Jicin is called by the locals a fairytale city, and that’s because of the famous Rumcajs – a fairytale character. It’s also a gate to Bohemian Paradise, as many hikers start here. For us, Jicin was a pleasant finish of the Bohemian Paradise’s tour. It was a reward after a few days full of climbing and trekking, especially for kids. But they’re not the only ones, who will enjoy this city trip. Although not full of gripping and enthralling views, Jicin is a spot you should not miss.
Rumcajs is a fairytale character of many bedtime stories. He is a well-known shoe-maker in Jicin, but he insults the mayor Humpál’s feet, and that’s why he is exiled to the Řáholce forest. After that incident, Rumcajs becomes a bandit. You’ll recognize him by the big red hat and unkept beard. Later in the story, he gets married to Manka and has a son named Cipisek. The fairytale written by Vaclav Ctvrtek and illustrated by Radek Pillar was first published in the 1960s, the Rumcajs series has continued to grow, in the Czech Republic and beyond. The stories have been translated into Polish, Slovakian, German, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Estonian, Romanian, and Latvian.
Radek Pillar’s famous illustrations from the Rumcajs fairytale can be viewed in the Gallery situated in Valdstejn chateau. The entrance is either from the information center or the backyard. The gallery is not big, the admission is 20 kc (1EUR), but you’ll have some fun inside.
SEVCOVNA (SHOE MAKER’S WORKSHOP)
Rumcajs’s household from a time when he was not yet a famous fairytale robber, but an honorable craftsman from Jičín is located on Pod Kostofrankem street. Visitors can expect the shoemaker’s workshops, some games for kids, a little herb garden, and some animals. I’ve noticed many Czech adults really enjoyed the visit, as they recall the fairytale from their childhood.
On your way to or from the Sevcovna kids can enter the big playground full of sand and water labyrinths. If you don’t have anything for a change for your kid, then you should give this place a wide berth. We spent there more than an hour.
Dragon is here to guard and protect the city. It’s also another spot, which kids love in Jicin. If you go behind the dragon’s back, you’ll notice he’s looking straight at the Valdice gate. The dragon was created by a graduate of the Turnov Art School and is in Jicin since 2000.
While my kids had fun at the playground I managed to step 156 stairs and take a look at Jicin from the Valdice gate. Today, it’s a 52-meter high lookout tower, but it was built as part of the town fortifications in the XVI century. The entrance fee is 40 kc and the cash desk is surprisingly at the top of the tower!
Formerly called Masaryk’s or Gottwald’s, Wallenstein Square is the center of the Jicín city monument reserve. This rectangular square with an area of one hectare is surrounded by houses on every side. It’s dominated by the Renaissance Valdice Gate, the chateau, and the Baroque church of St. James the Greater.
WALLENSTEIN CHATEAU AND GARDEN
It’s not one of those chateaux that will take your breath away. It’s a regular building at the square, that’s really easy to miss. Search for the yellowish building, it’s where the information center is located. Contrary, the garden behind is worth spending the time on. It went through a complete revitalization in 2010 and now is an oasis of calm in the city center. Here, you can enjoy a snack at the cafe, while your kid play at the playground.
If you have a bit more time in Jicin, take a walk through the absolutely amazing alley of lindens. It’s around a 2-kilometer walk to the Wallenstein loggia.
The whole area is located at the foot of the picturesque basalt hill Zebin. It is part of Wallenstein’s Baroque composed designed landscape axes, connecting sacral buildings, landscape landmarks, and the town of Jicin. The main building in the heart of the huge park was probably intended for various festivities. The Wallenstein loggia was supposed to be the pride of this area, but unfortunately, with the death of the duke, the realization of a flamboyant and timeless dream ended. Nowadays, it’s a cultural place, where different festivals, theatres, concerts, and performances take place. You can also go on a guided tour, order coffee at the Cafe Loggia, or plan your wedding here.
It’s everything we’ve seen and experienced in Jicin. It was a part of our Bohemian Paradise’s journey.
I can’t recommend any particular place in Jicin as we decided to sleep closer to nature, in the heart of Bohemian Paradise – very close to Prachov Rocks. But if you’re interested in Jicin, here are the possibilities.