Helfstyn Castle, Moravia, Czech Republic (with Map & Photos)

Helfstyn belongs to the largest castles in Europe and is one of the best-preserved complexes in the Czech Republic. Individual architectural groups grew here from the beginning of the 14th century to the end of the 18th century. During this time, the castle was systematically rebuilt and expanded. However, the architectural development was mainly influenced by the deliberate destruction, ordered by the Austrian military administration in 1656. Another deterioration came in the first half of the 19th century. Despite this, the walls have remained intact throughout their length. and also the stone walls of individual buildings have been preserved. Only roofs and roofs have not survived.

Helfštýn Castle, Moravia, Czech Republic
Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic

In its present appearance, the castle has the character of an extensive fortress with six entrance gates, a number of dungeons and buildings, and a recognized system of mounds that extend into the community of Tyn nad Becvou. Helfstyn Castle played an important role as a Hussite base in their fight against the German Catholic city of Olomouc and was also the support of King George of Podebrady's troops against the Hungarian King Matias Corvin. Furthermore, the castle played an important role during the Thirty Years' War and during the time of the Turkish invasions of Moravia.

Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic
Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic

The castle belonged to important feudal lines who had their exact ideas about the residence according to its economic strength and its social prestige. Fridus de Linava established the inner castle in the beginning of the 14th century. The architectural development of the entire complex is evident in the palace building. The two wings of the palace were raised to connect two separate palaces - the two-story north palace that belonged to Vok I of Kravare and the eastern palace of Drslav of Kravare.
Lacek of Kravare, who lived in the castle, left another important feature in the castle's architectural design (1369-1416). Another important builder and owner of the castle was Vilem de Pernstejn (1475-1521), who expanded and rebuilt it. Other members of the Pertnstejn line (until 1554) continued their activities which resulted in enormous expansion.

Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic
Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic

The new structures included: the fortification of the second courtyard with the entrance gate (the Pernstejn heraldic plaque from 1480), the Broad wall (length 95m, width 7-9.8m, height 14.5m), the bastion "Calabozo", the sloppy tower, the castle kitchen, the two-winged palace of the Renaissance style. The castle was rebuilt also by its next owners - Bruntalsky of Vrbno (1593-1621) who diminished the higher windows of Jan de Pernstejn. Also during the possession of these owners, the castle ceased to serve as the noble residence. During the confiscation after the Battle of the White Mountain (1621) the castle became the property of the noble family of Dietrichstein and finally of the family of Lipnik. From now on, only small or larger military garrisons occupied the castle, abandoned it, destroyed and fortified it again. The first reconstructions of the castle, which were already understood as reconstructions of a historical monument.

Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic
Helfštýn Castle Czech Republic

Other salvage works were made in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1952, the castle was declared a State Cultural Monument and became a part of the Regional Museum of History in Olomouc. Since 1960, the castle belongs to the Museum in Prerov which organizes all the necessary reconstruction work. Despite all these works, the castle is open to the public.

In addition, during the summer months, cultural programs are organized that attract even more visitors (theaters, artisans, historical fencing, etc.). Since 1980, Helfstyn Castle became one of the sites of activities of the "Brontosaurus" movement - the movement of young people who significantly assisted in the maintenance of historical monuments.

Helfštýn Castle Map