The Forest River Dam – or in Czech: Les Království Dam – is one of the most remarkable structures in the Czech Republic. The dam is constructed like a fairytale castle with turrets and stone walls, as if it was built for a Disney theme park. This hidden gem in Czechia isn’t on the tourist radar yet, so it isn’t frequently visited. But if you’re in the area, you definitely should make a stop at this magical place.
Where is the Forest River Dam located?
The dam is located in the Labe River near the town of Dvůr Králové nad Labem. There is not much to do in the town itself, so it’s not worth staying here for the night. But you can visit the Forest River Dam easily when staying in the Giant Mountains of at the nature reserve at Adršpach.
We visited the dam itself when staying in the Giant Mountains. We combined it with a visit to the Hospital Kuks and the castle ruins Břecštejn. The three attractions are within driving distance of each other. If you want to learn more about this area, read our blog about the best things to do in the Giant Mountains in the summer.
About the Forest River Dam
The dam was built about 100 years ago to control the flow of the river and generate power. The immediate cause for its construction was the flooding of the Labe River in 1888, 1890 and 1897. The dam was built between 1910 and 1919, creating a large water reservoir. At that time, it was the largest reservoir in the whole of the Czech Republic. The dam was listed as National Technical Heritage in 1964 and Cultural Heritage in 2010.
We’re not sure why the design was all Disney-style and it remains a mystery to us. But the result of this choice is beautiful and a special place to visit. The dam has gates with turrets on both sides. There are also other fairytale-like buildings on both sides. All of them have bright red roof tiles, shining so bright they seem fake. We’re not quite sure what the small tower on one side of the dam is, but the building on the other side is full-on castle style. At the time of our visit it was being used as an exhibition space. There are also toilets next to the building that you can use freely.
You can easily find the Forest River Dam when entering its name in your navigation. When you drive towards the dam, you will see prohibition signs and it seems as if you’re not allowed to drive further. But if you look a little closer (than we did ourselves), you’ll see that this only applies to heavy vehicles and that those are not allowed to drive over the dam. Normal passenger cars can drive over the dam (and heavy vehicles can also reach the dam, but they’ll have to stop there).
There are parking spaces on both sides of the dam. You can also walk in the area, though we didn’t do this because of the summer temperatures.