Bohemian Paradise

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Bohemian Paradise
Český ráj Bohemian Paradise.JPG
LocationCzech Republic
Nearest cityJičín, Turnov
Coordinates50°31′11″N 15°10′14″E / 50.51972°N 15.17056°E / 50.51972; 15.17056Coordinates: 50°31′11″N 15°10′14″E / 50.51972°N 15.17056°E / 50.51972; 15.17056
Area181 km²

Bohemian Paradise (Czech: Český ráj) is a Protected Landscape Area and a region in Bohemia 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;[1] today it is almost 182 km².[2] 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.

Natural environment[edit]

One of the most recognizable elements of Bohemian Paradise is the sandstone rock which many of the surrounding towns are constructed of.[citation needed] 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, and Klokočské Rocks.

Prachovské skály

The Prachov Rocks (Czech: Prachovské skály) area of rock formations is particularly noteworthy.[3] Since 1933, the area with 60 million year old formations has been a protected natural reserve.[4][5] Some scenes for major television and film productions were filmed here.[6][7][8]

The Hrubá Skála rock town area (Hruboskalské skalní město), with volcanic sandstone pillars, is also significant. A chateau, also called Hrubá Skála,[9] is located high up on a rock platform. The original mansion was built in the 14th century but was extensively damaged over the years and re-built several times, finally in the style of a Renaissance chateau. The property is now operated as a hotel and spa.[10][11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Panorama at the Trosky Castle ruins

Trosky Castle, consisting of two 14th-century ruins, is located high on the summits of two basalt volcanic plugs, 15km from Turnov; the caves nearby can also be visited.[14]

Other places of interest in Bohemian Paradise are the Bozkov dolomite caves, which contain the largest underground lake in the Czech Republic.[15] 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.[16] Plakánek valley begins near the Kost Castle and ends in the settlement Rašovec.[17] There is a cycle route in this area. There are also a variety of ruins in the region, including Frýdštějn Castle and Valdštejn Castle.[18]

Cultural sights[edit]

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.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2012-04-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hocek, Jan (3 February 2010). "Výjimečná zima, výjimečné fotky. Prachové peřiny na Prachovských skalách". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). iDNES. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  4. ^, Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise)
  5. ^, The Czech Republic’s Bohemian Paradise: as magical as it sounds
  6. ^, Carnival Row Wraps Shooting in Prague
  7. ^ Films and Fairy Tales
  8. ^, Prachovské skály
  9. ^, Hrubá Skála Chateau
  10. ^, Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise)
  11. ^, History of the Castle
  12. ^, Votrubcův lom - Kozákov
  13. ^
  14. ^, Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^, Bohemian Paradise

External links[edit]