Valdštejn Castle

Valdštejn Castle

A Tourist Destination since 1824

Valdštejn is the oldest castle in the beautiful area of the Bohemian Paradise, in the Liberec Region, north of Prague. It is also the second oldest accessible landmark in Bohemia, thanks to its picturesque position in the sandstone rocks. Today, it is a popular and important tourist destination.

The entrance bridge has an interesting collection of Baroque sculptures of Czech patrons. You can either explore the castle on your own, see what you are interested in, spend some time there, or you can go on a guided tour. The beautiful Ceremonial Hall and lounge of the Classicist house with a portrait gallery of the last owners are a nice surprise. You can also go inside the Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk, which was built in the 18th century. The connecting staircase and terrace will take you to the oldest part. But before that, walk down to the Billiard Hall. The rock basement, a part of the defence system, called the “killing gorge”, is also accessible.

Valdštejn was founded around 1260 by the Markvartice family, the predecessors of the famous lords of Valdštejn. After having several different owners, being held by robber barons, suffering from fires and being abandoned, the castle returned to the hands of the Valdštejn family, who, among other things, built an unusual pilgrimage site with a unique atmosphere amidst the old ruins of a family manor, surrounding forests and rocks. The new owners, the Lex family of Aehrenthal, continued in these efforts in the first half of the 19th century. They intertwined the countryside with a network of tourist trails, built scenic vistas, and the Sedmihorky Spa. The Valdštejn Castle was made accessible to tourists as an interesting destination after 1824.

Valdštejn is the gateway to the nearby rocks. It is situated in the protected landscape area of the Bohemian Paradise, in the European Geopark, on the edge of the nature preserve of Hruboskalsko. The surroundings are intertwined with hiking and cycling trails. There are many scenic vistas with views of the rocks such as the “Golden Trail”, Kopica Farmstead with a gallery of folk sculptures, and a forest arboretum. There is also an educational trail near the castle. The entire surroundings represent a beautiful forest complex with about four hundred sandstone rock towers.