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Decorative stones of the Czech Republic

The project aims at gethering information on stones occurring in the Czech Republic and used as decorative and dimension stone in our country, as well as abroad. The information collected includes technical properties of stones, current state of exploited deposits, and various types of their use. The database is prepared for use by geologists, construction engineers, stonemasons, specialist in repair or restoration of historical objects as well as a wider public interested in this topic.

Access to data

Database application

Entry to the database application of decorative stones. Searching decorative stones, quarries and way of use.

Map application

Presentation and searching decorative stones, quarries and way of use on map server CGS (application Interesting geosites).


The Czech Republic has a centuries-old tradition in exploitation and use of natural stone for construction and decorative purposes. At present, there is an increasing demand for quality natural material used in building construction and for restoration of historic buildings or objects. Inspired in part by similar activities abroad, the idea to create a web database on decorative and construction stone of the Czech Republic was formulated in the Czech Geological Survey in 2003.

 Skoupy quarry

Limestone quarry at Skoupý in the Sedlčany region. (Author: J. Pertoldová)

We have envisaged that the information could be shared with similar databases in Europe. We have chosen the Italian project Italithos, implemented at the University of Rome at least for 10 years, and placed on the web address www.italithos.uniroma3.it, as an example. This project includes information on decorative rocks in Italy and in selected locations worldwide.


Doorway of the “Loos-Haus” in Michaelerplatz in Vienna, originally designed by Adolf Loos for the tailor’s shop of Goldman & Salatsch, today occupied by Raiffeisenbank. Cipollino marble. (Author: B. Dudíková Schulmannová)

In the spring 2004, there was a meeting in Rome aimed at the planned European project with working name Eurolithos. Specialists from various geological institutions in European countries took part in the meeting. The main goal of the Eurolithos project is preparation of a database of decorative and construction stone including whole Europe. The project has not been implemented as yet and each of the participating institutions continues with compilation of database in the frame of their own country.

Activities and publications


The map Building and decorative stones of Prague and the Středočeský regionThe map “Building and decorative stones of Prague and the Středočeský region” was published in December. It shows the locations of deposits and quarries from which building and decorative stones have been extracted in relationship to the topography and geology of the area. Explanatory notes and illustrative photographs are included

A lecture entitled Work of outstanding artists in Prague cemeteriesIn November a lecture entitled “Work of outstanding artists in Prague cemeteries” took place at the National Technical Museum in Prague. In March, a lecture on “Natural stone in the work of famous architects during the 1st half of 20th century” took place at Masaryk University in Brno.

In May, the last excursion around the stone monuments of Prague took place, this time to the cathedral of St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert in Prague Castle. The excursion was guided by ing. V. Rybařík.


RudolfinumIn cooperation with the Czech Geological Society, two excursion to the stone monuments of Prague were organized. The Spring tour of decorative stones was devoted to buildings from the National Theatre to the Rudolfinum, and the Autumn tour went from St. Jiljí church to Jungmann Square. Both tours were led by V. Rybařík. During the Joint Congress of the Czech and Slovak Geological Society, a walk from the Rudolfinum to Emmaus was led by B. Dudíková Schulmannová.
An article on Czech stones and their uses was published in the magazine ERA21 and three articles about historic tombstones in the New Jewish Cemetery also appeared in issues of Stone magazine. All these articles were co-authored by Drahomíra Březinová and Barbora Dudíková Schulmannová.
A presentation on the Application of Decorative Stones was given at the conference “Stone in Architecture” that took place in July 2011 in Prague.

Tomb of Eduard Vojan
The were published in magazine ERA21 an article Czech stone and its use and moreover there were in Stone magazine issued three articles Valuabled tombstones in the New Jewish Cemetery. All articles were created in cooperation D. Březinová and B. Dudíková Schulmannová.

Application of decorative stones was presented at the conference Stone in Architecture.


In cooperation with the Czech Geological Society, there were two excursions in Prague stone monuments. In May, the tour took place decorative stones in the National Museum with expert commentary by D. Březinová and V. Rybařík and October excursion of the sights in the streets from the National Theatre after Rudolfinum, led by V. Rybařík.

Public lecture at the National Museum in Prague on Jan Kotera part of Prague's cemeteries (Authors: D. Březinová, B. Dudíková Schulmannová and J.Růžičková).


Two excursions focused on decorative and dimension stones used in historical buildings and monuments of Prague were held within the project. A walk around Prague Castle took place in April, and gardens of the Prague Castle were the main topic of the second walk in October, both guided by Václav Rybařík.

A lecture focused on historical tomb stones of the New Jewish Cemetery at Olšany, Prague 3, was presented in the national Museum in spring. An article summarizing this topic was published in the „Kámen“ magazine


In May, a walk through stone monuments of the Vyšehrad Hill in Prague was guided and commented by Václav Rybařík, the leading expert in decorative stones in Bohemia.

