Pálava Protected Landscape Area

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Pálava
Palava.od.SZ.JPG
Pálava from the northwest
LocationBřeclav, South Moravian, Czech Republic
Area83 km2 (32 sq mi)
Established1976-03-19
OperatorSpráva CHKO Pálava
Websitewww.palava.ochranaprirody.cz

The Pálava Protected Landscape Area (Czech: Chráněná krajinná oblast Pálava, abbreviated CHKO Pálava) is a protected landscape area and a UNESCO biosphere reserve located in Moravia in the Czech Republic, on the border with Austria. The highest point is Děvín with its 549 m a.s.l. This unique area was originally recognized by UNESCO in 1986 and expanded in 2003 to include another UNESCO site, the Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape. CHKO Pálava is dominated by the limestone Pálava Hills (part of the outer Western Carpathians), and contains a significant proportion of natural or little affected steppe ecosystems that include meadow steppe, forest steppe, and thermophilic oak forest. In the floodplain of the river Thaya, forests alternate with meadows and wetland habitat that also include halophytic vegetation. The remaining part of CHKO Pálava is used agriculturally, with many sustainably farmed vineyards that are a part of the wine subregion Mikulovská. CHKO Pálava contains well-preserved monuments of historical significance, such as the Paleolithic site in Dolní Věstonice where the Venus of Dolní Věstonice, a ceramic Venus figurine dating to 29,000–25,000 BCE, was discovered. Mikulov, a town founded in the Middle Ages, is located in the southernmost part of CHKO Pálava, and contains buildings of historical and architectural significance, such as Mikulov Castle.