After the Thirty Years’ War the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand included the desolate medieval residence in “the cursed castles”, which were forbidden to be repaired.
It became a refuge for marauding knights and footpads, who threatened the wider surroundings. The ruin was “discovered” by young patriots in the romantic 19th century and many writers and painters sought their inspiration here.
The castle, situated in a picturesque landscape full of sandstone, small lakes and forgotten villages is only 40 km from Prague. When it was purchased at the end of the 19th century by Václav Špaček, the Prague businessman, it had already been only a deserted ruin for a long time. He reconstructed the castle very expensively under the supervision of four leading historians of the time and opened it to the public. He built a recreational facility, a swimming pool and tennis courts below it, thus promoting the Kokořín area to a favoured recreational and tourist destination.