It is the region of romantic trips and rock corners.
This remarkable region is located between Jièín, Sobotka, Mladá Boleslav, Mnichovo Hraditì, Kopanina, elezný Brod, Semily and Lomnice nad Popelkou. In the east the region passes into the Podkrkonoí area, in the north it is surrounded by the mountain ranges of Jizerské hory and Krkonoe.
Characteristics of the region
Already in around 1870 the Czech spa guest of Sedmihorky described Èeský ráj as one of the most remarkable corners of Bohemia. The monumental sandstone "rock town" Prachovské skály is located nearly in the outskirts of the town Jièín., the sandstone rock plateau with the basalt hill called Muský, Drábské svìtnièky and romantic small rock castles rise near Mnichovo Hraditì. In the area of Hrubá Skála there are, besides another "rock town", several castles and chateaux, admired by poets, such as K.H.Mácha. Many artists got liking for the Maloskalsko region (the region around Malá Skála) with its bizarre rock formations and castle ruins above the Jizera River.
High-speed roads: Praha - Mladá Boleslav - Turnov. Main road: Mladá Boleslav - Jièín, Mnichovo Hraditì - Jièín, Turnov - Semily - Jièín. Regional railways: Turnov - Jièín, Mladá Boleslav - Turnov, Mladá Boleslav - Sobotka - Libuò.
HRUBÝ ROHOZEC - chateau, national cultural heritage
The chateau is located on an argillite rock that towers above the River Jizera valley. The original early Gotic castle from the 13th century, which used to watch over the trade route, was rebuilt several times - in late Gothic, Renaissance, and Empire styles. The original interior of part of the chateau has been preserved in several rooms: the libary, the Neo-Gothic dining hall, and the reception room. A display in the other parts of the chateau introduces the development of the culture of living and clothing from Renaissance to Czech Art Nouveau. The natural landscape park with its statues and its stonemason's elements from the 19th century put the finishing touches to the chateau's surroundings.
VALDTEJN - castle
The Family castle of Valdtejn was founded in the middle of 13th century on three sandstone block of different height in the rock town of Hrubá Skála ("Rough Rock"). For some time it became a Hussite fort and a den of thieves. It was then divided into an interesting double-castle during the 15th century, and at the end of the 16th century the castle burned down. Albrecht of Valdtejn acquired the Castle after the uprising of the estates. Members of this noble family built a baroque place of pilgrimage in the front part of the castle with the Chapel of St. Jan of Nepomuk, and constructed the unique sculptural decoration of the bridges. Its present look stems from romantic redevelopment on the 19th century during Aehrenthals' times. Another object of interest is a portraint of what is presumed to be Karel Hynek Macha in the alcove chapel in the first castle-courtyard. Apart from tours of the extensive castle area and the permanent displays on offer, visitors to the castle can also enjoy seasonal exhibitions or concerts, and watch fencing or the training of birds of prey all season. Visitors can also enjoy the traditional Valdtejn fair in mid-May, with its rich cultural programme.
TROSKY - castle ruins
The original castle was built on two volcanic tops by Èenìk of Vartenberk in the 14th century. The castle ruins are a charakteristic dominant feature of the region and one of the symbols of the Bohemian Paradise. The remains of two towers watch over the surrounding countryside. These are known as "the Old Hage" (Baba) and "the Virgin" (Panna). The viewpoints on both towers are open to the public. We can also enjoy a number of events, such as period fairs or fencing.
SYCHROV - chateau, national cultural heritage
The Chateau of Sychrov is gem of the Bohemian Paradise and among the most popular historical sites in the Czech Republic. Albrech of Valdtejn acquired the original landed estate's court after the Battle of Bílá Hora (the White Hill). In 1669, the Lamotts of Frintropp became the owners of the estate and built a baroque castle with a tower and a chapel there in the course of 1690 - 1693. From 1820 onwards the chateau belonged to the prominent Frech noble family the Rohans. The whole castle was extended and rebuilt in the romantic Gothic style during the second half of the 19th century. There is also a large Englich park with exotic trees. There are several tours around the sumptuous interiors of the chateau. The collection of Central Europaen French portrait paintings in the Rohan Gallery is particularly worth visiting. Concerts, theatre performance, night tours, fencing, and compound programmes (falconry shows, period fairs and feasts) are also held on the chateau premises. Several films and fairytales have been shot on the chateau grounds. The chateau is open all-year-round.
