Vranov Castle, built on the steep rock cliff high above the Jizera River at the beginning of the 15th century, was one of the last castles built in the region.

At that time the design of the castle perfectly fitted the requirements for defence as the group of sandstone formations falling down the valley of the Jizera River from all sides nearly vertically was incorporated. Judging by the scratches and furrows in the rock walls, the domestic buildings within the premises of the Vranov were mostly wooden; therefore only the cellars carved in the rocks are preserved. The access to the castle used to be in two steps, through two fortified gates. There was a wooden tower on the highest rock block that dominated the whole premises.

Vranov experienced periods of great development and severe decay. In 1802 the domain of Malá Skála, including Vranov, was bought by František Zachariáš Rtimisch, an entrepreneur, who had the access to the castle adjusted and built a lookout platform high above the Jizera. Inside the castle and in the near vicinity, he ordered the installation of various tombstones, inscriptions, signs, stone urns and dates in memory of legendary and historic personalities and events, writers, artists and poets. There are the names and events from the period of the Napoleonic wars in one room and the names of ancient legendary heroes connected with Czech history in another room. In addition, Shakespeare, Goethe, Cervantes and many others are celebrated there as well. The newly adjusted premises of Vranov Castle were named the Pantheon.

However, Rtimisch's successors did not pay so much attention and care to Vranov so a big part of the Pantheon riches was damaged. What is still there is the superb view of Malá Skála and the running Jizera River.



Your name


Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

More Information



4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nelson Mochilero (2 years ago)
Expect some really amazing views from an outstanding place. This place houses epic pantheons and legendary constructions that add fantasy to the impressive views. For this reason, I recommend climbing the highest stairs in the place. Admission is paid. I didn't see bathrooms. There's coffee.
Sheila Young (3 years ago)
We rented an Airbnb place near this castle and could see it from our patio. When we visited it, it was the most interesting place. One of the photos is from the vantage point of the castle looking at the village of Mala Skala where we stayed. You can climb all over the ruins as well as visit the inside of the chapel. Well worth the visit and free.
Jan Vilímek (4 years ago)
Very nice trip destination. Need to walk (no car parking, not wheelchair accessible, also not for small kids/baby carriages). Suitable only when sunny & not so windy days. When raining could be dangerous. But the views are magnificent and the hike there very beautiful.
Peter van den Broek (6 years ago)
Very nice ruin on top of a rock. The view is great. Being afraid of heights, the climb to the top was very challenging (I didn't reach the cross, but heard it was beautiful up there). We parked our car near castle Frýdštejn and walked the red route to Vranov, which is an excellent hike (takes about an hour).
janina .cz (7 years ago)
Breathtaking views and fascinating centuries old rock castle. Must see - but only if you are physically capable of it. The rock stairs are supersteep and the trails are narrow but it's worth every moment of fear you might feel. From Malá Skála (there is a parking lot near), you have to climb up the hill, first there are hundreds of wooden stairs and then the rock stairs but brace yourselves and go for it!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of St Donatus

The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.

The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.

The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.