The ruin Nístějka  (8 km)

A large and impressive ruin of a not very well known Gothic castle on a rocky spur above the Jizera river near Hradsko – 470 m a.s.l. It was founded probably in the first half of the 14th century by the family of Valdštejn; it was mentioned for the first time in 1369. In 1390, together with the settlement Vysoké, it came into the possession of the Vartemberks and later of the Jenštejns. Around the year 1460, the castle was, after short possession by the king Jiří z Poděbrad, connected to Návarov. At the end of the 15th century, the palace was completely destroyed by a fire, which is archaeologically documented, and in 1519, the castle was said to be abandoned. Nevertheless, found ceramics document presence of people even in the 17th century. Massive walls and rests of cellars were preserved.

During archaeological examination of the ruins, rests of a very large kiln were found – that is where the name of the castle comes from (in old Czech, the mouth of the kiln was called "nístěj", and it was really present in the castle in the 14th century. Part of the excavations is displayed in the Museum of the Giant Mountains in Vysoké nad Jizerou.

The ruin Návarov  (16 km)

The ruin is located approximately 20 km from Rokytnice nad Jizerou in direction to Vysoké – Držkov. The castle used to be a centre of a large landed estate reaching deep into the heart of the Jizera Mountains. It was accessible only from the south. The castle was probably founded in the 14th century and from 1380 it was owned by Jindřich of Valdštejn. In 1643, Návarov was besieged by the Swedes and they took possession of it. Only a few months later, the imperial army managed to occupy the castle again. In order not to become a base for the enemies, it was partly damaged upon a command of Prague governors in 1644. Huge ruins of the former tower-like palace, part of a gable wall with intact marginal flanker, ruins of walls and traces of cellars were preserved to these days above all.

According to a tale, a daughter of a Frýdlant lord ran away from her house with her lover because her father wanted her to marry a rich nobleman. Years later, the Frýdlant lord got lost in deep forests while hunting and coincidence brought him to a small castle above the river, where he asked for some food and drink. The house-lady of the house apologized, told him they lived very modestly and in poverty, and offered him some pease pudding she was just cooking for her little son. The holy knight recognized his daughter in her and was happy to conciliate her and her husband. In remembrance of this meeting, the castle was called Návarov after the cooked pudding (in Czech "návara").

The ruin Štěpanice (21 km)

In the wood by the village Horní Štěpanice (above the road from Jilemnice to Benecko) you can find ruins of a Gothic castle. The first written mention of the castle dates back to the year 1304 and is about foundation of the castle by Jan of Valdštejn.

The Rock castle Vranov - Pantheon (35 km)

The rock castle Vranov, currently better known as Pantheon, rises above the Jizera river on a steep cliff of Malá Skála, only 5 miles from Turnov. The monument is over 1,300 ft long and is considered to be the most complex rock castle in Bohemia.

The castle Rotštejn (36 km)

The castle Frýdštejn (37 km)

The ruin of the castle Frýdštejn is one of 3 castles of the district of Jablonec n.N. We don´t know exactly when it was grounded. Nor when the domesne of Frýdštejn was created. We know, however, that it was the property of the family of Markvartic. The owners of the castle were the lords of Dražice (1363), 13 years later )1376) lords of Bibrštejn and that is for the castle Frýdštejn is assumed to have relations with the family of Bibrštejn.

The castle Pecka  (38 km)

The castle Pecka is called a pearl of the Giant Mountains. It is situated in the very centre of this wonderful region. >From the castle lookout, a central massif of the Giant Mountains with Sněžka and Černá hora is visible in its full glory. In the western direction, above the town Nová Paka, peaks of Kumburk and Bradlec with ruins of medieval castles come into view. On the right of them, there is Tábor with a small pilgrimage chapel. In the south-eastern direction, there is Zvičina – the highest point of the region in the altitude of 671 m a.s.l.

History of the castle

The first written mention of the castle Pecka dates back to the year 1322. The owner was said to be Budivoj of Pecka. The castle originally served for protection of the estate border and goldmines near the village Stupná, where the extraction was performed throughout the whole period of the Middle Ages. It had two protective towers connected by a castle wall and one residential palace in the southern part of the courtyard. Around the castle, a moat was dug, so the castle was accessible only via a drawbridge.

From the end of the 15th century, the castle owners were trying strived for further extension of residential parts – at the beginning, under the Hořický family of Hořice, in the Gothic style, but later, under the Škopek family of Bílé Otradovice, a complete renaissance reconstruction was performed. It was finished by arrangement of the interior at the beginning of the 17th century by Kryštof Harant of Polžice and Bezdružice. In the place of the former plain castle, there was suddenly a beautiful mansion with four residential palaces built around a rectangular courtyard and decorated from both the internal and external side by sgrafitto and painted coats of arms of the Škopek and Harant families.

After Kryštof Harant's tragic death at the Old Town place of execution in June 1621, Pecka came into the possession of Albrecht of Valdštejn, who after owning the castle for a year gave it to the Carthusian order of Valdice u Jičína as a gift. The order used Pecka for more than 150 years only as a summer residence. Almost unoccupied mansion started to decay. Its fame came to a full stop after a big fire in 1830.

After an official consent, its walls started to be pulled down and taken to pieces. This lasted until the year 1921 when the ruins of the mansion came into the possession of the Pecka municipality. Inhabitants of this village contributed to at least partial reconstruction of the object. They opposed a decision of the conservation office recommending that the castle should preserve the character of a ruin, and with the help of state aid and their own financial means and work they repaired the western Harantovský palace. From 1968, the castle serves as a tourist object with a guided tour.

The ruin Bradlec (40 km)

The ruin Kumburk (41 km)