The Museum of the Bohemian Paradise was founded in 1886 as a regional museum and was one of the first Czech museums outside Prague. Thanks to the bequest of patron Josef Bohacek, the Museum achieved its permanent headquarters in a spacious Neo-Renaissance building. The Museum premises were extended in 2010 with a replica of a timbered municipal house which has a small exhibition on the regional collectors and ethnographers Josef and Jana Scheybal and which holds popular creative workshops for adults and children. The expositions of the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise offer a unique chance to get to know the Turnov City together with the whole region. Since its foundation, the Museum has been gathering documentary materials about the natural wealth of Cesky Raj (Bohemian Paradise), its cultural history, traditional crafts and folk art. From 1930 it has specialised in precious stones and stone-cutting which is a typical work craft in this region. The accompanying exhibition is dedicated to geology and mineralogy, especially to exquisite stones and include rare examples of gemstones found at Czech and world sites, displaying their diverse beauty. The permanent exhibition on Turnov City stone making offers a fascinating journey from primitive jasper tools (round 9000 years old), to the jewel and technical stone fabrication which made Turnov City renowned worldwide. Exposed examples of cut and engraved stones and production of glass imitations illustrate the technology of stone processing and compare historical and modern jewels, especially those containing Czech garnet. An overview of gem cutting and goldsmith skills is crowned by the attractive Treasury in the Museum’s basement which contains jewels and gems made by teachers and students of Turnov City Jewellery School, frequently awarded at world exhibitions. It is extended by the archaeological, historical and national history sections. The permanent exposition also includes an exclusive panoramic picture created by Mikolas Ales titled “Pobiti Sasiku pod Hrubou Skalou” (The Defeat of Saxons under the Hruba Skala Mountain), the size of which is 27 x 32ft, dating back to 1895. The District Museum is located close to the Cesky Raj Square in Turnov City, 650ft from the Church of St. Francis. All expositions are wheel-chair accessible.
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