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Valečov rock castle

Published: 4.2.2009
Powerful torso of most extended rock castle in Czech Republic, dominating in impressive way in west part of Bohemian Paradise, is located on sandstone rock, not far from the village of Bosen, in a distance of four kilometres from the town of Mnichovo Hradiště.

Valečov was founded in first half of 14th century by Valečov Parentage of Valečov, and name Bartos is mentioned as the first. His son (of the same name) struggled against Rotstejn Nobles in 1316, therefore he found himself in front of country court. At that time, the castle was small, castle Valečovconstructed mostly from wood. Anyway, in the course of Hussite wars, the castle was in possession of Jan Žižka friends, brothers Bernard and Bartos of Valečov. Nevertheless, they participated on some military campaigns of respected Hussite leader. In 1424, they helped Hussites, with their raid to not distant Hradiště (this place was in hands of Cenek of Wartenberg, eager for conquest). Shortly afterthat, the conquested Valdštejn castle was commited to them.

In 1439, Valečov was burnt out by Henry of Wartenberg, He took possession of the castle and consequently put in prison here their original owner Machna, widow after one of Valečov brothers. Nevertheless, Machna redeemed from prison with a fact that she left Valečov castle in favour of Wartenberg Noble. Anyway, the justice resound after couple of years, when Valečov was returned to Machna descendants. Since half of 15th century, the castle was expressively extended. Its owner, Vanek Valečovsky of Kněžmost, took, thanks to sympathy of King George of Poděbrady, important positions and functions. So, he could allow very costly construction of new palace, its torsocould be admired till now.

castle ValečovSince end of 15th century, several owners changed here, and one hundred years later, the castle was divided into two proprietors. In 1623, when the castle was confiscated to Christopher Kapoun of Svojkov, and came into hands of Albrecht of Wallenstein. During this time-period, Valečov was joined to Mnichovo Hradiště dominion. Later, the buildings served as dwelling-place for officers.

Since middle of 18th century, the castle became desert and started to fall to decay. Since that time, the occasional inhabitants became poor persons only, as they had no chance to stay in standard houses. So, Valečov rock rooms were used by poor people till the end of 20th century. Original castle was built mostly from wood, anyway, after a fire in 1439, some parts were constructed from stone. Thanks to this fact, there was preserved till now interesting and powerful rock-palace. Old palace is represented with small ruins of wallings. Nevertheless, a visit of Valečov rock castle is an experience for children as well as for adults. During sightseeing, you pass through narrow castle Valečovrocky corridors, you watch narrow and dark small rooms, and you are delighted with powerfullness of new palace. To other interesting places belongs, no doubt, Benešovka, jail with dungeon, engraved in rock.

In the environs of the castle, you can find several interesting small rooms engraved in rocks. They served as hiding-place during Hussite wars. Anyway, just in these places, there is possible to discover (according to one legend, relating to Valečov - and as well as in some other places around) devil´s footstep. How to get to Valečov castle? From the town of Mnichovo Hradiště, you follow red marked tourist trail in direction to Drábské světničky (Drábské Rooms) and continue up to Příhrazy rock town. Near to the castle, you find parking place. Within summer months, there is to be found small refreshment place. Valečov Castle is in possession of Bosen community. The village looks after not only working order of this cultural monument, but it is also an organizer of cultural festival (Valečov Summer), taken place always durin summer season in front of the castle.


Text: Denisa Arvajová

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Prazak, č.2, č.3, č.4

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