The landscape relief and its composition
The initial shape of the Prague plateau is the Tertiary peneplane with rather small differences in elevations. Pre-Palaeozoic deposits are rare on the surface; the only place of occurrence in the region is the Háj Hill. During the Underground construction, evidence of rich sea life during the early Palaeozoic was found between the neighbouring Spořilov and Kačerov. There were fossils from Lower Ordovician period, mainly a tail shield of the largest Czech Trilobite.
The region surface is mainly sandy and clay deposits. Before the housing development construction of the Jiní Město started, those were covered by a layer of topsoil. Underneath the topsoil there is mostly clay. The rocky foundation is the top Proterozoic of the těchovice group. It is a dusty, sandy to siliceous slate with crumbs and shale.
The terrain slowly changes into a slow, low ridge, starting from the banks of the Botič Creek to the west to the Kunratice Wood where it is defined by the Kunratice Creek. The Háj Hill next to the Opatov Hotel is 317 metres high. The Vyí Chodová Hill is 319 metres. It lies southwest of the D1 motorway in the area of Jiní Město II. However, today the eye is drawn rather to the artificial hill with a pavilion. Under the edge of the Milíčovský Wood there is also a large landfill of dugout material from the construction of the Underground line C. This is today called the Milíčovský Hill. It provides nice greenery with growing vegetation inviting to leisure, sports and walks.
The watercourses in the region are already bound by concrete and in many places are hidden underground: Chodovský Creek passing the Chodovská Fort on the east, and Hájský Creek starting in the north part of the original Háje area.
The backbone of the small waterways in the region is the Botič Creek, although it touches the area of Prague 11 only symbolically. It springs close to Kříkový Újezdec. It goes through the Průhonice Park from Kocanda and enters the Prague area in Újezd, flowing through Křeslice, Petrovice, Hostivař, and other metropolitan districts. It ends under the Vyehrad Castle where it enters Vltava River. The length of the Botič Creek is 33.5 km and it creates seven ponds on its way. The catchment area covers 134.8 square kilometres and the average flow rate at the issue is 0.44 cubic metres. A total of 21 kilometres of the length lie in the area of Prague municipality.
The appearance of Botič close to Jiní Město was dramatically changed by the Hostivař dam in the neighbouring cadastral area. The basis of the Hostivař dam built in the valley in 1959-1963 is an embankment dam 16 metres high and 110 metres long in the crown. The lake, which was filled in 1964, covers 53 ha. The maximum depth of the lake is 12 metres, the length of Botičs backwater is 2.6 km. The permanent volume of retained water is 1.34 million cubic metres; maximum retention is over 2 million cubic metres of water.
Just below the southern border of Jiní Město is the small Milíčovský Creek. Next to Milíčovský Dvůr, in the Újezd cadastral area, there is a small system of ponds. From west to east there are ponds called Nový or Milíčovský, Kančík, Homolka, and Vrah. The largest one is the Milíčovský pond (3.24 ha) with the cleanest water and nicest banks used for leisure activities. To the east of the pond with a very unpoetic name Vrah (Murderer) there is a recent sedimentation tank catching dirt from rainwater drains which flows into the Milíčovský Creek. It was named átek or áteček (Scarf) by local patriots.
As the area surface rises above 250 metres above sea level, the inhabitants of Prague 11 can mostly live out of reach of inversions, which are common in the lower areas of the Prague agglomeration. Thanks to the prevailing west winds with an average speed of 3.3 m/s, the area is well ventilated. Ground inversions which occur under unfavourable weather conditions up to 25 metres above the terrain are very rare, mostly at night and early mornings. With its temperate warm climate this region is suitable for habitation.
From Modřany to Kunratice to Jiní Město there is a border between two areas of geographic spread of Czech Republics vegetation. To the north there is the area of xerothermic vegetation and flora; to the south there is the area of deciduous trees of the temperate zone and vegetation requiring medium humidity of soil and air in the altitude of 300-350 metres.
To the north the country is mostly forest-free and intensely cultivated. There are remains of steppes with many plants of continental and Mediterranean origin. Small woods consist mainly of oak. In the area of Prague 11 the vegetation typical for this area fades. On the slate slopes of the Kunratický Wood and the neighbouring Michelský Wood which create a green area of 300 ha there is stunted oak wood with xerothemric plants such as cornel, dittany, medick and sealwort.
Permanent deforestation of the south area occurred in the Middle Ages. There are typical hornbeam and linden woods partially preserved in the Kunratický and Milíčovský Woods, pine and fir woods, and beech woods in higher altitudes. There are typical pond societies and different types of meadows. Hornbeam and linden woods are rich in variety and include many xerothermic plants. In the Kunratický and Milíčovský Woods there are also some cryophilic plants. There are spruce monocultures, pines and to smaller extent firs and some broadleaved trees. In Milíčovský Wood with area of 76 ha there are alders with sedge around the springs. The pond societies and wet meadows are found in the cadastral areas of Újezd, Hrnčíře and eberov.
However, most of the area of Prague 11 has been deprived of its original vegetation in the past centuries due to intensive agricultural cultivation. Today, we can find only secondary spruce, larch, pine and acacia, and rarely ash and oaks around creeks and in areas that are underdeveloped and unused.
In the areas between the buildings of the housing development of Jiní Město there is larger percentage of artificially planted greenery from previous years and the present. To the northeast from Háje in the direction of the Hostivař Dam a nice recreational wood has been growing in 1963.
Despite the urban character of the region we cannot miss the fauna in the surrounding area. There is interesting wildlife in the pond system around Kunratice, eberov, Hrnčíře and Milíčov. The generic composition of fish is almost completely artificial but the variety of birds and mammals around the ponds is more or less natural. Of waterfowl, there are wild ducks and also coots, tufted duck, common moorhen and also stork and migrating swans. In some places muskrats live in the dams. There are amphibians, many types of frog including tree frog and orange speckled toad, slowworm and ring snake. There is rich and interesting invertebrate fauna, especially in insects. In the woods there are common vertebrate game such as roe deer, hare, pheasant and partridge, and also badger and fox. Moufflon has been introduced to the area. There are birds of prey such as buzzard, kestrel, some types of owls, for example tawny owl and little owl. There is black woodpecker, spotted woodpecker and green woodpecker. The broadleaved woods are also suitable for many interesting insects.
In the neighbourhood of Prague 11 and surrounding districts
Hrnčířsko eberovské ponds and meadows (cadastral area of Hrnčíře and eberov), area of c/a 15 ha.
A system of three ponds with riparian societies, wet meadows, habitats of miry plants, waterfowl roost place.
Milíčovské ponds and wood (cadastral area of Újezd), area of c/a 80 ha.
The geological foundation of the proterozoic slate is covered by Quaternary sediments; the natural woods include lindens, hornbeam, alders; a system of ponds with riparian reed growths and wet meadows. The whole region of Jiní Město is dewatered by Vltava. Due to impervious subsoil, the region which slopes one way to the north and the other to the south has always had the groundwater level rather close to the surface. A similar situation occurs in the neighbouring cadastral areas of eberov and Újezd. Although replenishment of groundwater depends solely on precipitation, the area became the source and infiltration area of several small river sources. However, the groundwater level in Jiní Město was affected by the urban development. The area of Prague 11 is part of the Prague plateau. To the southwest, quite close to the region next to Hořovická Groove at the confluence of the Vltava and Berounka rivers are the beginnings of the Brdy Uplands. To the southeast the Prague plateau changes after 10 kilometres into the Central Bohemia Uplands and then to the Beneov Uplands.
Compiled from literature by Jiří Bartoň