Božena Němcová Museum
A museum of the greatest Czech woman-writer Božena Němcová (1820–1862) was founded in 1931 as the 1st literary museum in our country. At the beginning, the collections of the museum were housed in the old town hall in Česká Skalice, in 1962 they were transferred into a reconstructed building of a former Steidler´s Inn called „At the White Lion“ which was built in 1824. The museum exhibition makes the visitors acquainted with life and work of B. Němcová. Although Barunka Pankel – later writer B. Němcová – was born in Vienna, Austria, she spent her nice but poor childhood in Ratibořice Valley where she was also being brought up by her Granny. Later Němcová wrote about it her most beautiful work, „The Granny“. Little Barunka and her brothers and sisters attended school in Česká Skalice which was about 5 km away (see Old timbered school). And in Česká Skalice there was her wedding in 1837 too. Her husband chosen by her parents was 15 years older Josef Němec, a civil servant. A wedding reception was just held at the Steidler´s Inn, present museum. Mr. Steidler´s daughter was Barunka´s friend as well as a bridesmaid at her wedding. At that time, growing and cultivating of dahlias was being spread in our region. A beautiful flower called dahlia has its origin in Mexiko. Dahlia became a symbol of national revival and patriotism in Česká Skalice and its surroundings and in 1836, Mr. Steidler built a magnificent hall in his inn which was made for annual autumn exhibitions of dahlias and at the same time for Dahlia Balls that were held on this occasion. By a coincidence, the 1st Dahlia Ball took place two days after the wedding of Barunka Pankel and Josef Němec and they also took part of it. Mrs. Němcová was crowned queen of the ball there. Among guests of the following balls there was Bedřich Smetana, later world-famous composer, who composed his Dahlia Polka to honor these dahlia celebrations. It´s not only the Dahlia Hall what attracts the visitors. In the exhibition there are shown unique photos and portraits of B. Němcová, a museum visitor can make a picture of her living according to her preserved furniture and her personal things; the first two editions of The Granny from 1855 and 1862 are on display too. Since, The Granny was released many times and it was translated into almost 30 languages (including Chinese and Japanese). The museum is arranged so as to show not only the literary work of Božena Němcová but also her private life, family, friends, political persecution after 1848… Last but not least, the evidence about the response of her work is given.
Early Gothic stronghold
The early Gothic stronghold was built inthe 13th century as a settlement base. In the 17th century it was burnt out from the Sweden Army and then nobody was interested in its renovation.
Opening time (Steidler’s Inn, Stronghold):
May — June 9–17
(on Mondays closed, last visit begins at 16)
July — August 9–17
(daily, last visit begins at 16)
(on Mondays closed, last visit begins at 15)
October — April 9–15
(on working days only, last visit begins at 14)
Old timbered school
A part of an area of the Old timbered school (also Barunka’s school) in Česká Skalice is a torso of a former wooden school which Barunka Pankel – later writer Božena Němcová – attended in the years 1824-1833. In 1962, a former teacher’s flat was re-built into a classroom from 1830′s-1840′s as it was described by B. Němcová in her short story The Teacher. According to the design by academic architect Vladimír Labský, a monument area was built atrium covered with a thatched roof there are five niches with ceramic decoration representing a school day of Barunka Pankel and her schoolmates by academic painter Jiří Škopek. In the reconstructed stone building above the Úpa river there is a steady exhibition of the history of Česká Skalice. A collection of military souvenirs from the battle at Česká Skalice during the Prussio-Austrian war in 1866 is also a part of it.
May — June 9–17
(on Mondays closed, last visit begins at 16.30)
July — August 9–17
(daily, last visit begins at 16.30)
(on Mondays closed, last visit begins at 15.30)
October — April
Grany’s Valley Nature Trail
From the old timbered school around the Božena Němcová Museum leads the nature trail to Ratibořice caste and Riesenburg (Rýzmburk). The route is five miles long and it is open from May to September.
Muzeum Boženy Němcové
tel: +420 491 451 285
Areál Barunčiny školy
Boženy Němcové 9
tel. +420 491 451 285 / dial line 108