Castle and chateau Frýdlant

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…



  1. I like the triptychs, too, Petra. You captured some beautiful images. My personal favorites are the first and the last. The angle in the first one does a good job of capturing the immensity of the castle. I like the inclusion of the leafy branches in the last one. Too bad photos weren’t allowed inside. I’ll probably never get there to see it in person and would have enjoyed seeing it through your lens.

    1. Linda, thank you. I like especially the second whitish triptych, it does justice to the chateau.

      I took the first image with two lenses, one of which was not wide enough and the photo was much less effective, sometimes the difference makes wonders.

      Taking interior photos is allowed in some castles and chateaus for a fee but you must not use a flash or tripod (I’m not sure about monopods). I tried it a few times but the insides are usually quite dim and with the highest reasonable ISO values of my camera I get too slow shutter speed or too shallow depth of field or both so I find it much more enriching to listen to what the guide says instead of thinking about what and how to capture. Having said that, I would have loved to capture that wallpaper!! 🙂

  2. Lee

    To most Americans, castles only exist in fairy tales…I’ve never seen a real one. That looks like an amazing place and the tour must be fascinating. I love all the varied materials, designs, and textures in the walls. Wonderful photos!

    1. Lee, thank you. I’ve seen so many castles here and I’m still discovering more. It’s become a welcome part of our domestic holiday to find the most interesting castle or two in the area and visit it. Some are just plain buildings, other are like palaces. And the older I’m, the more fascinating I find the stories of how people lived in them and used them.

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