Zizkovo namesti 18
Jicin, 506 01
Founded at the turn of the 13th century as part of the Veliš estate, Jičín reached its heyday in the first half of the 16th century, during the reign of Albrecht Waldstein. The Valdice Gate, the Church of St James the Greater, the Chateau and the Gothic Church of St Ignatius of Loyola combine to form the town's characteristic silhouette.
The town of Jičín owes its fairy tale-like charm above all to the writer Václav Čtvrtek and his hero, the robber Rumcajs whose visual appearance is the work of the painter Radek Pilař. The Jičín Chateau presents a display dedicated to the two artists. It was also thanks to this fact that the town became the venue of an annual festival called Jičín - the Town of Fairy Tales.
A foray into town history
Due to great natural and climatic advantages of countryside of Jičín and its surroundings, this area has been occupied for more than 8.000 years. The first agricultural relics go back to 6th till 1st half of the 5th century B.C. Then, the settlement continued through the Stone Age and Bronze Age as well (a so called ‘aunjetitz culture’ and urnfield culture).
The first known regent of the country of Jičín was the Czech queen Guta (+ 18. 6. 1297). Jičín was established in between 1297–1304. Until 1337, Jičín remained a royal town. After then, it was in possession of several noble families - Vartenbers, Trčka of Lípa, Smiřický from Smiřice.
After the Battle of White Mountain (Czech: Bílá Hora), the Duke Albrecht of Valdštejn (Albrecht Václav Eusebius of Valdštejn) declared Smiřický demesne as his hereditary property. While being the regent of this territory, the Thirty Years’ War broke out but the first mentions of early baroque culture are dated as well.
While in Europe the Thirty Years’ War took its toll and the Czech countries underwent a heavy crisis, the generalissimus (the chief commander of the Imperial Army) built his residence at the town of Jičín. While being at war, the town of Jičín experienced its biggest prosperity: the Duke of Valdštejn was a brilliant army leader as well as politician and economist and he even won the mint’s coining privilege as conferring the noble privileges as well. Back then, the country of Jičín was called TERRA FELIX (a “happy country”) because the Thirty Years’ War did not occur to this area by then and special rights had to be respected and kept.
1813, Ferdinand of Trauttmansdorff invited the Emperor Franz I. to the Castle of Jičín where he met the allies (the Emperor Alexander I. resided at Opočno, the Prussian King Friedrich Willhelm II. resided at Ratibórź) to find out the best strategy how to defeat Napoleon’s France.
1866, the Austro-Prussian War broke out and the so-called “Jičín Battle” became a milestone at the whole history of this war. Perhaps because only then, all disadvantages (as for arming and leadership of Austrian army) became too evident.
The last noble family, who possessed Jičín and its surroundings, were the Trauttmansdorffs. 1936, the town of Jičín has purchased back the Castle of Jičín, the park of Libosad with its arcades and many parcels as well.