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CZ, Bohemian Paradise: Turnov and Nature to the Southwest – VIDEO

Published: 18.7.2017
Bohamian Paradise is very popular. People like to return here. This area is situated about 80 kilometers northeast of Prague and is protected nature area (CHKO) established in 1955. It is the very first protected nature area in the former Czechoslovakia. CHKO Bohemian Paradise was founded because of unique rocky towns so they would be preserved for the future generations. Apart from rocky towns, there is peace and quiet, amazing lakes, and many historic landmarks waiting for your visit.

You must have seen a movie which takes place in this amazing landscape or at some local castle or chateau. Bohemian Paradise featured in the How to reform the daddy, Jara Cimrman lying, sleeping, or in the fairy tales like Gie the Devil His Due, Arabela, How Princesses Are Awoken etc. The region is popular among film makers. Bohemian Paradise consists of three areas, the two of which surround the town of Turnov. Some of region's border villages and towns are Sobotka, Jicin, Ujez pod Troskami, Kozakov, Frydstejn, Jenisovice, Turnov, Vsen and Knezmost. There are numerous tourist routes going in all directions. The marked trails walk you through the most interesting places.

The Birth of the Virgin Mary church, Turnov

Turnov makes the heart of Bohemian Paradisa. The town literally is part of this amazing nature (as if Bohemian Paradise pervaded the town. The town is a great starting point for your trips. Be sure, however, to make a walk there as well. A main square is the best place to start in an unknown town. The main square of Trutnov features a beautiful fountain, St Francis of Assisi, the town hall etc. The city became famous mostly for its jewelry and stone-cuttery. I recommend you to visit Granat Gallery situated right on the square. In Skala street nearby, there is the Bohemian Paradise Museum. It holds a large collection of minerals and also features the largest painting by Mikolas Ales the Slaughter of the Saxons below Hruba Rock. To get more of culture here, go to Strelnice Center for Culture, or enjoy some sports and swimming in Maskova Zahrada compound. Should you be imparient to see some castles or chateaux already, visit Hruby Rohozec  completing the vista of Turnov in the northward direction. The four-winged chateau of long history offers  tours through it chambers or medieval cellar. If you, however, intend to spend time only in the adjacent Englishs-style park you won't regret it. There is an amazing scenic platform made of processed sandstone blocks. From here, you can see the towers of Turnov, and forests surrounding  the Jizera River.

Hrubý Rohozec chateau

Maskova Zahrada sporting grounds, Turnov   Strelnice Center for Culture, Turnov

Our first move in Bohemian Paradise, is headed southwest. Left to the freeway direction Prague,  there is clearly visible rocky ridge of the Prihrazske Rocks. Here, you can find Drabske Svetnicky, a very interesting place. In case you have a GPS, put there Dneboh village. There, you will quickly spot a free of charge parking lot. After about a 15 minute hike uphill, you reach a wooden entrance gate to the kingdom of worked rock towers. The walk is for free. You will still wonder who could have work these sandstone towers. The grouping of seven sandstone towers splitted by deep gorges was once a location of a castle. About 30 rooms carved into the stone have been preserved. No wonder somebody built a castle here. The vista is spectacular.

Drábské světničky   dálnice pod Drábskými světničkami

Once you are in Dneboh, go further on through Zasadka. On your left, there is part of the ruin of castle Valecov peaking from the forest. Once it belonged to the personal friends of Jan Zizka. In the close vicinity there are many cave dwellings. Between these cave dwellings (to go there is free of charge) there runs Prihrazskymi skalami nature trail.

Valečov   valečovské skalní byty

Castle Kost is one of the most well-known structures within the area of Bohemian Paradise. The castle was built atop a rock where two rock valley meet (Prokopske Valley and Plakanek valley). The castle tower is of trapezoid shape (a cannon ball slipped on its walls). Inside, there is exhbition featuring the possessions of the House Kinsky, Renaissance black kitchen, historic weapons etc.

údolí Plakánek   hrad Kost

Next Tuesday we tell you more on what you shouldn't miss in the southwest area of the CHKO Bohemian Paradise.

GPS: 50°35'10.3"N 15°09'32.9"E


Text and photo: Martina Brožková

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