Turnov is a town on the Jizera river in the northern Czech Republic. It has about 14,500 inhabitants and lies in the southern part of Liberec Region.
Turnov was founded as a Bohemian town in 1272 by Jaroslav and Havel of Markvartice on a spur of rock overlooking the Jizera River. A tradition of trade and industry developed in the town from its very beginnings and Turnov soon began to prosper. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the town’s inhabitants received important legal and economic privileges and this was directly followed by the construction of the town hall building in the town centre. An old trade route passed through Turnov and the town became a significant transport hub, which is still the case today.
The 18th century is considered to be the golden age of Turnov stone working. During this period, began craftsmen working the renowned Czech garnets. Interest in the field grew in parallel with the increasing interest in jewellery production. As such, a specialist school for metal and stone working, nowadays the Applied Arts Secondary School, was established in 1884.
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.