Raná – the cradle of Czech gliding
The bare ridge with three peaks near Louny has been a centre for gliding and flying since the 1930s. Nowadays it is especially popular among paragliding enthusiasts.
The story of flying at Raná begins in 1932, when students of the German Technical University in Prague were looking for a suitable terrain for gliding. The 457-metre-high and almost-1.5 km-long hill, which gradually rises from the plain, was perfect. In the same year, instructors and members of the Masaryk aviation league, Sokol, and other Czech and German associations began working and training at Raná.
During the second world war, the Luftwaffe trained its pilots there, and after the war, Raná became the main site of the national gliding school. In the 1970s, it became popular with hang-gliders, and later, in the 1990s, with paragliders.
The peak in the Central Bohemian Highlands also attracts animal lovers, because it is home to the largest colony of ground squirrels in the country. They are so tame that you are almost certain to see them.