Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area

Cultural and historical characteristics

The considerable variation of landscape types had a great effect on the history of human settlement of the area. Finds of Flint tools have documented the presence of prehistoric man, but the most significant archaeological finds are connected to Slav settlement on the territory of Kokořínsko. The Slavs began to build defensive fortresses in the region in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. One of the largest and most significant fortresses was Canburg, probably built on the site of today’s Hradsko. Archaeological finds from this locality are considered to be the second oldest objects from the historical period found in the country, after St. Václav’s helmet. A number of strategic locations on headlands, rock formations and castellated rocks were also used by medieval builders, to build various “rock castles”, including chambers carved into the rock massif. These underground spaces were used as cellars, water reservoirs and bridges. The largest and most famous Medieval structures in Kokořínsko are Kokořín Castle, after which the whole protected landscape area is named, Ronov Castle, of which we can only find ruins today and the Houska Chateu, which began its life as a castle in the 13th century.

From the early 19th century, Kokořínsko was visited by Czech cultural celebrities such as the writer and poet Karel Hynek Mách, who was so enchanted by the romantic and magical Kokořín region that he set his novel Cikáni (Gypsies) here. The well-known teacher from Mšeno and Kokořínsko patriot Josef Bedřich Cinibulk wrote several popular and informative tourist guides to the region at the beginning of the 20th century and introduced many people to the beauties of this “forgotten” corner of Bohemia.