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Ratibořice and Babiččino údolí

Three kilometres away from Česká Skalice, in Ratibořice, is another very famous Czech national cultural landmark – Babiččino údolí (Grandmother´s valley). In this valley are many cultural and natural monuments connected with the most famous Czech novel, Babička (Grandmother) written by Božena Němcová. Visitors can see the Castle in Ratibořice, the Lord´s tavern, Babička´s memorial, Rudr’s grain mill, a water rolling press, Staré bělidlo (the Old bleachery), Ryzmburg’s summer house, Viktorka´s weir, and the farming castle´s yard, where the Pankl´s family lived. These landmarks together with the natural beauty of the valley form an outstanding aesthetic whole. The unique atmosphere of the place takes visitors back to the times portrayed in Božena Němcová’s work. Yearly visitors to Grandmother’s Valley can also take part in a whole series of cultural fests. The most famous and attractive one is an event in which the characters from the novel Babička are brought to life.

The castle in Ratibořice was built between 1702 and 1708 in the Baroque style for the duke Lorenzo Piccolomini. At the beginning of the 19th century the castle was reconstructed in the Central European Classical and Imperial style. The castle’s park was built later, around 1810, during the reign of Duchess Kateřina Zaháňská. The park has the shape of an ellipse which flows into open space at the edges. Another interesting place in Česká Skalice is the Božena Němcová Museum, the oldest literary museum in the Czech Republic. It has three main exhibitions: the first is devoted to the writer Božena Němcová, the second is devoted to the Prussian-Austrian War and the last is devoted to the history of Česká Skalice. This museum is connected with the Textile Museum which is also situated in Česká Skalice.


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