Through the Jičín/Jitschin Region: from Wallenstein to Schlick
Through the Jičín/Jitschin Region: from Wallenstein to Schlick
Jičín and the surrounding landscape still bear traces of the actions of two powerful aristocrats – Albrecht of Wallenstein and Franz Joseph Heinrich Schlick. The former made Jičín the centre of his dominion and, together with famous Italian architects he invited, transformed the surrounding landscape into an elaborate system of buildings and land features combined into a single geometrical feature. Graf Schlick also invited renowned international architects, but his goal was an elaborate, yet unpretentious landscape composition with a strong spiritual dimension. Today, the results of their combined efforts are not as conspicuous as they used to be, but can still be felt strongly in the open landscape and have a pleasant calming effect.
How to get to the starting point
The starting point in Valdice is best accessed from the train stop of Jičín-zastávka. When taking a train from Prague, change at Turnov, Nymburk, or Hradec Králové. The village of Valdice is about 500 meters from the train stop.
1. Carthusian Monastery, Valdice
The monastery, founded by Albrecht of Wallenstein, now houses one of the most closely-guarded prisons in the Czech Republic. It is still worth just catching a glance of the impressive Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary by Wallenstein's court architect Andrea Spezzo. The curch's interior has unfortunately been destroyed in 1953, when it was converted into a production plant.
Carthusian Monastery, ValdiceArchiv města Jičína
Wallenstein Loggia, ValdiceJiří Částka, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
Wallenstein Linden Tree RoadProkeš
2. Wallenstein Loggia, Valdice
Under the hill of Zebín, Wallenstein had a recreational area built. A representative courtyard with a monumental loggia was intended for recreation and arts. The bottom section of the garden was to include fountains and water features, but was never completed. The loggia and the courtyard is now being used by local organisation, with regular art exhibitions and other cultural events.
November – March: Fri 3 PM – 8 PM, Sat – Sun 1 PM – 6 PM
April, May, September, October: Thu 1 PM – 6 PM, Fri 1 PM –8 PM, Sat – Sun 10 AM – 6 PM
June: Tue – Thu 1 PM – 6 PM, Fri 1 PM – 8 PM, Sat – Sun 10 AM – 6 PM
July, August: Mon – Thu, Sat – Sun 9 AM – 6 PM, Fri 9 AM – 8 PM
3. Wallenstein Linden Tree Road
The Wallenstein Loggia was connected to the centre of Jičín by almost two-kilometre long road lined by four rows of linden trees, whose scale makes it unique in the whole of Europe. It originally consisted of 1,152 linden trees planted six metres apart. The trees have been replaced since and there are less of them (986), but the feature is still very impressive. According to one account, the trees were all planted simultaneously upon a signal from a cannon – a soldier was standing by each hole in the ground with a small tree.
4. Wallenstein Chateau in Jičín
When Albrecht of Wallenstein received the Jičín dominion and its surroundings, after the Battle of Bílá Hora and the resulting confiscation of property from non-Catholic aristocracy, the Jičín Chateau was in ruins after a major fire. Wallenstein had it rebuilt in Baroque style and added stables, a riding hall, a ball game hall and an armoury. Today, the chateau hosts the Regional Gallery and Museum, with an impressive collection of Baroque paintings and an exhibition on the Wallenstein era.
September – December: Tue – Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
January – February: Tue – Sun, 10 AM – 4 PM
March: Tue – Sun, 10 AM – 5 PM
April – June: Tue – Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
July – August: daily 9 AM – 6 PM
Wallenstein Chateau in JičínJiří Morávek, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
Church of St. Jacob GreaterJan Mertlík, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
5. Church of St. Jacob Greater, Jičín
The church in the corner of Jičín's main square is immediately noticeable for its lack of towers. Albrecht of Wallenstein planned to build a magnificent Episcopal cathedral in the town center, but it has not been done. The facade on the existing church dates back to late 19th century.
6. Church of Elevation of the Holy Cross, Ostružno
This beautiful and conspicuous church is the most important late Baroque building in the region. The statues of St. Nicholas and St. Anselm in front of the church have been moved there from the Valdice Monastery.
Church of Elevation of the Holy Cross, OstružnoPavel Buchart, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
7. The Holy Trinity Chapel, Ohařice
One of four chapels built in 1720 by Franz Schlick as part of what was called Our Lady Garden.
As a centrepiece of his landscape composition, Graf Franz Schlick had a copy of the Holy House of Loreto built near the village of Veliš. The building was designed by famous Baroque architect Jan Baptiste Mathey and its front facade bears the Schlick coat of arms.
LoretoJan Mertlík, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
The Veliš Castle ruinsJan Špelda
9. The Veliš Castle ruins
Formerly one of the largest and best-fortified castles in Bohemia, the Veliš Castle was ruined in the 19th century as a result of basalt mining. Only a few of its perimeter walls remain today, but the sandstone ridge on which it was built offers excellent views of the surroundings.
10. The Schlick Tomb, Veliš
The Schlick family had its tomb built in 1925. It also contains the skull of Joachim Andreas von Schlick, one of the 27 Bohemian aristocrats executed after the Battle of Bílá hora at Prague's Old Town Square.
The Schlick Tomb, VelišJan Mertlík, archiv Sdružení Český ráj
The St. Wenceslas Church
11. The St. Wenceslas Church, Veliš
After the death of the initiator of the Our Lady Garden concept, Graf Franz Joseph von Schlick, the project was continued by his wife, Anna Josefa. She had the magnificent St. Wenceslas Church built as a centrepiece of a cemetery with four morgues in Veliš. Its staircase is worth a note – to strengthen the perspective effect, statues along the staircase get progressively smaller as you near the church door.
From Veliš, you can return to Jičín through Šlikova ves (5 km). If you have time, however, we would recommend extending the route by about 15 km through the surrounding picturesque villages. Jičíněves boasts a Baroque chateau, built by Franz Joseph Heinrich Schlick between 1715 and 1717 and designed by Jean Baptiste Mathey. The Church of Assumption of the Virgin in Slatiny and the wooden bell tower from 1682 next to it are also worth a visit. Jesuit activities in the region are represented by the Milíčeves Chateau and St. Peter and Paul Church in Nemyčeves. From Nemyčeves, you can return to Jičín by train, or continue by bicycle – the distance to Jičín's main square is approximately 8 km.
Havlíčkova 21, Jičín 506 01
Tel: +420 493 544 250
Bukvice 33, Jičín 506 01
Tel: +420 725 925 476