Prachovske Rocks, Jicin Medieval Town

Albrecht Eusebius Valdstejn , Jewish Sights in Jicin - Karl Kraus, Bohemian Paradise protected by UNESCO. Mnichovo Hradiste Chateau - and the tomb of Albrecht Valdstejn

Order Tour Code: C NN9
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season Recognized by UN as an unique heritage site

JICIN MEDIEVAL TOWN
The town Jicin thanks to its location has been referred to as the gate to the sandstone Prachovske rocks, that is a part of the Bohemian Paradise. Jicin experienced its heyday in the first half of the 17th century, during the 10 years in which Albrecht Waldstein was lord here. It was Waldstein who planned to transform the town into his residence. Alhough Waldstein´s intentions were never converted fully into reality, his formerhome was no match in the region. A linden avanue links the town with a beautiful Baroque sala terrena. The town´s dominant features - the Valdice Gate, the Church of St. James, the chateau and the Gothic structure of the Church of St. Ignatius - together from its characteristic outline.
JICIN CHATEAU - MUSEUM
There survived the conference hall - the silent witness to diplomatic negotiations in the summer of 1813. On June 3, 1813, Emperor Franz I arrived to jicin with his court as a guest of Count trauttmannsdorff. The talks, involving the Emperor´s aides and enjoys dispatched by Euroepan ruling families, lasted a whole month. While staying in Jicin, the monarch was even visited by his chief noble allies.


JICIN JEWISH MONUMENTS
The Jewish monuments in Jicin are mute witnesses to the existence of the former local Jewish community, whose life was no particularly different from the lives of Jews in other Czech towns. An important time for the Jews came after 1621, when Jicin became the property of Duke Albrecht of Wallenstein. The duke´s financier, Jakob Bassevi from treuenburg (the first jew to be given the status of an aristocrat in the Habsburg empire), we responsible for running the whole of the Frydlant domain. In 1632 he moved to Jicin, became primate of the Jewish community, and gained a range of privileges for himslef and for those sharing his faith. At that time around 11 Jewish families lived in Jicin. In 1890 there were 277 followers of the Jewish faith, whilst in 1930 they numbered only 119 people. The overwhelming majority of Jicin Jews perished during WWII at the concentration camp of Osvetim.The main transports of February 1943 are commemorated by a plaque at Jicin railway station, and a list of the victims´names in the mortuary in the Jewish cemetery. The Jewish community in jcin did not flourish again after the war. You can see in the town - the old Jewish school, the synagogue (in 2001 the Jewish community in Prague took it back and restored it), the Jewish cemetery. The house where Karl Kraus was born - No. 43 on the corner of Wallenstein Square and Fortna. Jicin had a great influence upon Karl Kraus, even though he moved to Vienna. He himslef was interested in the history of the town, and he found out not only about Albrecht of Wallenstein, but also that after the battle in 1866, part of the Austro-Prussian War, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck stayed in the corner room of their house at No. 43.
For his anti-war novel Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit (Tha Last Days of mankind), which came out as a book in 1922, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize by the professors of the Paris Sorbonne.
During his visits to Bohemia he often stayed in Vrchotovy Janovice chateaux, to see his "eternal fiancee" the baroness Sidonie Nadherna.


KARL KRAUS
April 28, 1874 Karl Kraus was born in Jicin, Bohemia. His father was merchant and paper-manufacturor, his mother the daughter of a doctor. Kraus was their ninth child.
When Kraus was three years old, his family moved from Jicin to Vienna. Despite the fact that Kraus found the noise of the city intolerable, and felt a great anxiety about the busy streets, he made it his home until his death in 1936. Kraus first attended the University of Vienna in 1892, where he studied law under the advisement of his father. After two years, with the support of his father, he switched to philosophy and Germanistic. After six years at the University, Kraus left without having attained a degree. Shortly after that time, he left home, and with the financial support of his father founded his own magazine, Die Fackel (The Torch).
On the first day of April in 1899, the city of Vienna was literally made to see red. A small journal with a bright red cover and a sketch of a torch circulated for the first time. After two weeks, demand for the periodical rose to 30,000 copies. Kraus' original intention was for the magazine to appear three times a month, but this frequency varied. It remained in existence until four months before Kraus' death in 1936, totaling thirty-seven volumes and over 30,000 pages, only a fraction of which can be credited to anyone other than Kraus alone.
Kraus' aggressive expression of his attitude toward life casts a haze over his peaceful demeanor which surfaces in his writings. His poetry however, is eloquent and conveys a great deal of tenderness and anxiety that he felt toward life. Some of his poems enlighten one to his preoccupation with death and the end of existence. Such an example is Hour of the Night in which Kraus laments time's flight in the context of a day, a year and a lifetime.
Karl Kraus is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential satirists of the twentieth century. He was an enormously productive writer of poetry, critical essays, and aphorisms, and spent the bulk of his life in Vienna. The key to his work is his love of language, and his disdain for those who abuse it. To him, language was the moral criterion and accreditation for a writer. He set about to provide an imperishable profile of his age from the very perishable materials of newspaper reports.



