Liberec Tourist Attractions
Liberec, in Northern Bohemia, has some interesting sights. This town was once a wealthy place and the second largest city after Prague. The textile industry flourished here in the 19th Century and as a result some beautiful buildings were constructed. Among them, the neo-Gothic Town Hall (Radnice) the opera house, and the Museum of Northern Bohemia. Liberec was primarily German leading up to World War II but following the end of the war the Germans were expelled and Czechs settled in the town.Liberec is the capital of the Liberec region and the town is still an important center in Northern Bohemia. Construction in recent years has seen some unique contemporary buildings erected. Notable are the National Science Library and the Ceska Pojistovna building.
The small spa of Lazne Libverda is located just 12km / 7mi from the village of Frydlant and 25km / 15mi from Liberec. Lazne Libverda is one of the lesser visited spas in the region. It also has less by way of tourist facilities and is not the lavish production found at many of the other spas across the country. However, this lack of commercialism is one of the more charming features of the spa. Accommodation options are more basic but the treatment options are extensive. Set in the foothills of the Jezera Mountains the setting is beautiful and there are nearby walking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails, depending on the time of year.
The impressive Flemish style neo-Renaissance Town Hall (Radnice) is the most noteworthy piece of architecture in Liberec. Built in 1893, the Town Hall looks more like a cathedral or palace than an administrative building. It dominates the main square (Benes Square). The three copper cupolas can be seen on the skyline from a distance.The town hall was built to mimic an edifice in Vienna by Viennese architect F. Neumann, as a reminder of the town's German speaking heritage. The main square that the town hall sits on is named for Edvard Benes, the man responsible for having the German's expelled from Liberec.
There are several towns and attractions in the Liberec area that can be easily visited on a day trip.
North of Liberec, in the Jizera Mountains (Jizerske hory), is the village of Frydlant. The town's most notable feature is the medieval castle that is easily seen as it rises above the surrounding countryside and the River Smedava. The Frydlant castle dates to the 13th Century with much of the fortifications and the round tower still in tact. Surrounding neo-Gothic and Renaissance buildings compliment the old castle.The castle, once owned by the Wallenstein (Valdstejn) family and later the Clam-Gallas family, has been open to the public as a museum since the early 1800s. On display in the interior are Gothic furnishings, baroque paintings, ceramics, toys, pipes from the 18th to early 20th Centuries, and everyday items belonging to people who would have lived in the castle.
The small town of Hukvaldy, set in a wooded area, is a very pleasant spot to stop and take a break from touring. For the children, the town features a deer park set in the ruins of a medieval castle. The name of the town comes from the word hukalky, which translates as wood nymphs.Local legend says that the famous Czech composer Leos Janacek (1854-1928) got his inspiration from the surrounding woods and even from the wood nymphs themselves. At Hukvaldy there is a museum dedicated to his life, which contains his furniture along with his harmonium and lectern upon which he composed his greatest works.Several music festivals take place in Hukvaldy each summer. Two of note are the Janácek's Hukvaldy International Music Festival and the Janácek's Lašsko Musical Festival.
Jablonec nad Nisou
Located in the Jizerske Mountains the town of Jablonec nad Nisou is the administrative center for the area. Although there have been people living in this area since the 13th Century, the town was settled in the 1500s and became prominent name in the glass making industry and later it became well known for its jewelry production. The town flourished prior to World War I and again in prior to World War II. Some of the buildings are a testament to the town's prosperity.Jablonec nad Nisou has a number of interesting buildings representing different architectural styles. Some of the places worth seeing are the New Town Hall, the baroque Church of St Anne, the Town Theatre, the Museum of Glass and Jewelry (Muzeum skla a bizuterie) located in an interesting art nouveau building, and a number of others if time permits.
Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelry
The history of Jablonec nad Nisou is so intertwined with the glass and costume jewelry industry that touring the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelry (Muzeum skla a bizuterie) is a must for anyone spending time in the town. The museum is housed in a beautiful floral style art nouveau building. On display at the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelry are jewels and costume jewelry depicting the history and progression of the industry in Bohemia and Jablonec nad Nisou, the process of jewel making, costume jewelry, and medal design, including mintage.
Jablonne V Podjestedi
The main attraction in the small town of Jablonne V Podjestedi is the white with pink trim, church of St Vavrinec. This baroque church, with rococo features, was built at the end of the 17th Century and beginning of the 18th Century and is the most striking building in Jablonne V Podjestedi. The church contains catacombs with mummified bodies which can be visited on a guided tour. Included in the crypt are the remains of St Zdislava of Lemberk.Just 3km / 2mi east of Jablonne V Podjestedi is the 13th Century Lemberk castle, once owned by the Wallenstein (Valdstejn) family. It is possible to view the interior, which is lavishly furnished, on a guided tour.
Cesky raj Museum, Turnov
The town of Turnov is just north of the Czech Paradise Nature Reserve (Cesky raj). It is the main service center for the reserve and where travelers will find the Cesky raj Visitor Information Center. Also of interest in Turnov is the Czech Paradise Museum (Cesky raj museum) with information of the geology and history of the area, and includes mineralogical, archaeological, ethnography, and jewelry collections. The museum also contains archives and art exhibits. The main focus of the Czesky raj Museum is on gemstones; the collection and cutting process of precious stones. Temporary exhibits are also displayed at the museum.