HRUBÁ SKÁLA - chateau
The original 14th century castle is situated on massive sandstone rocks. It was adapted into a comfortable aristocratic mansion in the second half of the 16th century, and was rebuilt in a Gothic style during the 19th century. A connecting bridge with precious baroque statues leads over the rock cleft to the chateau. A number of tales and legends are connected with the chateau. There is a hotel and restaurant on the chateau premises. However, the chateau courtyard is still open to the public, and it is possible to climb the spiral staircase to the top of the tower and enjoy the magnificent view of the whole rock town and of Trosky Castle.
HUMPRECHT - chateau
Besed on the project of the famous Italian architect C.Lurago, Jan Humprecht Èernín of Chudecnice had this baroque hunting lodge built during 1667 - 1672 on the seite of an original fortress. It was built as an imitation of the Galas Tower in Istambul on an elliptic plot. The Èernín oval hall, whitch is 16 metres high and witch is adorned with beautiful murals, is remarkable for its acoustics - we can experience a multiple echo here. It is also possible to enjoy an enchanting view of the town of Sobotka and its vast surroundings from the wooden gallery around the middle part od the chateau. A wide range of interesing, events are organised on the chateau premises during the season, the concerts in cernin Hall being particularly worthy of note.
KOST - castle
Kost Castle (Bone) is in excellent condition and is one of the biggest and most beautuful castles in the Czech Republic. It has justly become a site much sought after by film crews. Petr of Vartenberk founded the castle during the 14th century on a separated sandstone rock on a spot located among three marshy valleys and ponds. The strongest part of the castle is the Main "White" Tower, which has an irregular trapezoidal base and therefore, from a certain point, we can see all four of its corners at once. Most of the castle premises are open to the public, including the very attractive black kitchten with its wide range of equipment.
Frýdtejn is a medieval castle ruin from the 14th century that was besieged by the Hussites in vain. The huge cylindrical tower, which rises above the Vranov ridge, was used as the home of witches in a number of film fairy-tales.
The 14th century castle, rebuilt and extended in the 16th century, is one of our most beautiful rock castles. It is possible to climb up the narrow staircase in the rock to the tower of the castle palace and look out over the whole premises and its surroundings.
Nowadays this is only the romantic debris of a mid-13th century rock castle Even today we can crawl through the rock rooms carved directly into the rock on several storeys, one above the other.
A picturesque castle ruin from the 14th century that was originally founded by the noblemen of Lemberk on three sandstone rocks.
VRANOV - Pantheon
There was already a castle on the narrow, steep, rock ridge here during the 15th century. The castle was renovated into a romantic Pantheon at the beginnig of the 19th century, and a NeoGothic chapel was built here too. The chapel used to serve as a hunting lodge. It is possible to reach the highest rock along the paths, stairs, and footbridges. This rock towers more than 130 meters above the level of the Jizera River.
Dlaskùv statek, a log farm dates from the 18th century. An example of local folk architecture. Subsidiary of Turnov museum and perhaps a key stone of future open-air museum.
The Kopic estate (formerly the Jiro estate) - Kopicùv statek
The timbered estate of Jizera region type with a one-storied house and built-on gallery from the early 19th century. In the valley beneath the estate there are relief pictures showing scenes from the Czech history which were cut in the sandstone walls by the owner of the estate V. Kopic in the middle of the 20th century.
Turned-up Bells - Obrácené zvony
Turned-up Bells, - in Rovensko pod Troskami, installed in a wooden bell-tower in the 17th century. The bells are brought into movement by pedaling.
When you hear the Bohemian Paradise you can picture huge sandstone towers and rock blocks, creating groups with an apt name - rock towns. Their origin goes back to the geological past of our planet, to the period of 70 to 100 million years ago when the hard bed of the North Bohemian formation was flooded by subtropical sea. The sediments, deposited for million years on its bottom, gave rise to a chalk plateau which was broken up by tectonic movements in the Tertiary period. Climatic conditions and erosion gradually modelled rock towns to their present appearance. In 1955 this area was declared the Protected landscape Area Bohemian Paradise.
