History of the castle

hrad zdola

Valdštejn, considered to be the oldest castle in the Bohemian Paradise, was established approximately around 1260 by Jaroslav of Hruštice from the Markvartic family who were the ancestors of the lords of Valdštejn. The Valdštejn family owned the castle until about 1380 and the following owners, the lords of Vartenberk, until the break-out of the Hussite wars.

, an image opens in a new window Conquering the castle by the Hussites, knights-robbers and frequent changes of owners in the 15th century, these were the reasons for the division of the originally promontory-type castle into two castles. In the rear part, there was a typical rock-castle with a complicated entrance from below to the top of the rock platform.

In the 15th century, Kateřina of Strážnice and Štítary, the mistress of Hynek, who was the son of the King Jiří of Poděbrady, was the last resident in the castle. Valdštejn was abandoned by its owners.

, an image opens in a new window Albrecht of Valdštejn, the generalissimo of the Thirty Years War, was not born here, even though he owned the castle later on. When going on the sight-seeing tour of the castle, you will however find many reminiscences of this interesting personality of European history. The burnt-down and heavily damaged castle was brought back to flourishing again by the Valdštejn family, who owned it as the successors of Albrecht of Valdštejn for further 200 years. In the 18th century they built here a unique pilgrimage place with extraordinary atmosphere in the old ruins of the family estate, surrounded by rocks and forests.

, an image opens in a new window Their efforts were continued by the new owners, the Lexa of Aehrenthal family, in the first half of the 19th century. They created a network of tourist trails, constructed look-out points and the spa of Sedmihorky. They made the Valdštejn castle accessible as one of the first tourist points of interest and their romantic alterations were the final touch, bringing back the atmosphere of ancient times.

, an image opens in a new window Tourists, visiting our castle, often compare the romantic interconnection of the two castles with a similar modification of Bastei of the Rathen castle in Saxon Switzerland. The old palace of the lords of Valdštejn was reconstructed from scratch.

At present, the Valdštejn castle is the property of the town of Turnov which takes very good care of it. The castle is visited by more than 70 000 visitors a year.

The Valdštejn castle offers many interesting things to its visitors. Variety is the main feature of the castle, being created by centuries. Bizarre rocks onto which the castle was built, silent respect for the landscape and breathtaking views only intensify the impression.

The visit to the castle is often complemented with a walk in the surrounding Hrubá Skála Rock Town. The Bohemian Paradise offers to its visitors a unique combination of natural beauty and an unusual number of historical monuments, castles and mansions, located in a very small area.

Created 20.1.2016 17:08:24 - updated 10.2.2020 13:01:15 | read 85234x | radimsticha

Hrad Valdštejn, 511 22 Turnov, Czech Republic
owner: the town of Turnov
phone: +420 739 014 104, +420 733 565 254