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History of the Castle

The Skála castle was founded sometime before 1353 probably by Hynek of Wallenstein. His descendants owned the castle until 1416, when the lords of Jenstein took over followed by Zajíc of Hasenburgs in 1460.
Being the member of Zelenohorská jednota, Jan Zajíc of Hasenburg stood up against king Jiří and as a retaliation, the castle was besieged and conquered by the king's army. In 1492 the castle was taken over by the line of Svojanovský of Boskovice, who have extended the Skála manor to about 54 villages and hamlets. Jan Svojanovský subsequently fell into debt and was forced to sell the manor out part by part to Zikmund Smiřický of Smiřice, the last part being the castle itself in 1524. Zikmund Smiřický (died in 1548) and his descendants have further extended the estate and rebuilt the old gothic castle into a three-wing Renaissance chateau. In 1618, Albrecht Jan Smiřický stood up actively against emperor Ferdinand, which would certainly gain him a death sentence after the uprising having been suppressed. He died in November 1618 before that could happen and as his oligophrenic brother Jindřich Jiří was the manor's undeniable co-owner, the manor was not then confiscated, but went under the control of his custodian, Albrecht of Wallenstein. Jindřich Jiří died at Hrubá Skála in 1630 and the manor remained in the hands of Albrecht of Wallenstein, being thus affiliated with Albrecht's duchy of Frýdlant.

After Albrecht's assassination in Cheb in 1634, Maxmillian of Wallenstein has become the new owner of Skála. During the thirty-year war the chateau suffered significantly. Right after the death of Albrecht of Wallenstein it was robbed both by the Saxons and the imperial army, then taken over by a Swedish garrison only to be won back by Colloredo's imperial troops in 1639. Later on, in 1643, they were forced out again by the Swedish under the command of general Torstenson. Of course, in such a turmoil the manor of Hrubá Skála suffered immensely, lot of villages being burnt down or abandoned. Maxmillian of Wallenstein spent the rest of his life in Vienna until his death in 1655. By the emperor's ruling in 1658, along with other castles Hrubá Skála was to be taken down not to serve as an outpost for the enemy in case of possible future war. Skála was eventually saved following protests of Maximillian's grandson Arnošt Josef of Wallenstein, which probably made the emperor change his mind. In 1710 and 1804 the chateau was damaged by fire but mended again in both cases by the Wallensteins. František Adam, the last of the Wallensteins, sold Skála and the entire manor to Jan Lexa of  Aerenthal in 1821. The Aerenthals were good landlords who have been amending their castles and chateaus slightly in the manner of romantism. They have had the Hrubá Skála rebuilt in a neo-gothic style. Aloys count Lexa of Aehrenthal was the minister of Austria-Hungarian foreign affairs. The chateau was then confiscated by the state in 1945. Shortly after that the communist unions have taken over to have the premises adapted to recreational facilities. In that process, the chateau interiors have unfortunately undergone an irreparable damage.

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