The ruins of a historic water castle in the center of Česká Lípa
In the historical center of Česká Lípa by the river Ploučnice, there is the Lipý water castle, which was founded at the end of the 13th century by the Ronovec family. The ruins of this castle are well visible from the main road passing through the town of Česká Lípa.
Lipý Castle was established as the main seat of the Ronovec family. A residential palace and a cylindrical tower were built. The area was surrounded by a stone wall and the moat was fed from the river Ploučnice. In the 16th century, the old castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau. The modifications mainly concerned the younger castle palaces, which were merged into one castle building. The castle gradually began to decay in the 17th century. After the fire on May 13, 1820, the castle began to decline. The premises served as a sugar factory and later as warehouses and hostels. The castle palace was gradually abandoned until it was blown up on February 6, 1957. Fortunately, the ruins of the castle were not completely destroyed, so in the nineties of the last century, an archaeological survey could begin and the remains of the castle were renovated.
The castle has been open to the public since 2003, with guided tours. During the tour it is possible to see the preserved unique Gothic cellars, castle gates, part of the walls and the ruins of the castle palace.
Today, the castle serves as a venue for many cultural and social events. The courtyard is used for cultural events as an open-air stage and as a summer cinema. Some cultural events also take place in the preserved cellars under the South Palace.
Jindřich of Lipá and Česká Lípa
At the beginning of the 13th century, a serf town began to emerge around the castle – Lipá, which, like the castle itself, was held at that time by the lords of Lipá. It was Jindřich of Lipá who is also credited with founding an important serf town – Česká Lípa. Jindřich of Lipá gained enormous power under King Jan of Luxembourg as the provincial administrator. He was considered an uncrowned king in Bohemia.
Red House Chateau
Just 50 meters northeast of the entrance gate to the castle stands the Red House. He had Jetřich Jiiří Berka of Dubá built it in 1583 according to Italian models. This Renaissance summer house was built in 1583. The one-storey building with vaulted open arcades attracts at first sight thanks to the preserved sgraffito. Thanks to this construction, the fortified medieval castle was transformed into a magnificent Renaissance chateau complex.
Rich sgraffito decoration of the chateau
The walls of the chateau were covered with double plaster. A second one with ground charcoal was applied to the lower white one and it was subsequently scraped off by plasterers into the shape of black-and-white envelopes.
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