- Physical difficulty: Moderately difficult
- Length: up to 160 min
- Refreshments: one´s own
- Wheelchair accessibility: No
Let us invite you for a walk to a place that is among the lesser known. And, compared to the sights located in the immediate vicinity, one could even say it is unknown. Yet it offers what many tourists look for when hiking in nature - total peace, great views, rest.
You will visit Homolka, a natural monument, a small hill (695 m) near Bečov nad Teplou. When you hear "natural columns" or "rock columns", you most definitely know what to imagine - a basalt formation that looks like a group of columns thanks to its jointing. And it is the reason for protecting this otherwise insignigicant hill. The way to Homolka is not marked, so it is very probable you will be the only visitor there.
You will partly follow the "Šibeniční vrch" educational trail. The information panels along the trail can give you a lot of interestingt information about the rituals related to capital crime justice. Your journey starts at the Baroque town hall from 1760, with a facade with numerous Classicist features from 1898. The first information panel of the educational trail is placed here as well. Continue between the late-Baroque vicarage from 1760 and St. George´s Church built in 1763-1767. After climbing up s steep ascent (about 700 m) you will find yourself at a crossroads by the road. You can take two short detours. If you turn right without crossing the road, after about 300 m walk through an apple tree alley, you will get to a small viewing site. The historical centre of the town with the most precious architectural sights will be right beneath your feet - the Gothic castle, Renaissance palace and Baroque chateau. Go back to the crossroads. You can also cross the road and walk straigh to Šibeniční vrch, which is about 500 m from the crossroads.
If you want to skip the walk to Šibeniční vrch, continue from the crossroads up the slightly ascending road to the left. After approximately 100 m you will see a part of the summer residence of Eleonora Beaufort between the trees, built in the Alpine style in 1928. Carry on walking down the road until you reach the next building, the old gamekeeper´s lodge. You can see small stone monuments collected in the forests of Bečov here, namely a propitiatory cross, crucifixion column and an epitaph. Unfortunately, there is no other information available about these items. Now you are almost at the end of your trip. Turn right from the road at the gamekeeper´s lodge to a forest path and walk up to the first crossroads (there is a bar on the right), go straight. At the second crossroads, after about 50 metres, turn right to the forest. You will reach Homolka after approximately 100 metres. There is a well-kept seating area under the hill with an information panel. Two legends are related to this place. One of them says you are standing at a home of an evil witch who turned a wedding parade of dwarfs into stone. You can see the petrified dwarfs in the forests around Bečov in the form of bizarre rock solitaires. And we will keep the second legend to ourselves for now. You can read it yourself under Homolka. And what about the treasures mentioned in the title? Everyone who sets off for Homolka on Christmas Eve, during the midnight service in Bečov St. George´s Church (that you also passed), has a chance to get incredibly rich. Homolka opens at the moment when the church tower bells start ringing. There is a huge treasure inside. Watch out though! With the last bell stroke, Homolka will close again for a year. Homolka has one treasure for treasure hunters nearly all year round. There is a narrow, incospicuous path going around the rights side of the hill. Don´t hesitate and follow it because there is a stunning experience ready for you at the end of it. Although the peak of Homolka is not very high, it is still higher than the surrounding tree tops. A view of the deep Teplá River valley opens up. Considering that all houses are concealed by dense forests, thanks to the uneven terrain and short distance form the tree tops, you will feel like being on the waves of a green ocean (almost as on the tip of the Titanic).