Turnov (Czech pronunciation: [ˈturnof]; German: Turnau) is a town in Semily District in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 14,000 inhabitants. It lies on the Jizera River. Turnov is a traditional centre for gemstone polishing, glass craftsmanship and arts. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.

Českého ráje Square
Flag of Turnov
Coat of arms of Turnov
Turnov is located in Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 50°35′14″N 15°9′25″E / 50.58722°N 15.15694°E / 50.58722; 15.15694Coordinates: 50°35′14″N 15°9′25″E / 50.58722°N 15.15694°E / 50.58722; 15.15694
Country Czech Republic
First mentioned1272
 • MayorTomáš Hocke
 • Total22.71 km2 (8.77 sq mi)
260 m (850 ft)
 • Total14,391
 • Density630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
511 01

Turnov lies in the heart of the Bohemian Paradise nature reserve which makes it a place for tourists and summer residents. The town is also an important traffic crossroads of three railways and the Prague–Liberec highway. Turnov has a large museum (finalist in European museums competition), three galleries, six churches and a synagogue. The small old town of Middle Ages urbanism is surrounded by modern garden neighbourhoods and large parks representing an organic connection between urban areas and nature.

Administrative partsEdit

Villages and town parts of Bukovina, Daliměřice, Dolánky u Turnova, Hrubý Rohozec, Kadeřavec, Kobylka, Loužek, Malý Rohozec, Mašov, Mokřiny, Pelešany and Vazovec are administrative parts of Turnov.


Turnov was founded as a Bohemian town around 1250 by Jaroslav and Havel of Markvartice on a spur of rock overlooking the Jizera River.[2] A Dominican cloister was founded by Saint Zdislava, wife of Sir Havel. During the Middle Ages, Turnov came into the possession of the Wartenberg and Smiřický noble houses. The medieval town was frequently vulnerable to fires – it was burnt by Lusatian crusaders in 1468 and during the Thirty Years' War by Swedes in 1643, as well as a conflagration in 1707.

Turnov has long been known for its expertise with gemstones. It attracted many medieval craftsmen and artisans who produced jewelry out the local Bohemian garnet. The first European technical school for the processing of gemstones, metals, and jewelry, nowadays the Applied Arts Secondary School, was founded in Turnov in 1884 and still exists as one of the best schools of this type in the world.[2]

Jewish settlementEdit

The Turnov Jewish community is of Middle Ages origin. The relationship between Jews and Christians here was not bad thus there was no strict urban separation (ghetto). The community spoke Czech and has had its own rabbi until 1916. After the Shoah there were only small number of people practicing religion left and the synagogue was not used. Today, the number of people of Jewish origin is relatively high in the region but only few are practicing religion. Between 1950 and 2006 the synagogue has been used as a warehouse and will be restored to become a concert place and a memorial. The old Jewish cemetery is in a relatively good condition.


Historical population
Source: Historical lexicon of municipalities of the Czech Republic[3]


Town hall on Českého ráje Square

The Renaissance town hall in Turnov dates from 1562, while its three historical churches date from throughout the 14th–19th centuries. In a suburb lies the Hrubý Rohozec Castle, built in 1250 and later reconstructed into a château; today it is admissible to the public. The municipality itself is now the owner of the Valdštejn Castle, the cradle of the famous Wallenstein family, which is also open for tourists.

Museum of the Bohemian Paradise in Turnov has a significant collection of gemstones and jewelry, as well as exhibits on geology, archaeology, and folklore. It was founded in 1886.[4]

Notable peopleEdit


  • 1989–1998: Václav Šolc
  • 1998–2006: Milan Hejduk
  • 2006–2012: Hana Maierová
  • Since 2012: Tomáš Hocke

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Turnov is twinned with:[5]


  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ a b "History". Regional Tourist Information Centre Turnov. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  3. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky - 1869–2011: Okres Semily". Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 11–12.
  4. ^ "Museum of the Bohemian Paradise". Regional Tourist Information Centre Turnov. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  5. ^ "Partnerská města" (in Czech). Město Turnov. Retrieved 2020-08-13.

External linksEdit