Rokytnice nad Jizerou is one of the places of the Giant Mountains that was already settled in the 16th century. Our municipality was founded around the year 1574. It was named after the Huťský stream. It was originally called "Rokytnice" after the adjective "rokytná", which means stream flowing among willows (a willow was called "rokyta"). Also, an old evangelic name of the municipality, which became a sanctuary for many Protestants, is recorded – Kalich (meaning "Chalice").

The first inhabitants of the valley along the Huťský stream were extracting wood, copper, lead and silver. In 1625, Albrecht of Valdštejn had the local deposits examined, and a whole range of earlier mining works was discovered. A specialist from Jáchymov was called. Valdštejn issued a code, in which he promised to provide the miners with dwellings and possibilities to obtain granges under favourable conditions.

The highest mine of the area was called "Vysoký Hrad" (meaning "High Castle") on the Kotel mountain. From there, the ore had to be carried down to Rokytnice; in 1630, for one transported hundredweight, (61.6 kg) people were paid 12 Kreuzers. Unfortunately, Valdštejn's death caused a decline of the Rokytnice mines. After the Thirty Years' War, there was an attempt at revival of mostly desolate and flooded shafts since hardly any mining facilities remained in operation Miners from Rokytnice applied for national assistance to open a silver vein, but in vain. Reports about inspections of calamine mines and a request for permission for mining of lead ores were preserved from the year 1814. In the years 1853-1856, even an ore mill and a separation plant were built in Horní Rokytnice. But the project was loss-making. A mining attempt from 1909 was vain as well.

Glass tradition was very important in Rokytnice. In the western part of the Giant Mountains, there was enough wood. Unlike the eastern part of the mountain range, this area was not burdened by the task to supply wood for the mines in Kutná hora. Already before the year 1562, the owner of the landed estate, Arnošt from Újezdec and Kunice, founded glassworks in Rokytnice, in which a famous glass family of Schürer worked. However, the glassworks had to move closer to the source of wood. The Rokytnice glassworks was in operation from 1574 to 1599.

After the Thirty Years' War, the area of Rokytnice was predominantly of Protestant denomination. The hetman of the Jilemnice landed estate Jiřík Hartmann of Hartenštejn did not have a single Catholic in the list of his subjects from 1651. A few years later, a missionary Kašpar Dirig from the Society of Jesus only stated that there is virtually nothing to do with that. Nevertheless, he tried that and won over even several obdurate heretics. So, on St. John's day in 1680, a big fire, which was to document victory of the Church, flamed up. But for the priest, it was not easy at all. During the mission, his dwelling in Rokytnice was raided three times.

Sometimes, quite exaggerated stories were told about anti-reformation campaigns. On the other hand, many sects emerged, the strongest of which were the Adamites. In the area of Rokytnice, also some revolts of the subjects occurred – for example in 1704, during brewery construction. An originally wooden Protestant church from 1598 was in the anti-reformation era replaced by a brick building. Between 1752 and 1759, a single-aisle late-Baroque church of St. Michael was built at its place according to the plans of an unknown Viennese architect. It was equipped in classicism style. A tin baptistery was added in 1793.

Mainly in 1775-1776, the peasants rebelled at several places in Bohemia. Contrary to other landed estates, German inhabitants of Rokytnice did not join Czech rebels; quite the contrary, they lined up with a manorial officer and helped suppress the uprising. In July 1776, people armed with pitchforks, rifles, and sabres attacked the manorial court and vicarage. The bleachery owner and the verderer with their people fought them off. The definitive order was established by the hussars. The rebellion leaders were caught and died in prison.

In the 18th century, big part of the population of Rokytnice was engaged in weaving. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, domestic work was ousted by factory textile production – this led to new unrest. On 1st December 1839, the equipment of J. Grossmann's mechanical spinnery was destroyed. In 1873, a lower weaving school was founded here.

The development of industry was also supported by construction of a railway track between Martinice v Krkonoších and Rokytnice nad Jizerou, which was inaugurated on 7th December 1899. In 1903, a town hall in Art Noveau style with a 37-metre-high tower was built in the centre of the town; it was reconstructed in the 70's of the 20th century.

After World War II, textile production in Rokytnice continued. But the town gradually started to gain more significance as a popular sports and recreation centre.

Historical Rokytnice nad Jizerou in Photogallery