Jičín is a picturesque, historical, but also modern and dynamic town with a population of 17 thousand. It is located in a beautiful nature area and is often referred to as the gateway to Český Ráj, or the Bohemian Paradise, the well-known nature reserve. After the Krkonoše Mountains, which are not too far away, it is the second most important tourist area in Bohemia.
Tourists have been visiting the Český Ráj area since the end of the 19th century, drawn by its historical monuments and beautiful nature and landscape.
The first records of the town of Jičín date back to 1293. After 1337, Jičín was in the possession of several significant families – the Vartenberg, Trčka of Lípa and Smiřický of Smiřice. Originally a wooden provincial town, it eventually underwent a major change during the times of Albrecht of Valdštejn, also known as Wallenstein, at the beginning of the 17th century.
Jičín offers a rare complex of well-preserved historical monuments of great significance, especially in the historical centre of the town around its beautiful square with arcades, the Baroque palace and the church of St James the Greater. Valdická Brána, the dominant landmark and a clock tower, is accessible and offers magnificent views of the entire town and its environs.
What makes Jičín unique is that it is part of a sophisticated Baroque landscape composition, designed also at the time of Albrecht of Valdštejn around ca. 1620. It lies along the main axis, which is a line connecting the former Carthusian monastery in Valdice, a Loggia (“salla terena”) as the centrefold feature of the composition, the Valdická clock tower, the church of St James the Greater and Veliš Hill. The main part between the town’s centre and the Loggia is conceived as a four-line linden tree avenue, almost 2 km long.
Today visitors are attracted also by the broad range of cultural and sport events the town offers for all age groups. The Regional Museum and Gallery offers extensive collections and an original interactive exhibition entitled Museum of Play. The newly reconstructed synagogue is now open to the public. Children are attracted mainly to the site of the clever thief Rumcajs, a well-known local fairy-tale character.
The cultural events held in the Valdštejn Loggia have a unique atmosphere and have led to the place recently reopening for other than mainstream culture. In late May, the town returns to the Middle Ages for a while during the biennial Valdštejn Days. The Festival Jičín-Město pohádek (Town of Fairy Tales), held in mid-September, is the reason why Jičín is rightfully called a fairy-tale town.
Sports facilities in Jičín are well above standard. Visitors are invited to spend their leisure time actively, with various forms of entertainment and relaxation available to everyone. There is a sports complex with a new aqua centre along with all kinds of sports facilities and children’s playgrounds, bowling alleys, golf ranges, swimming pool, ice hockey hall and fitness centres.
Jičín is a colourful introduction to the wonderful Český Ráj area, with its rich history, culture, sport and the beautiful nature surrounding the town. Jičín is a town worthy of admiration, and above all – worth a visit.
We look forward to seeing you.