CZ, Bohemian Paradise: From Hrubá Skála to Valdštejn I
Noticeable panorama of white sandy rocks and cones above green wall of mixed forests – that is a true romance in Czech Paradise. If you ever walked across this lands whether as a tourist or by a car on a road between Turnov and Jičín you had to notice two landmarks of the region. The first very interesting landmark is Castle Valdštejn, today only ruins remained. However, it creates unique atmosphere during lots of weddings regularly held there. Today our interest is focused on the other landmarks, another castle, located on a sandstone rock above Hrubá Skála town. Beautiful nature and very interesting places were an incentive to establish the Czech Bohemian microregion that is located basically within the borders of the Protected Natural Area of the same name. Hruboskalsko is a well-known nature reservation since 1935. There are several interesting buildings, castles Hlavatice lookout tower, or the Bukovina Arboretum are located within the area.
The history of the castle built in 1350 by Hynek of Valdštejn is more or less typical if compared to similar buildings from that time. The Valdštejn dynasty was later replaced by the lords of Jenštejn. The castle was plundered by Hussite armies during their rule. The Jenštejns were replaced by Zajícové of Hamburku who opposed the then ruler Jiřík of Poděbrady. It was his army that occupied the castle in 1469 as well as other Hazmburk castles.
Another of ruling dynasties was the Smiřický dynasty, a very rich and powerful dynasty. But it was already the second half of the 16th century. During that time the castle didn’t fulfill the then requirements and nobility started a renaissance renovation to make it more comfortable. After the battle at Bílá hora the castle became a possession of Albrecht of Valdštejn the rule of which had seen many rebellions in close vicinity, that together with his death, caused the fall of the Hrubá Skála dominion. The Thirty Years’ War caused another problems in the area and local dominions were plundered.
Roku 1658 vydává císař Empreror Leopold I issued a decree in 1658 that ordered a demolition of this place that was likely to became a shelter for Swedish army. Also Castle Kost was about to be demolished as well as Veliš and Hrubá Skála. Eventually, only Castle Veliš near Jičín (there are noticeable ruins of the castle from the hill of the same hill) demolished.
Among famous figures, i.e. compatriots, from the Hrubá Skála dominion was also the secretary of state of Austria-Hungary Alois Lexa von Aehrental born in 1854. During that time the castle and its vicinity was reorganized and it created a romantic building, which later was a place where many fairy tales were filmed such as Bajaja, or Kočičí princ. Jak dostat tatínka do polepšovny was filmed on nearby sandstones.
The castle became a state property from 1945 and it was rebuilt to recreation resort ROH and a hotel constructed according to Miramare fortress in Terstu. Today the castle is opened to the public and children will particularly enjoy a visit since there is also a fairy tale fun zone in fosse. They can experience there many Medieval free time activities during a composed program…
Text: Jan Chaloupka
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