History of Helfštýn Castle

Already at the end of the 18th century, the extensive ruins of Helfštýn Castle, towering above the Moravian Gate valley, led romanticising historians to false reasoning about the castle’s founding in the distant past.

Helfštýn Castle (also called Helfštejn, or Helfenstein in German) was, in all likelihood, established in the last quarter of the 13th century. Its founder and first owner was the Silesian nobleman, Friedrich of Linava. As recorded later in the Moravian real estate ledgers from 1349, Friedrich of Linava seized (probably during the interregnum period after the death in 1278 of Ottokar II) part of the estates of the House of Drahotuše in this region and built a small castle of oval layout atop the highest part of the ridge above the Bečva River, protected by steep slopes. The castle was built over an area approximately 50 metres long and 30 metres wide, and was fortified by a thick wall with a massive round tower in the south. A simple castle palace was located on the northern side, with two storeys and a cellar. The whole castle was surrounded by wide outworks and a protective moat.