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.