Geographical characteristics of the Plzen

Plzen (the Square) is situated 1010 ft above sea level in the Plzen basin (Plzenska kotlina) which is bounded to the north by the Krkavec downs (Krkavecka pahorkatina), to the south-east by the Radyne highlands (Radynska vrchovina) and to the east by the Radec belt (Radecske pasmo). The Plzen basin is the easternmost and, at the same time, the lowest part of the West Bohemian basin.

The four largest rivers of the basin - the Mze, Radbuza, Uhlava and Uslava - meet in Plzen. The Uhlava flows from Klatovy, then into the Radbuza which originates from Stankov in the southern part of Doudlevce near the waterworks at a height of 981 ft. The Radbuza flows through Plzen and beyond the city brewery into the Mze at a height of 971 ft above sea level. The Mze flows to the city from Radcice and continues under Roosevelt Bridge. The Uslava flows from Stahlavy through Bozkov, Lobzy and Letna, then into the Mze in Doubravka near St. George's Church at a height of 965 ft above sea level.

The city as a whole is situated on three diluvial terraces of varying heights which came into existence with the drying up of the original lake.
The bed of the Plzen basin is made up of algonkian slate. Many places were penetrated by large amounts of igneous rock, e. g. high quality granite in the region of Stenovice, Borek and Cizice; spilite, which formed such peaks as Homolka near Doudlevce and Chlum near Doubravka as well as a series of others.
Another interesting example of igneous rock is silicious schist, e. g. the Radyne hill and Ostra Hurka amongst others. There is also a significant amount of permocarboniferous which is formed by sandstone and schist as, for example, near Radcice (the hunter s lodge), extending to the north and north-west of the Plzen region in the direction of Ledce, Tremosna, Horni Briza and Kaznejov. Its strata contain stone coal and kaolin.

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Milos Wimmer May 1997

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