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Templstejn Castle was a great Templar fortress in the Bohemia area of Czech Republic, but is now reduced to ruins in the forest.

May 25, 2011 Ing. David Hamza became the new owner of the castle. Castle Templštejn with adjacent land purchased from the state – the company Lesy Czech Republic. The new owner wants to start with the maintenance of the castle. As the work goes everyone can see while visiting the Castle.

The name refers to its founders. The German name of the castle – „Tempelstein“ – consists of two words – Tempel (temple) and Stein (stone). It is „Templštýn“ or „Templštejn“ in Czech. The Knights Templars or the Templars were the founders of the castle. The correct name of the order was the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon”. They are mentioned in the village Jamolice on 31 August 1279 for the first time, then on 1 December 1281. The Templars were settled in Jamolice. They founded a church, a presbytery and their original seat – a commendam – according to an archaeological exploration.

The first notice about the castle Templštejn is from 16 July 1298. The castle was probably built from 1281 until 1298. It isn’t known why founders decided to move the commendam from the village to a distant rocky headland above a deep wooded valley of the river Jihlava. The village Jamolice is situated in a shallow depression amid a plain on a well accessible place. The displacement was probably done from strategic reasons. The steep hill was protected well and it was aside from movements of troops. The village of the same name was built near the castle as an economic background. There are written reports about the Templars on the castle from 1301 and 1303. Several smaller estates belonged to the castle at that time, for example villages Jamolice, Dobřínsko, Řeznovice and Biskoupky. But the Templars commendam didn’t exist for a longer time due to the disbanding of the order by the Pope Clement in 1312. The property of the Templars was transferred to other orders, especially to the Hospitallers, but it wasn’t true in all cases.

The castle became a property of Bertold Pirkner from Kutná Hora in 1318, which was an owner of silver mines and he had not been a nobleman at that time even. Later he acquires the title from Pirknštejn. His sons – Václav and Dětřich – sell the castle probably from financial reasons to Přibík from Šelmberk in 1349.

Drslav from Šelmberk and his son Jan sold the castle Templštejn together with the villages Jamolice, Dobřínsko, Řeznovice and Biskoupky to Jindřich from Lipá, the Marshal of the Czech Kingdom, on 7 January 1379 by 3200 mites of Prague penny. He bought this manor as a substitution for the adjacent manor of Moravský Krumlov, that he had been forced to sell from financial reasons. He had sold it in 1369 by 8000 mites. The powerful family that possessed the hereditary title of the highest Marshal of the Czech Kingdom owned Templštejn about 70 years.

The castle was shortly in the landlord’s ownership in 1397 by the burgrave Markvart from Pechtice. It can be related to the battles of Moravian margraves because Jindřich from Lipá fell into disfavor for a short time.

It became the property of the Lords from Lipá in 1410 again. The knight Václav from Pec and from Tulešice is mentioned as a burgrave at Templštejn from 1439 until 1459. The Lords from Lipá bought the castle in Moravský Krumlov again and they transferred their seat there. The purchase was recorded into the land files in 1447.

The Lords of Lipá still owned the castle in 1446. Jan Boček from Kunštát possessed Templštejn from 1475 until 1476. The castle was later again a center of an independent manor owned by the family Osovský from Doubravice (Smil, Jindřich and Václav). After the short ownership by the Lords from Kravaře it became the property the Lords from Lipá again.

The last from them, Pertold Bohobud from Lipá, actively participated in the uprising of Czech nobility from 1618 until 1620 against the emperor Ferdinand II. He was sentenced to the loss of his neck and the right hand after the defeat and to the confiscation of all the property and the hereditary generic position of the highest Marshal. The physical punishments were pardoned him later, but Pertold Bohobud had to leave to the exile where he died in poverty. And with his son the whole eminent family died out.

The vast manor of Moravský Krumlov was given to the prince Gundakar from Lichtenstein in 1623 by an emperor. It was written down to the files in 1625 with the note that Templštejn was totally desolated. The family Lichtenstein owned the manor until 1908. This branch of the family died out and their relatives from the family Kinsky took it up. They owned it until the confiscation in 1945.

It is not known when and why Templštejn together with the village came to its end. Some excavations were made by the manorial ranger Štencl in the end of the 19th century and especially in years from 1900 until 1906. He established a museum in Moravský Krumlov later. He found a layer of ashes and burnt timbers, stone balls and human bones. It is judged from those artefacts that a big fire once in the middle of the 16th century ruined the castle. It is interesting that lots of metal artefacts as swords, implements, equipment for horses and riders or building fittings were found by digging. It means the castle was fully equipped in the moment of destruction and that it was inhabited and not deserted. These metal artefacts are the only rests from the mentioned excavations and they are placed in a depository of the museum in Moravský Krumlov.

Due to the other big near seat – the castle in Moravský Krumlov – and the Thirty Years War the castle was not renewed and became a part of the manor Moravský Krumlov owned by the Lichtenstein family. Predatory gangs used it as a ruin in the 16th and 17th century. It is certified by a record from judicial files from 1615 kept in Velká Bíteš.

The romantic ruin amidst wild valley lured visitors from the end of the 19th century. It was a popular destination for tourists especially before and after the WW2.

