Helfštýn Castle - Tourist Information Portal of the Olomouc Region

Helfštýn Castle

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Týn nad Bečvou
Free admission with ORC
Barrier-free destination

One of the most visited castles in the Olomouc Region is also one of the largest castles in Central Europe. The unique reconstruction has allowed visitors to reach previously inaccessible corners and the platforms on the upper floors offer breathtaking views.

From afar you can see the castle from all sides, built on a wooded hill since the 14th century. Its undisputed dominant feature is the Hussite tower used for sightseeing, and the biggest attraction is the medieval palace, which thanks to recent reconstruction has received a unique modern roof and thanks to new footbridges, the upper floors of the palace are also accessible to visitors.

History of the castle

14th - 15th centuries

According to local legend, Helfštýn is named after the robber Helfried of Linva, who founded it. The castle was probably built in the last quarter of the 13th century. Around 1320 Vok of Kravař, a member of a prominent Moravian noble family, became the owner of the castle. Helfštýn remained in the possession of the Kravař family for more than a hundred years and underwent far-reaching structural changes during this period. Construction work began on a larger scale in the first half of the 14th century, but the main reconstruction of the castle into a Gothic fortress did not take place until the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. The Kravařs mainly improved the fortifications of Helfštýn. They replaced the makeshift fortification of the old parkland with a thick stone wall with four bastions, built a prismatic tower over the entrance to the castle itself and secured it with a drawbridge, built a fortified forecourt on the south side and cut the ridge of the hill with a moat carved into the rock.

The era of the Pernštejn family

In 1474, William of Pernštejn took over the castle estate and proceeded to its further reconstruction. In the last quarter of the 15th century,

Helfštýn Castle was enlarged with a thoroughly fortified, extensive farm forecourt (completed in 1480) and another forecourt, which formed a new outpost defending the entire enlarged building. At the same time, the fortifications of the old Kravaře castle were improved with bastions and a new system of towers and gates. The castle's ground plan was definitively given an elongated shape, and in its external form the perfect fortification system significantly overlapped all the other architectural elements.

Renaissance reconstruction

At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, the inner core of the castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance residence. The old castle palace was demolished, along with part of its original Gothic fortifications, and a magnificent Renaissance palace was built on the vacant space, in sharp contrast to the extensive system of late Gothic fortifications that surrounded it.

The destruction of the castle

In 1656, quite extensive demolition work was carried out, which, although it did not damage the fortifications of Helfštýn too much, definitively deprived it of the character of a manor house. And thus began the long-term destruction of the castle. The destruction was accelerated in the second half of the 18th century by the Ditrichstein family with demolition works. These attempts culminated in 1817, when part of the inner castle was destroyed by artillery fire.

Present day

The present-day character of the castle is that of a fortress with six gates and a series of 18th-century buildings and ramparts. Since the 19th century, the castle has been presented as a tourist and heritage site. Nowadays it has become a natural cultural centre of the region, with various cultural events taking place here throughout the season.

For more information about interesting places in the area and tips for trips, see the description of the Moravian Gate.


Tourist information

751 31 Týn nad Bečvou

Do you know

  • We recommend a visit to the Hefaiston International Meeting of Artistic Blacksmiths, held every last weekend in August.
  • Many of the works of art created during the Hefaiston are now permanently animating not only the castle grounds themselves, but you will also come across some of the blacksmith's gems during a walk in the historic centre of nearby Lipník nad Bečvou.