The fairytale city of Jičín, with its defining red roof on the city gate, is one of the most picturesque cities in the Czech Republic. Come here to uncover the fascinating story of the extravagant local potentate, stroll through the charming historic centre, or explore the stunning countryside of Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj), which lies just outside of town.
Jičín’s history is inextricably linked to the merchant, politician and military commander Albrecht von Wallenstein, who in his day was one of the most powerful personalities in Europe. Wallenstein, who owned almost all of the chateaux in the region, chose Jičín as the capital of his personal duchy and tried to build it into a sort of Czech equivalent of French Versailles. That is why today you can admire numerous elegant buildings here that originated with the best architects of the time. Albrecht von Wallenstein, due to his greed, arrogance and extravagance but also his brilliance as a military general, remains one of the most controversial figures in Czech history.
Climb 156 steps for a lovely view
Whatever the personal qualities of Albrecht von Wallenstein, Jičín owes its beautiful Renaissance city centre to him. It is even said that he lent money to impoverished burghers so that they could build the grandest of houses. On the main square you can see the chateau, which includes the hall where negotiations took place in 1813 between the Austrian Emperor Franz I and the representatives of Prussia and Russia, resulting in the Holy Alliance against Napoleon. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the nearby Valdická Gate. The symbol of this city, it offers you a beautiful view of the entire area and the chequer-board pattern of streets below.
From Jičín all the way to Paradise…
Not only the city itself but also its immediate vicinity are definitely worth visiting. Jičín is an excellent starting point for an exploration of Bohemian Paradise, which thanks to its bizarre rock towns and magnificent chateaux is one of the most popular destinations in the Czech Republic. Unspoilt nature awaits at the Prachovské Rocks, where you will see a wonderful world of monumental sandstone rocks of various shapes, deep ravines, and narrow passages between moss-covered walls – an ideal spot for those who like to spend their free time on the go.