The international service of Czech Radio 
19-12-2018, 01:58 UTC
Photo Tour of the Czech Republic
 
Czech Paradise

The Bohemian Paradise is situated one hundred kilometers northeast of Prague. This picturesque area borders on the foot-hills of the Giant Mountains in the east and is marked off by the belt of The Jizerske Mountains and the Giant Mountains in the north. The extraordinary diversity of the landscape with characteristic sandstone rock formations, and rich flora and fauna was the main reason for proclaiming the Bohemian Paradise the first protected natural area in the country (in 1955). The main symbol of the Bohemian Paradise is the basalt double outcrop Trosky, capped by the ruins of a medieval castle, easily recognized from a distance by its silhouette. There are numerous places, where of agates, amethyst, jaspers, chalcedonies, and other kinds of precious stones can be found in the volcanic rocks.

Drabske svetnicky (Drabske "rooms")

The remnants of a castle chiselled in the rock can be found on the edge of the sandstone plateau Muzsky near Mnichovo Hradiste. The first settlement was there as early as the 13th century and at the beginning of the 15th century a fortified castle was built there. No less than 30 rooms were chiselled into stone blocks. The rooms were joined by means of wooden ladders and foot bridges. People lived in timbered habitations by the side. The castle was extended by Hussites around 1430 to better control the commercial routes in the Jizera valley. Then it was abandoned after The Battle of Lipany. During the Thirty Years War many local inhabitants found shelter there and during World War Two the Drabske "rooms" gave shelter to resistance fighters.

Valecov Castle

A ruin of a stone castle founded in the 14th century near Mnichovo Hradiste. Rooms for living and for livestock were chiselled into three sandstone blocks with wooden outbuildings by the side. Albrecht of Valdstejn, one of the most powerful Czech noblemen, obtained the castle in 1623 when it was cinfiscated during the Thirty Years War. Valecov has derelict from the second half of the 18th century. But still at beginning of the 20th century the rock rooms became a home for the poor. The donjon is accessible by narrow chiselled stairs. The rock dungeon called Beneska is particularly interesting.


Drabske svetnicky Drabske svetnicky Drabske svetnicky Drabske svetnicky
Drabske svetnicky Drabske svetnicky Drabske svetnicky
Valecov Castle Valecov Castle Valecov Castle
Valecov Castle Valecov Castle Valecov Castle Valecov Castle