Bohemian Paradise (Czech: Český ráj) is a Protected Landscape Area and a region in the Czech Republic. It was declared in 1955, as the first nature reserve in Czechia. At first, it was 95 square kilometres in area; today it is almost 182 km². This area is in the north of Bohemia and north-eastward from the capital city Prague. Borders of the region are not clearly defined, but there are some towns which could demarcate rough borders, for example, Turnov, Jičín and Mnichovo Hradiště.
One of the most recognizable elements of Bohemian Paradise is the sandstone rock which many of the surrounding towns are constructed of. There are many rocks which have been shaped by wind, water, frost, erosion, and humans into unique shapes. These include, for instance, the Hrubé, Suché, Prachovské, and Klokočské Rocks.
Kozákov is the highest hill in the area. There are a tourist chalet and a lookout tower. Kozákov was originally a volcano. Thus, it is a place where precious stones are found. The treatment of these gems has been connected with the history of the city of Turnov called “The heart of the Bohemian Paradise” for several centuries.
Other places of interest in Bohemian Paradise are the Bozkov dolomite caves, which contain the largest underground lake in the Czech Republic. The Podtrosecké Valley is situated below the ruins of Trosky Castle, one of the symbols of Bohemian Paradise. The valley is known for its countryside and several ponds, e.g., Věžák, Nebák, Vidlák. Plakánek valley begins near the Kost Castle and ends in the settlement Rašovec. There is a cycle route in this area.
symbol of Bohemian Paradise
Two well-known castles in the area are Trosky and Kost. Other castles in the area include Sychrov Castle, Hrubý Rohozec Castle, Hrubá Skála Castle, and Humprecht Castle. There are also many ruins, such as Frýdštejn Castle and Valdštejn Castle and some buildings built in folk architecture style, for instance, Dlaskův and Boučkův Estates.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bohemian Paradise.|
- Protected Landscape Area Bohemian Paradise (in Czech only)
- Photos of Landmarks in Bohemian Paradise and Travel Information (in English)
- Nature in Bohemian Paradise (in Czech only)
- Borders of the Protected Landscape Area
- Information about Places in Bohemian Paradise
- Bozkov Caves (in Czech only)
- Bohemian Paradise Association
- Museum of Bohemian Paradise in Turnov
- The Official Website of Turnov