Zámecký vrch (Chateau Hill) near Česká Kamenice

Zámecký vrch is a distinctive isolated basalt hill rising to 529.6 m above sea level near the town of Česká Kamenice in the district of Děčín. It is particularly known for the ruins of Kamenicky Castle and the renovated viewpoint at the top. It is the highest peak in the geomorphological sub-region of Českokamenická vrchovina. The top of the hill is 200 metres higher than Česká Kamenice.

Between Česká Kamenice and Kamenický Šenov there is a green Czech Tourist Club route for walkers, with a path turning off up to the top. The nearest trains and buses run from Česká Kamenice.

Castle

This was apparently established in the 13th century, but it did not see its heyday and completion until the lords of Vartenberk finished it before 1430 to protect the provincial road leading to Lusatia. The name was derived from the Kamenice mountain stream, which is full of boulders. 10–15 years later Lusatian towns put together a military expedition in retaliation for the Vartenberk raids into Lusatia and evidently burned the castle in 1440–1444. Many decades later, in 1515, the estate was bought by the lords of Salhausen. Other records indicate that in 1535 Kamenice was again owned by the lords of Vartenberk, but the castle was no longer occupied by then. It was the subject of a skirmish in 1639 during the Thirty Years' War and the Swedes again burned and destroyed it. In 1880 members of the so-called Beautification Committee got to work on cleaning up after the raids and repairing the brickwork. The castle palace building was then converted into a tourist chalet, where a 16-metre-high lookout tower was also built, with a lovely view of Česká Kamenice. In 1910 the committee managed to open up the knights’ hall. After 1940 the building, including the lookout tower, began to fall into disrepair; the restaurant closed 10 years later, and the wooden tower gradually fell apart.

Restoration

Renovation work commenced in 1995, thanks to a new foundation set up in Česká Kamenice to restore Zámecký vrch. The ruins were cleared out again, the walls reinforced and, in 1998, the construction of the new lookout tower was completed. The reopening ceremony took place on 13th June 1998.


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Zámecký vrch (Chateau Hill) near Česká Kamenice
Česká Kamenice


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