The magic of architecture

Ještěd a zima, author: Ondřej Holas

Unconquerable castles, fairy-tale chateaux, lookout towers of different shapes and materials, church towers pointing up into the sky, cosy log houses and technological sites as a reminder of our ancestors’ craftsmanship. You will find all of the above and much more around the many mountains and rivers in the Liberec Region.

The typical feature of the Liberec region, especially of the Jizera Mountains landscape are the lookout towers of various structures, heights and ages. There are almost 40 of them scattered throughout the region. The queen of all the lookout towers is Štěpánka in the village of Příchovice. The most famous is Ještěd, the mountain hotel and television transmitter which has become a symbol of the city of Liberec as well as the entire Liberec region. 

The long and eventful history of the region can be discovered in castels and chateaus. The symbol of Bohemian Paradise is the Gothic castle ruins of Trosky; other remarkable monuments include the oldest castle Valdštejn, the mysterious Kost Castle, the Humprecht Chateau that served as a hunting lodge, the fairy-tale chateau of Hrubá Skála, and the Hrubý Rohozec Chateau with its exquisitely furnished interiors. The Sychrov Chateau, displaying the largest collection of French portrait art in Central Europe and stunning wood carving decorations, is one of the all-time favourite places to visit in the region. Also the Českolipsko region is remarkable. The best-known historic site of the region is the Gothic royal Bezděz Castle founded by Přemyslid Ottokar II, or Sloup – the rock castle and hermit's dwelling. The Lemberk Chateau with its intriguing story of St. Zdislava, the Zákupy Chateau that used to be a summer residence of Emperor Ferdinand I the Good, and Grabštejn Castle and Chateau with the remarkable St. Barbara Chapel also contribute to the unique atmosphere and incomparable charm of the Českolipsko region. The best-known castle in the Jizera Mountains is the Frýdlant Castle, notable owners have included Albrecht von Wallenstein The history of the Krkonoše region was shaped by the Harrach Family that used to reside in the Jilemnice Chateau. 

The Liberec region typical feature is its folk architecture, as can be witnessed in the Dlaskův Farm displaying a common village dwelling, the Boučkův Farm, the Kopicův Farm, and the Šolcův Statek Farm, and also in the heritage areas in Trávníky, Vesec, Karlov and Střehom, Višňová, Víska, Horní Řasnice and Dolní Řasnice, Pertoltice and Jindřichovice pod Smrkem, Kravaře, Kryštofovo Údolí, and in the surroundings of Dubá and Mšeno. in Jilemnice, and Buřany. 

The technical heritage sites include the railway bridge in the villages of Novina and Smržovka, or the hydroelectric power station Spálov near the city of Železný Brod. Other unique tourist attractions are the Tanvald-Kořenov cog railway and the system of the Jizera Mountains dams built in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The Liberec region is well-known for its glass and bijouterie-making legacy. Visitors may admire the art of the glass-making masters in the glass-making museum in the towns of Nový Bor and Kamenický Šenov, the Museum of Glass and Paste Jewellery in the town of Jablonec nad Nisou or in Harrachov. Blowing glass is possible to try in the glass-works and factories in the village of Lindava and in the Nový Bor region. In many workshops throughout the Jablonec nad Nisou, Železný Brod and Turnov region, visitors may even try their hands at glass- and paste jewellery making.

The history as well as recent developments of the region may be discovered in its many museums and galeries. Visitors will enjoy museums in Turnov, Železný Brod, Jičín, Česká Lípa, Český Dub, Doksy, Liberec, Jablonec nad Nisou, Frýdlant, Smržovka, Jilemnice, Harrachov, and Vrchlabí. 

A rare gem among the religious heritage sites and also a place of pilgrimage is the basilica and monastery in Hejnice. The Českolipsko region also offers a pilgrim's route connecting the unique religious monuments of the area. The route starts in the German town of Žitava (Zittau) and passed through Jablonné v Podještědí, Zákupy, Česká Lípa and Jezvé to Horní Police.




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