Czech RepublicsipkaRegion by regionsipkaNorthern Moravia (Ostrava)sipkaOpava districtsipkaHelfstyn - castle

Tyn nad Becvou, Phone: 0604-97846

The Helfstyn castle ranks among the most extensive castles in Europe and it is one of the best-preserved castle complexes in the Czech Republic. Individual architectural groups arose from the beginning of the 14th up to the end of the 18th centuries. In this time interval, the castle was systematically reconstructed and widened. Its building development, however, was strongly influenced by deliberate damanging, ordered by Austrian military administration in Vienna in the year 1656. Further deterioration was then note in the first half of the 19th century. In spite of that, the ramparts remained intact all over the periphery and also the stone walls of individual buildings are well preserved. Only ceilings and roofs did not survive.
In its present appearance, the castle has the character of an extensive architecture of fortification with six gates, a number of dungeons and buildings and with a recognisable system of mounds extending down to the locality of Tyn upon Becva. The Helfstyn castle performed its important military function as a base of Hussites agains the German catholic town of Olomouc as well as in support of troops of the king Jiri of Podebrady against the Hungarian king Mathias Corvin. The castle also accomplished its important role during the Thirty Years' War and in the course of the Turkish threat to Moravia.
The castle belonged to significant feudal lines, members of that had certain ideas about their residence according to their economic power and social prestige. The dwelling function of the building developed accordingly. Fridus of Linava founded the inner castle at the beginning of the l4th century. The complex construction development of the building is best documented by the building of the castle palace. Today's two palace wings arose by connection of two separate palaces, of the two-storeyed northern palace belonging to Vok I. of Kravare and of the eastern tower palace belonging to Drslav of Kravare.
Lacek of Kravare who resided on Helfstyn, as builder left a deep trace in the architectural design of the castle (1369 - 1416). A further significant builder and owner of the castle was Vilem of Pernstejn (1475 - 1521) by whom the castle was widened and reibuilt. Also further members of the Pernstejn line (up to 1554) continued this activity resulting in multiple enlargement of the castle.
New buildings included: the fortification of the second courtyard with castle gate (well preserved Pernstejn heraldic plate dated 1480), the Wide wall (length 95 m, width 7 - 9,8 m, height up to 14,5 m), the "Dungeon" bastion, the Bunglers tower, the castle kitchen, the two-wing palace of renaissance style. On the palace can also be noted a building encroachment by later castle owners, by Bruntalsky of Vrbno (1593 - 1621) who diminished the higner windows of Jan of Pernstejn by brick lining. Moreover under these owners the castle ceased to serve as a nobility residence (by confiscation after the White Mount (Bila hora) events it came into the hold of the Dietrichstein line) and the administration of the domain was finally transferred to Lipnik. Henceforth only greater or smaller military garrisons occupied the castle by turn abandoned, destroyed and again fortified.
First repairs of the castle, being already seen as repairs of a historical monument, go back to the period of the popular liking for romantic architecture, when bridges and staircases were built, the dancing pavilion and stables on the second courtyard were rebuilt in a pub (in the 40 years of the 19th century).
Further safety work rari into the 20th to 30th years of last century. In 1952 the castle was declared to be a state cultural possesion and assigned to the Regional National History Museum in Olomouc. Since 1960 the Helfstyn castle is under the administration of the Museum in Prerov which arranges for the necessary investment for reconstruction and security work. All the renovation work runs with the castle opened. Moreover, in summer month, cultural programmes are prepared for the increasing number of visitors (historical fencing, theatre shows and traditional meetings of artistic smith - Hefaiston). From 1980 the Helfstyn castle became also flee place of steady operation of the "Brontosaurus" movement whose young participants from the whole republic largely contributed to the maintenance of this significant historical cultural monument of the Prerov district.

Opening hours:

  November - March May - August April & September & October
Monday close close close
Tuesday close 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00
Wednesday close 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00
Thursday close 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00
Friday close 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00
Saturday 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 16.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00
Sunday 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 16.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 18.00 9.00 - 12.15 & 12.45 - 17.00

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