Join me for a walk through Frýdlant v Čechách, a picturesque town in a secluded nook of the Czech Republic. A magnificent castle and chateau from the Middle Ages dominate the landscape and serve as the town's most recognizable landmarks.
➜ Where is Frydlant
The town with the castle is located in the so-called Frydlant Spur in northern Bohemia. Nearby lies the state boundary with Poland and the beautiful Jizera Mountains enclosing the city.
The region's administrative center, Liberec, is located 21 kilometers (13 miles) distant. About 130 kilometers (80 miles) separate Frdlant and Prague, the Czech capital.
➜ How to get there
The most convenient way to get to Frydlant is by car, but there is also a train connection to the town. If you drive from Liberec, you can get to Frydlant in 20 minutes.
The train journey will take a little longer as it is a local line with many stops, including several tunnels. Expect to get from Liberec to Frydlant by rail in about 35 minutes.
➜ Things to see and do in Frydlant
The little town of Frydlant, rich in history, is well worth your time. In addition to the castle, I would suggest you take a stroll through the historic district and check out the old town hall and if you still have the stamina, the lookout tower near the town. The view of the city is stunning from up here.
About half a day should be allotted for your visit to Frydlant.
Castle and Chateau Frydlant with Castle park
Frydlant Castle and Chateau is one of North Bohemia's largest castle complexes. It represents a combination of a medieval castle and a Renaissance chateau.
In the middle of the 13th century, the fortress was constructed atop a basalt cliff overlooking the town below. The castle later expanded to include a chateau and a chapel.
The season at Frydlant Castle lasts from April to October, from Tuesday to Sunday. Keep in mind that the castle is closed on Mondays, just like many other historical monuments in the Czech Republic.
The castle grounds are open to tourists during the appropriate months. The public can choose from a variety of different tours. Visit the castle, the chateau, or the guided tour devoted to armor and knights of the Middle Ages; the choice is yours.
The castle staff will lend foreign visitors a booklet (in English, German, or Polish) with all the essential information about the chambers and exhibits.
MY TIP: On the castle's ground floor is a so-called "black kitchen" with many copper utensils. In this section, you will learn about the many delicacies prepared for the aristocracy at the castle, as well as how the kitchen was set up.
Frydlant Castle tickets can be purchased in advance online or at a little brick house located immediately adjacent to the castle.
EXPERT TIP: From 2022, you can see the courtyard of the castle without having to buy a ticket. If you don't want to take a tour, be sure to walk through the castle gates and peek into the courtyard.
More on the official website of Frydlant castle
Main square with historic town hall
A pleasant path lined with historic houses leads down from the castle into town. After about 15 minutes, you will reach the main square of Frydlant, which is dominated by the historic town hall.
The town hall was constructed at the end of the 19th century and was modeled on the town hall in Liberec, the administrative city of the region.
I recommend visiting the tower of the town hall, which offers a beautiful view of T.G. Masaryk Square and the surrounding Jizera Mountains. I have been up there several times because my son works at the tourist information point here!
There is a city museum in the town hall. It's a pity that not enough people are aware of it because, in such a tiny space, you can learn a great deal about Frydlant's past and see several artifacts from the area's earlier eras.
In the thematically furnished rooms, you will see period household equipment and furniture, but also weapons and torture instruments.
Moving nativity scene
One of the biggest attractions in the town is the moving nativity scene, located in a historic house on Zahradní Street. The exhibition is open not only at Christmas but all year round!
The Špitálek Museum is the second museum in Frydlant. It is located in the building of the former burgher hospital, which in the 16th century served as a shelter for the sick, the aged, the poor, and otherwise disabled.
In 2007 the building underwent a complete reconstruction, and a museum exhibition was placed here. An important artifact, the original bread oven, was uncovered during the reconstruction. You can also see this oven in Špitálek.
If you want to take a walk and don't mind going uphill, head to the stone lookout tower located above the town.
The circuit from the town to the lookout tower and back follows comfortable hiking trails and takes about an hour.
➜ Map of Frydlant
I used the Mapy.cz site to produce an interactive map for you. I have circled all the points of interest in Frydlant and included a walking route suggestion that would take you there in about two hours.
Click on the plus or minus sign at the top right to enlarge or shrink the map.
Points of interests:
- Parking lot next to Frydlant castle
- Frydlant Castle and Chateau
- Town Hall Tower; with a beautiful view and a City Museum
- City Museum Špitálek
- Brick lookout tower above the town
- Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross
- Parking castle park, under the castle
➜ Interesting facts about Frydlant
Albrecht von Wallenstein
One of the most prominent men of his era, Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein, purchased the Frydlant estate in 1622. During his reign, Frydlant was elevated to a duchy; Wallenstein took good care of his estate, and the region flourished. However, Wallenstein's reign did not last long. In 1634, he was murdered in Cheb, and the Frydlant estate fell to the nobleman Matthias of Gallas.
In 2010, Frydlant was hit by a damaging flood that devastated the town. The area spent the next few years recovering from the effects of the flood.
Events during the year
Frydlant's town square and surrounding park are popular venues for the town's frequent cultural events. Probably the most famous is the Wallenstein Festival, when the Duke of Frýdlant comes to the town again, meets with the locals, and talks to them about life and the problems that are troubling them.
There is usually no charge for parking in Frydlant. The exception is the parking lot right next to the castle, where you pay 50 CZK for a car.
A good option for parking is the castle park, which is located below the castle.
➜ Where to eat
- My absolute tip for an excellent place to eat in Frydlant is Restaurant Na rozcestí. Every time I get to Frydlant, this place is my first choice for a tasty lunch.
- If you prefer a folk pub with typical Czech cuisine, visit the Beseda restaurant near the town center.
- Craving a good coffee? Café Jazzová Osvěžovna serves excellent coffee in a charming, retro-style setting reminiscent of a visit to Grandma.
➜ Overnight stay options
- U Wévody Fridlantského is a guesthouse located in a historic building just off the main square that offers comfortable and stylish lodging.
- The Antonie Hotel, recently developed in a cutting-edge architectural style, offers comfortable, up-to-date rooms. The indoor and outdoor pools at The Antonie are great places to unwind.
More accommodation options can be found in Liberec, the region's administrative city, about 20 minutes away.
The photos in the article were taken by Petra Kupská in August 2022.
Lemberk Castle is a must-see for any history buff or fan of old buildings!
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