The castle was sold in 2012 to a present owner Ing. David Hamza after an open competition by the state enterprise Lesy ČR s.p. as the unnecessary property.

 

The Dark Night

Once upon a time were looking Dominicans from Brno money to build the church. They drove over a wide area and collected money from the faithful whatever and in every weather. Once before Christmas went two monks in a light car with a coachman. It was getting dark slowly and a storm was approaching. The coachman tore along frozen snow and hurried to be in Brno or at least in some shelter as soon as possible. They were far from home and he didn’t know the way too well and he turned wrong in a hurry and got lost. He wandered right left right now. It was getting darker and it started to snow heavily. He longingly looked for any signs of a village, building or shelter where they could hide from the storm and survive the night. The path suddenly brought them into a dark forest. It darkened even more. The coachman had thought about the worst and he feared that they fall down into a ravine in the wilderness. But then he saw the distant glow of large windows and grey outlines of large buildings.

The driver did not hesitate and went straight for the light. In a moment they reached the big gate that opened as if on cue themselves. They entered the courtyard and suddenly there were a lot of white figures with red crosses on they cloaks. Some of them unhitched the horses and others led the monks inside. They were led by long corridors and vaulted halls up to the great hall, where the rich dinner was prepared for them. There was a long table, which was groaning under the weight of full bowls and pitchers with wine.

The monks were happy to be allowed to outlast the dark night. They had no idea about such a rich monastery in the woods. White silent figures came from all sides and encouraged them to sit down to a rich board. The monks unceremoniously began to eat. The feast perhaps had no ending. The amount of food and drink was so large that it can not be even described. At the end of the feast a grandmaster stood at the head of the table and raised a glass and said to the monks, “And I have a gift for you, our dear guests.” And one of the white figures brought a heavy chest.

In the morning when the monks woke up they were already in the coach and heading towards home. The sky was blue and everything was covered by fresh sparkling snow. They didn’t remember how they spend the all night. Perhaps it was by the quantity of wine. The monks were happy at the sight of a heavy chest, which was in the coach.

Also the coachman was satisfied and cheerfully urged horses by a whip. Almost all night was playing in cubes with grooms. He won a bunch of pennies having in his coat pocket. He touched his pocket to make sure about it but he found only dry leaves. He was angry and poured them from his pocket and began to look for the pennies. He was not paying attention to the road and he got lost again. Fortunately, the snow was intact everywhere, only trace from the carriage were visible. He turned the coach and went along the trace back. He found it easily, but when he arrived at a place where the trace ended he found unbroken snow only. There was no relic of houses or people. Just above them loomed menacingly dark and desolate ruins of the castle Tempelstein.

They all three crossed themselves quickly and they hurried away as quickly as possible. Because it was a clear day they soon found the right way to Brno. They gave to the prior money and the heavy chest. When the prior asked what is in it they just shrugged. They were afraid to say what they experienced at night. The prior left chest opened and when the lid took off the room just lit up. It was filled to the brim with shiny gold coins.

 

The Secret of the Castle Well

Castle hill was not used to be overgrown as it is nowadays. It was far bolder, covered with grass, low shrubs with stone rubble fields and ruins of the castle were visible from afar. People grow far more livestock than now and therefore had to walk on the grass in the pasture where they could. Foraging pay often children who went on to the castle meadows. When the cattle peacefully grazing alone, and games to while away the time. Small fire broke up, playing hide and seeks or catch-up in the castle ruins.

One day the cowherd boys rested at the campfire, roasting the potatoes and variously teased. And so it happened that a boy named Hlavsa took Lutoslav’s shoe and threw it into the well of frolic. And it was bad. Lutoslav was the son of a very poor family. He knew he can’t return home without shoes because he should be rigidly beaten. In addition, he hasn’t any other shoes. He began to weep and called for help. Friends took pity on him and wanted to help him. The well was very deep that the bottom could not be seen, dark and cold. Cowherd boys took what they had, different ropes that establish and run a small thin Lutoslav as deep as possible. They didn’t reach the bottom even so Lutoslav was fumbling in the dark mud using a branch, tied to a flimsy rope. He managed to capture his shoe and tighten it and he climbed out again with the help of his friends.

He felt, however, that the shoe is rather heavy. It was wet and full of mud. Immediately it began to clean it at a small fire and suddenly realized that it is not full of just a mud, but also of golden coins. Because he was happy to have the shoe again and will not be beaten at home, so he shared ducats with friends. All were satisfied, only Hlavsa wasn’t. He was from a richer family, and he knew how much money it was. He waited for the right opportunity and threw his shoe into the well that time.

He began to rage and scream. What the boys should do. Again, established and ran the ropes this time Hlavsa into the well. But Hlavsa was older and heavier than Lutoslav. In addition, the ropes were poorly established and so Hlavsa snapped and fell into the well. Cowherd boys were terrified and ran to the village for help. When help came with ropes and torches, one peasant was dropped at the bottom of the well. But he found an empty well; there was not even boots or the boy.

In order to prevent a similar disaster the estate administration left well covered. Nobody has seen Hlavsa since.

 

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