Prachovské skály (rocks)Prachovské skály (rocks)

The Prachovské Skály nature preserve is one of the most popular regions in the Czech Republic. It is one of the oldest nature preserves in the country. 

Bozkovské Dolomite CavesBozkovské Dolomite Caves

The dolomite caves with the largest underground lake in Bohemia.


The Hruboskalsko is one of the best-known rock formations. It is characterised by impressive towers reaching up to 55 m and also by steep canyons. 


History of region

The Bohemian Paradise is a popular place and that has long been the case.The oldest evidence of human settlement dates from the oldest Stone Age. It is estimated that about 50,000 years ago, the fire of Neanderthal hunters burned in the caves at the modern Bělá-Rozumov. The region has been settled since the oldest Stone Age (approx. 10,000 BC). In the 5th century BC, the first agriculturalists "farmed" in the area and before long on the slopes of Kozákov, people acquired their own jasper for the production of various tools.At the end of the 2nd century BCE, people were building ash fields for a fortified walled town and cleverly took advantage of - what else - the rocky terrain. Inconspicuous traces can be discovered in places on Mužský hill and nearby on Klamorna, on Poráň nad Plakánkem at Kost, in the Hruboskalské rock formation Čertova ruka (Devil's Hand), in Prachovské skály and elsewhere. Before the beginning of the modern era, Celts and Germans competed here, later to be replaced by Slavs in the 6th century. Still today we find traces of original fortified sites, the largest in nearby Češov (Češovské valy), near Trosky at the village of Semín and elsewhere, for example in the vicinity of Mužský (Hrada), at Chlum near Mladá Boleslav and in Prachov Rocks. Later the territory became part of the Prague principality and the Slav fortified sites were abandoned.

Agricultural colonisation began and various great feudal units formed, became castles and grew into cities.The existence of the town of Turnov has been dated to the year 1272, the cities of Jičín, Mnichovo Hradiště and several smaller market towns - Rovensko, Sobotka, Kněžmost and others after the year 1300.

In the 15th century, the contemporary district was affected by the ideas of the Hussite movement and as early as in 1420, the monastery Hradiště nad Jizerou came under its sway and a few years later Žižka celebrated his success over Gothard at Hořice and at Turnovsko. The 16th century brought the cities a mild economic increase, but later the region suffered setbacks both in the Thirty Years' War as well as in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Memorials to the Dead from 1866 have been established from Mnichovo Hradiště and Turnov through Jičín to the site of the final colossal battle at Chlum at Sadová.

In the intersection of the Bohemian Paradise and the past, the name Albrecht of Valdštejn appears very often. This imperial military leader was given possession of the Jičín estate after the Battle of the White Mountain and gradually developed the Frýdlant duchy, which extended from Frýdlant through Náchod to Jičín and Nový Bydžov. Jičín was selected as the capital city and a costly rebuilding of the city was begun. Grandiose construction began in the city as well as for the 100,000-man army he commanded, which levied great burdens on the vassals, but under his power the region was well protected against enemies. Jičín became a true residence and most likely would have become a university town. During the rule of Albrecht Václav Eusebius of Valdštejn, a chateau and the suburb Nové Město were built, the new monastery in Valdice founded, and work begun on composing the landscape in the vicinity of the city to establish a large park with a loggia, connected with Jičín by a broad linden avenue.Valdštejn's boom ended with his violent death in Cheb in 1634 and subsequently his duchy was pillaged by Swedes and imperial armies. This period is long gone, but we shall continue to see the name of the ambitious Albrecht of Valdštejn in the Bohemian Paradise.

Created 29.4.2004 15:41:55 - updated 13.7.2009 11:33:44 | read 12187x | Ing. Jiří Lukeš
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