Helfštýn Castle (Hrad Helfštýn)

Helfštýn Castle is located 4 km from Lipník nad Bečvou in Olomouc region of Czech Republic.




Location: 4 km from Lipník nad Bečvou, Olomouc Region    Map

Constructed: 13th century by knight Friduš (Helfrid) of Linava


History of Helfstyn Castle

The fortress was constructed in 13th century by knight Friduš (Helfrid) of Linava. The knight became famous for less than knightly behavior by robbing traders and merchants who passed through the region. After death of the last king from the dynasty of Přemyslide, Wenceslas III, the country sunk into unlawfulness so even noble families resorted to illegal activity. Eventually the deeds of the robbing baron became famous and king John of Luxemburg sent his troops to kill Fridus (Helfrid). They succeeded, but the castle still kept the name of the first owner. A big stone on the courtyard marks the entrance to a well that according to local legends was used by devil himself after he captured the soul of Fridus.


In the early 14th century Helfstyn Castle was acquired by Kravař family. The castle served as one of the bases for Hussite movement. Its thick walls proved to be too strong for armies of Hungarian King Mathias Corvin in 1468. Vilém of Pernštejn improved the defences to met current improvements in the military technology and firearms. This proved to be useful against Swedish and Danish armies during Thirty Years' War in the 17th century then noble family of Ditrichštejns defended it. In the 18th century the castle was eventually abandoned and it was illegally occupied by a band of robbers. Ditrichštejns clan dealt with the intruders quickly and decisively, killing everyone. Today the castle is restored and serves as an international gathering place for blacksmiths known as "Hefaiston". Additionally a permanent exhibition is situated on the grounds of the Helfštýn Castle.