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The Jičín area: Wandering through the Marian Garden

Bohemian Paradise

A medium difficulty trip through composed landscape– 19 km.

JIČÍN, Valdštejnovo nám. – Veliš (5 km) Podhradí (6,5 km) Loreta (7,5 km) U sv. Trojice (12 km) Ostružno (14 km) – Březina (16 km) JIČÍN (19 km)

The Jičín area

This is an area where four landscape types meet – the landscape of sandstone rocks, the landscape of volcanic cones, the landscape of the Krkonoše foothills and the landscape of flats along the Labe. The Jičín area was also the first one to experience tourism. The beginnings of tourism in Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj) are marked by a trip that ethnographer Vojta Náprstek and his friends took to Prachovské skály (rocks) and Kumburk castle in 1879. This area was also the first to welcome mountain climbers. These are the reasons that make the town of Jičín the Gate to the Bohemian Paradise. The region also has a rich history. The Wallenstein period left indelible marks both in the town’s development and in the composed landscape – the Baroque Valdštejnská zahrada (Wallenstein Garden). Mariánská zahrada (the Marian Garden), which is one hundred years younger, is a remarkable concept featuring spiritual interpretation of agricultural landscape. It was developed by the Schlik family in late 17th and early 18th centuries. There are also numerous reminders of the Austro-Prussian war from 1866. Last but not least, Jičín is known as a fairy tale town because of the highwayman Rumcajs, his wife Manka and their son Cipísek.

Jičín – Albrecht von Wallenstein made the town of Jičín the centre of his dominion. The town has preserved its historic character (it is an urban conservation area) and is also part of a Baroque landscape composition, unique in Europe. The historic centre includes a square lined with arcades. There are many historic buildings, a Baroque chateau (today a museum, ), the Church of Saint James the Greater and the popular lookout point, Valdická brána (gate). Czech children associate the town with the fairy tale character Rumcajs – they can visit Rumcajs’ shoemaker’s workshop and an exposition of Rumcajs’ World by Radek Pilař. Other interesting sights include a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery and an elevated point called Čeřovka with the Milohlídka lookout tower. Unfortunately, today it is overgrown with vegetation so you will not be able to see too far. The Kníže outdoor swimming pool.

Mariánská zahrada – In the late 17th and early 18th century, Count Fr. Jos. Schlik developed a Baroque landscape composition southwest of Jičín. It included minor sacral structures, mostly hidden in forests. Once they were accessible via alleys and clearings that were used by processions. There is a Loreto near the village of Podhradí – a loose copy of the Holy Hut. In 1620, the Chapel of the Holy Trinity was erected west of Ostružno. It has a triangular floor plan, segmented cornices and a door in the middle of each side. It is covered with a three-naval dome, built according to J. Santini’s design. The round Chapel of Saint Ann is on top of a volcanic hill. The Church of the Elevation of the Holy Cross inOstružno is one of the most important late Baroque structures of the region. Between Loreto and Vokšice, you can see the hidden Chapel of the Guardian Angels (referred to as the Angels) with its hexagonal floor plan and a repeated dome motif of a hexagonal lantern. There is a Baroque three-storey chateau with a square floor plan in Jičíněves with an English park and an Empire pavilion from the 19th century. The village of Milíčeves isdominated by a chateau built on the site of a fortress between 1677 and 1678 by the Jesuits from Jičín (today, it houses a retirement home; the English park is open to the public). An Empire orangery and a granary from 1679 are worth noticing.

Veliš – a castle was built on Veliš Hill above the village of Podhradí around 1300. Following the Emperor’s orders, the castle was torn down in 1677. There is a panoramic view. You can see the Baroque Church of Saint Wenceslas from 1747–52 with an external staircase and statues of saints that grow smaller because of the perspective, located on both sides of the staircase. There is a burial chamber of the Schlik family in the local cemetery.

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