History of the castle building

In the place where Hrubý Rohozec now stands there was originally a fortified Gothic castle, built around 1300. The earliest written record of it dates from 1322; in it, Havel of Rohozec, a member of the noble Markvartic family, used the name of the castle in his surname. This original settlement consisted of a prism-shaped defensive tower with a gateway in the northern part of the courtyard and a residential wing in the south-eastern corner, which were connected by the castle wall. At that time the whole complex was flanked on three sides by a moat; the fourth – the eastern side – was protected by trees and a rocky cliff.


During the 14th and 15th centuries, ownership of the castle passed between several families: the Turgov family, the Wartenberg family, the Michalovic family, the Tovačovský family of Cimburk, and the Krajíř family of Krajek. Towards the end of the 15th century, Johanka Krajířová of Krajek along with her husband Jan of Šelmberk began to renovate the castle as a late Gothic residence; the renovations were completed in 1516 by her brother Konrád. Two further residential buildings were added on the eastern and western sides and a slender tower was built in the southern part of the castle; on the ground in front of the tower a new gateway was erected, which is still used today as the main entrance to the castle yard. The stone wall above this late Gothic gateway is decorated with the coats of arms of the Krajíř family of Krajek and the Šelmberk family, as well as two small stone heads which are almost certainly modelled on Konrád Krajíř of Krajek and his son Arnošt. In the corners of the gateway are two small metal wheels, remnants of the former drawbridge system. Further evidence of the late Gothic conversion still visible today are the stone balcony in the castle yard and the diamond vaulting in the chapel antechamber.

The Wartenbergs regained ownership in 1534. Around 1600 Karel von Wartenberg began renovating the castle in the Renaissance style. A final residential wing was built on the north side, the interior walls were decorated with sgraffito (decorative plastering in two colours) and the arches and roofs were decorated with coats of arms. With this renovation, Hrubý Rohozec came to resemble a stately home more than a fortified castle. However, as the Wartenbergs took part in the revolt of the Bohemian estates in 1618, their estates were confiscated after the Battle of White Mountain, which took place in 1620 and signalled the defeat of the Czech Protestant nobility. The next owner was Albrecht von Wallenstein, and then in 1628 the castle and surrounding land was acquired by the French nobleman known here as Mikuláš Des Fours. His descendants used Hrubý Rohozec as the family seat until 1945, when the castle was confiscated under the Beneš Decrees and came under state ownership.

In 2008, the Czech National Heritage Institute undertook to restore the castle's interiors to their previous appearance, using photographs taken in the early 1930s. The rooms thus now more closely resemble the way they looked under Hrubý Rohozec’s penultimate owner, Mikuláš Vladimír Des Fours Walderode, who had updated the living quarters to make them more comfortable for himself and his family.