In the Jizera Mountains in northern Bohemia, you can find a castle and chateau in one. It has the same name as a nearby town – Frýdlant – and belongs to one of the most important historical buildings in the Czech Republic.
The castle was built in the 13th century to protect tradesmen using local business trails. A legend says that in the core of the castle was a stately tower on top of which fire was set to serve the tradesmen as a beacon.
The castle was owned by several noble families that remodelled and improved the castle gradually. In the 16th century, part of the castle was rebuilt and enlarged to become a renaissance palace.
One of the most famous owners of the property was Albrecht von Wallenstein who owned the castle in the years 1622 to 1634. After he was assassinated in 1634, Frýdlant was acquired by the Gallas family followed by the Clam-Gallas family who owned Frýdlant till 1945 when it was confiscated by the state which owns it up to this day.
In 1801, the Clam-Gallas family opened the castle collections of weapons, furniture, paintings and books to the public and thus made Frýdlant the first (an today the oldest) castle museum in central Europe.
The basic guided tour which Frýdlant offers lasted more than two hours, it was the longest guided tour of this kind I’ve ever experienced. One can see many rooms furnished in the period style including attic rooms, which you surprisingly reach going downstairs. Most of all I liked the room for children with its interesting wallpaper. Taking photos is not allowed in the interiors but there is so much to see that you don’t have time to regret.
When I was processing my photos, I was thinking about how shabby and blackened the outside of some of the buildings looks. Hopefully there will be money and intention to restore them to their former beauty but until that time, take the shabbiness as a patina acquired with those many years of existence…