THE PRACHOV ROCKS
At the beginning, there was the sea, for millions of years, alluvia were sinking to the bottom, producting at last massive flat layers of settled sand. In the course of other millions of years, the sand elements united in forming stone. Thereafter, water receded and a flat sandstone rock emerged from the bottom of the sea. The effusions of volcanic minerals penetrated through the sandstone layer in several places and thus let present-day dominating features appear which we admire from lookouts. Violent torrential rains, the sun, frost and the winds have eroded the sandstone table, thus producing the basis for the present-day landscape with bizarre rock formations, defiles, lonely rock-towers and rock towns.
It would seem that the process of the shaping of landscape was completed long ago, but this is an error, because ot still continues. each drop of rain, each gust of windf and also each step of a visitor abrade the rock surface again and again, changing its form and carrying grains of sand away into the valleys.

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ALBRECHT EUSEBIUS VALDSTEJN (WALLENSTEIN)
Wallenstein or Waldstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von , 1583–1634, imperial general in the Thirty Years War, b. Bohemia. He attended the Lutheran academy at Altdorf but at the age of 20 converted to Roman Catholicism. He advanced his fortune by marriage to a wealthy widow, and for his support of Archduke Ferdinand of Styria (Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II) before, during, and after the Bohemian revolt that started the Thirty Years War, he was well rewarded, becoming prince and then (1625) duke of Friedland. He built up a magnificent estate in Bohemia, expanding his fortune at the expense of the Bohemian Protestants, whose lands he confiscated with Ferdinand's authorization. In 1625, Wallenstein raised a large army for Ferdinand II and became chief imperial general, cooperating with the general of the Catholic League, Count Tilly, in the Danish phase of the war. Wallenstein in 1626 defeated Ernst von Mansfeld at the Dessau bridgehead, and some of his men helped Tilly to defeat the Danish king Christian IV at Lutter. The next year Wallenstein destroyed the remnants of Mansfeld's army and later defeated Christian IV's forces. Now at the height of his wealth and power, Wallenstein, having driven the dukes of Mecklenburg from their lands, was granted that duchy as a hereditary fief from the Holy Roman emperor. He was also given the title of admiral, but his hopes of founding a maritime empire were set back by the failure of the siege of Stralsund (1628) on the Baltic. Wallenstein had powerful enemies, particularly among the German princes, from whom he had extorted money for the support of the army. Finally, in 1630, they prevailed on Ferdinand to dismiss him. The failure of his successor, Tilly, against King Gustavus II of Sweden brought Wallenstein back to power (1632). With a huge army he cleared Bohemia and began a contest with the Swedish king that ended at Lützen (1632), where Wallenstein was defeated and the Swedish king was killed. Embittered by his earlier dismissal, Wallenstein was then determined to become more powerful than ever, controlling not only military decisions, but imperial policy also. His secret negotiations with the enemy brought down on his head accusations of treason. A number of his generals, including Matthias Gallas and Ottavio Piccolomini, were drawn into a conspiracy against him. Ferdinand secretly removed Wallenstein from command on Jan. 24, 1634. Wallenstein renewed his attempts to negotiate with the Swedes and with a few hundred troops fled to Eger (Cheb), where he was treacherously murdered (Feb., 1634). His assassin later had the emperor's favor. Wallenstein is the central figure in a dramatic trilogy by Schiller.

It is 1,5 hour to drive to North.
It is a 6 hour round trip.
Trip:
1) Jicin town and castle and Prachovske Rocks trip number CNN9 -6 hour round trip



Mnichovo Hradiste Chateau
The Renaissance manor, built by the prominent Czech aristocrat, Vaclav Budovec z Budova, came into the hands of Albrecht of Valdstejn after 1620. Arnost Josef of Valdstejn ordered the manor be rebuilt into the tru Baroque style at the turn of the 18th century, and it has remained like this ever since.
Today, the original period interiors that are publicly accessible are fitted mostly with Baroque and Rococo furniture. Three rooms are enchantingly decorated with narrative paintings by Mates Tollinger (around 1735 and 1750) on all of their walls. There is a prevalence of themes from contemporary noble society and hunting motifs, in the Reception Room. Of the manor collections, the delft faience stands out most, displyed on the walls and furniture of the sumptuously furnished room.
Another place of interest is the lapidary of several dozen tsatues from the 18th and 19th century in the former Capuchin church and chapel of Saint Ann with the tomb of Albrecht from Valdstejn.
It is an 8 hour round trip going to the North from Prague.

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Last updated on Feb 27, 2011