Castle Benatky over Jizerou is a cultural historic landmark in the Czech Republic which is situated in Central Bohemia. The castle is the main attraction is the eponymous Czech town, which lies on the River Jizeriou and is situated between the cities of Stara Boleslav and Mlada Boleslav.
The castle is first mentioned in historical texts in 1052, when the settlement was built here and which today is a major part of the city. In 1264 close to the castle was built another castle, Dražice Castle which still exists to this day.
In 1346 the ruler of this castle - Jan von Dražice created the village Benatky. In 1349 here next to the castle was built the Church of the Virgin Mary. In 1385 Dražice died and the ownership of the castle was transferred.
In 20 years of the 16th century the castle was turned into a beautiful Renaissance palace, which, however, was destroyed during military conflicts. In 1525, when the owner was the Earl of Donin, he decided to radically rebuild the castle, because the old castle that was built by Dražice, proved to be dysfunctional and did not satisfy the origin and quality of life of Donin.
Parts of the Renaissance palace, built by the Earl, is now west wing of the castle. Throughout the 16th century gradually the facade of the palace was made with different decorations and mythological figures, hunting scenes, arcades and more.
Around 1647 the castle came into the hands of General Jan von Werth, which brought significant improvements in the construction of the palace. Especially the Baroque wing, which today is preserved part of the foundation and the front facade.
During this time the castle was divided into two wings, with two separate entrances and staircases - Renaissance (Old Castle) and Baroque (New Castle). In 1656 the new part of the castle was burned down. It was restored at the end of the 17th century. It is assumed that third wing of the palace was added around 1702.
Today, walking through the castle offers an opportunity to learn many things about its history and interesting personalities who have stayed here at one time or another in history. Memorial hall of the palace is dedicated to the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who made his observatory here in 1599.
Even the famous composer Smetana (Bedřich Smetana) lived in the castle while teaching music lessons to the Thun family.
Nowadays the castle celebrate a festival, which traditionally begins on September 4. For several days the palace recreate the medieval atmosphere thanks to the dancing, music, theatrical performances.