The theme of historical dimension stones in the Czech Republic was presented at the „Stone Hořice “ fair and exhibition, within the travelling exhibition held as a pilot project of the IYPE-CZ programme.


B. Schulmannová and D. Březinová organized inspection of decorative rocks in the Žižkov National Monument in Prague, accompanied by professional information presented by ing. V. Rybařík.

The Czech Geological Survey participated in a lecture series dedicated to the topic of exploitation of raw materials and inorganic natural materials, organized by the „Czech Organization for Protection of Environment“ (Český spolek pro péči o životní prostředí).

Charles Bridge and Musem of Charles Bridge inspection accompanied by professional information presented by ing. V. Rybařík.


H. Skarková and Z. Kukal took part in discussion on possible bilateral co-operation with representatives of the Munich University, Germany.

Database of decorative stones. Article in journal Kámenwritten by B. Schulmannová a H. Skarková.

Barrandienské vulkanity na pražských památkách. Article in journal Kámen written by D. Březinová,B. Schulmannová a J. Růžičková.

B. Schulmannová, H. Skarková and H. Neubertová presented a poster on the topic of decorative stones at the International Conference of the Mining Union in Brno.


The Czech Geological Survey participated in the 7th International Trade Fair MAGMA, in Prague, focused on natural stones.

B. Schulmannová and H. Skarková presented a lecture at the 2nd Conference of the Czech Geological Society in Slavonice.

B. Schulmannová in co-operation with D. Březinová and ing. J. Růžičková (National Institute for Preservation of Monuments) presented a lecture in the National Museum on carbonated palaeobasalt from the Barrandian area as a specific construction and decorative material used on some historical buldings in Prague.


The Czech Geological Survey – B. Schulmannová, H. Skarková and an external collaborator D. Březinová organized a set of lectures on decorative stone. Specialists from various geological institutions and enterprizes in the Czech Republic presented eight lectures on decorative stones.

H. Skarková wrote a critiquefor dissertation of H. Exnerova (leader R. Přikryl) from The Faculty of Science of the Charles University on the topic Electronic database of decorative stones of the Czech republic.

The Faculty of Science of the Charles University organized International Conference on Dimension Stone. The Czech Geological Survey took part in organization of the conference.

Internet database of decorative stones and Barrandianský diabas - příklad významného stavebního kamene. Articles in Zprávy o geologických výzkumech written by B. Schulmannová, D. Březinová a H. Skarková.

Structure of database was created, started to inserting data via on-line application.

Several geologists from the Czech Geological Survey (V. Štědrá, B. Schulmannová, H. Skarková) presented their contributions to the topic of decorative stones at the 32nd International Geological Congresss in Florence, Italy.

Methods used in compilation of the database

Book Precious and building stonesThe following books, published in Czech, served as important source of information: Rybařík V. (1994): „High quality building and monument stone in the Czech Republic“, Březinová D. (1996): „Stone used in important Prague buldings and objects“, Mrázek L. (1993): „Stone use in important buldings and objects in Brno“. These are the most important sources of information published in the Czech Republic. The information search also included numerous articles, journal publications, and proceedings-type publications specialized in use of stone in construction works. The current field examination of localities producing material for construction and decorative applications, collection of samples and photographic documentation, represent another source of information. As a part of activities, a collection of samples of rocks important as decorative material is being formed, accompanied by thin sections and petrographic rock descriptions.

Important help is provided by quarry owners, personell involved in quarrying operations, National Museum in Prague, Faculty of Science at the Charles University, editors of the journal „Kámen“ (=Stone) and other specialists. Compilation of data on physical-mechanical properties of stones is rather difficult. Some information is available in the files of the Klokner Institute associated with the Czech Technical University, Prague. However, as methods of examination of mechanical properties of rocks evolve through time, there is often a need for updating these informations, e.g., directly with the present quarry owners.

Structure and content of the database

According to the type of data, the database includes four main parts: information on decorative stone, information on exploited deposits, information on the types of use, and on objects and buildings, for which the material was used. This set of data represents a complete information system on igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks on the territory of the Czech Republic, used as decorative materials or dimension stone.

The database is interconnected with information system of the Czech Geological Survey via reference numbers and topic code names. An important attribute is the tendeny of stone to decay on exposure to acid rain and polluted or agressive urban atmosphere. Accordingly, specific properties of stone, which qualify for indoor application or outdoor constructions, are listed. The database is accessible via on-line application, which permits information search according to various criteria, such as commercial trade mark, petrography, physical-mechanical properties, mineralogical composition, colour, grain-size, or typical mode of use.

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Metainformation about the database of Decorative stones

Link to a metainformation entry about the Database of decorative stones of the CR

icon of contactsContacts

Czech Geological Survey
Klárov 131/3
118 00 Praha 1
phone: +420257089554
Czech Geological Survey
Klárov 131/3
118 00 Praha 1
phone: +420257089450