In ear­ly sum­mer a strong fragran­ce of gar­lic fills the air in Munkäng­ar­na, as swat­hes of wild gar­lic, often mista­ken for lily of the val­ley, blossom in the meadows.

A cave in the park known as Mörkeklevs­grot­ta con­ce­als a fresh spring that sup­pli­es clear, cold water to quench your thirst at most times of the year. The name Munkäng­ar­na (Monks’ Mea­dows) pro­bably deri­ves from the peri­od befo­re the 15th cen­tu­ry, when Råbäck belong­ed to Vadste­na Abbey. Nowa­days the mea­dows have deve­lo­ped into groves of bro­ad­le­af trees.

In 1923, a sec­tion of the limesto­ne cleft was decla­red a natu­re con­ser­va­tion site, and in 1972 the who­le of Munkäng­ar­na was made into a natu­re reser­ve. The ground­wa­ter sup­p­ly to the mea­dows has been modi­fi­ed and in the long term this unfor­tu­na­tely means that it will become dri­er and the vege­ta­tion will change. The flo­ra of Munkäng­ar­na is very diver­se as a result of nut­ri­ents from the under­ly­ing alum sha­le. Even on the ligh­test sum­mer nights it is total­ly dark bene­ath the lar­ge tre­es in Munkäng­ar­na and you can barely see a hand in front of your face. The site is popu­lar with tou­rists, as well as local peop­le, and the­re are few pla­ces that rival its sce­nic beau­ty. What makes this area so spe­ci­al is that it is not only delight­ful in sum­mer, but also in spring and espe­ci­al­ly in autumn, when the wit­he­ring lea­ves trans­form into a riot of colours. It is qui­te simply a para­di­se for natu­re lovers and photographers.

Hit­ta Hit

Munkäng­ar­na is a natu­re reser­ve.