Great America Quarry

Nicknamed the Czech Grand Canyon, it has provided backdrops for many Czech and foreign films and can evoke the atmosphere of a labour camp for Czechoslovak political prisoners from the last century. All of this is the Great America limestone quarry.

This is probably the most famous flooded limestone quarry in the Czech Republic and it’s located near the village of Mořina, just four kilometres from the majestic Karlštejn Castle. Due to its size, it’s considered the largest of the group of local quarries, as it is 800 metres long, 200 metres wide and approximately 100 metres deep.

Mining at the Great America Quarry developed along with industry after World War I and was only stopped in 1963 when a massive wall collapsed. At that time, despite the strict ban, this place attracted people to explore the long gorges and swim in the clear blue water. However, the ban is still in place and is justified by the many fatalities, the place really wasn’t safe and still isn’t safe.

Currently, the quarry is surrounded by a steel rope, but there are viewing platforms for visitors, and it’s also possible to take a walk around the quarry and enjoy the impressive views of the azure blue water.

Other quarries in the area also refer to the American continent by their names. The Mexico Quarry is known as the Czech Mauthausen, as at least 1,400 Czechoslovak political prisoners were put to work here in the 1950s. Their memory is commemorated by a monument on the North-eastern edge of the quarry.

The Little America quarry is now flooded with clear blue water, up to the 4th floor of the original five mining floors; the lake is called Rešenské. The smallest quarry is the Canada Quarry, which is still used for technical purposes. All the quarries are connected by a system of underground tunnels and passages, which are not accessible.