One of the most well-known rock towns is without any doubts the Hrubá Skála Rock Town which is characterized by impressive towera reaching the height of up to 55m and by steep canyons leading from rock edges to deep romantic valleys. If you wander through the Hrubá Skála region, you can, walking from a viewpoint to a viewpoint, look into the very heart of the rock town, or you can follow the marked trails and stroll in the very proximity of giant rocks whitch attact climbers so much. The most frequently visited places include Mariánská vyhlídka (Mary's Viewpoint), the viewpoint U Lvíèka (At the Lion), and Janova vyhlídka (John's viewpoint). People gave names to individual rock groups and formations and there are plenty of tales and stories connected with them. You can pass Èertova ruka (Devil's Hand), Kapelník (Conductor), Maják (Lighthouse), Sahara, Draèí skály (Drogon's Rocks) and squeeze through the 65 meters long Myí díra (Mouse Hole)... Another remarkable spot is the place where you can see a group of rocks whitch seem to grow from the surface of the Vìický pond. The Hrubá Skála region has turned into the most frequently visited place of the whole Bohemian Paradise, into a magnet which attracts people to return there again and again.
Klokoèské a Betlémské skály (Rocks)
You can enter the areo of Klokoèské Rocks, which are smoothly connected with Betlémské Rocks, on a trail passing the romantic Rottejn castle, or through Klokoèské Passages. Massive rock blocks with only a few separated towers show the manner of rock depositing on the bottom of the chalk sea. What is noticeable from the geological point of view is concentration of almost all geomorphologic shapes known in sandstones into the area of approximately 3 square kilometres. The local pseudo-carst cave Postojná gave shelter to the first hunters in the upper Jizera region.
The whole area is dominated by the mysterious kozákov hill whitch is also the dividing point between the Bohemia Paradise and the foothills of the Krkonoe (Giant Mountains). On top of the hill there is a lookout tower anabling a panaramic view reaching from the Giant Mountains through Bohemian Paradise to the Jetìd ridge and the Jizerské Mountains.
The deeply cut Kzákovská Drábovna and Mìsíní údolí (Moon Valley) are lined on both sides by sandstone outcrops with typical tectonic ribs. At the found their first shelter in "Babí" and "Kudrnáèova pec" (Kudrnáè's Oven) as early as the prehitoric times. You should not miss a visit to the "Radostná studánka" (Joyful Fountain), "Votrubcùv lom" (Votrubec Quarry) and an exhibition of precious stones.
Pøíhrazské skály a Drábské svìtnièky
To the south-west lies one of the favourite areas called Drábské svìtnièky. Together with Pøíhrazské Rocks they belong to the ehrovice tectonic formation, from which rises the basalt hilltop of Muský. You can stroll trough rocks with many ravines and chimneys, separating individual rock blocks. Solitary towers are not so frequent here - the well-known include "Koèka" (Cat), "Bohatýr" (Warrior) or "Minaret". The rock of a unique shape is without any doubt "Kobyla" (Mare), climbers' favourite rock. A smaller massive called "Sokolka" or a rock of the mesa shape "Køinecká skála" (Køinecká Rock) are also worth seeing. The avlový les (Sabre Forest) well exemplifies the deformation of the forest which followed a landslide. The lovers of history will enjoy the visit to the ruins of the Valeèov castle and to the nearby town of Mnichovo Hraditì with a Baroque mansion.
The pearl of the Bohemian Paradise is Malá Skála region. The noticeable Vranovský høeben (Vranovský ridge) and Suché skály (Dry Rocky) are the remnants of a gigantic formation which was lifted by the Alpine-Carpathian folding and put into a vertical position. The narrow rock massive on the right bank of Jizera was used in the Middle Ages as the basis of defence castles Vranov a Frýdtejn. The viewpoint above the Jizera gives an unforgettable panoramic view of the meander of the Jizera in places where water penetrated the craggy barrier. Above the Záborèí hamlet, there is another group of rocks, this time a smaller one, with remnants of a rock fortified settlement, called Malá Skála Drábovna.
Another unforgettable view is that of the rugged range of Dry Rocks (known as the "Bohemian Dolomiti") on the opposite side of the river, where plenty of rock-climbers frequently go. The Rocks at Besedice with the rock maze Kalich (Chalice) and Chlévitì offer several attractive views of the whole Malá Skála valley. The Besedice Rocks and the Rocks at Sokol with many caves, passages and ravines, frequently formed by fallen rock blocks, used to be the hiding place of the Czech Brethren in the times of religious persecution. One such secret place of prayers is on a marked tourist trail. Near the village of Rakousy the whole area turns into lime sandstones with plenty of cleavage caves and fossil deposits. The ruins of the medieval Zbirohy castle are also worth visiting.