mining sites, are connected to Velka Ameika by long tunnels. As mining continued over the years, the gash in the land that was created got larger and larger until it ended up as a hole over 2,600 feet long and almost 60 feet deep.

Once mining operations at the site ceased, water was allowed to flood back into the gorge, creating a still blue lake at the bottom. This new flood lake has become the true attraction at the quarry, offsetting the possibly upsetting fact that man created a giant scar in the Earth. 

Now the large mining crater is sometimes called the “Czech Grand Canyon,” and is a popular site for both hikers and photographers who are looking to get a perfect glimpse of the deep blue waters in its depths. There are hiking trails that follow the perimeter of the gorge allowing people to explore the circumference of the feature in about an hour, so long as they don’t get too caught up in the stunning scenery.  

Know Before You Go

Only six kilometers away from the popular Karlštejn Castle, the closest village is Mořina village.

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