In north Moravia, near the motorway that connects Olomouc and Ostrava, above the town of Lipník nad Bečvou, lies one of the largest medieval castle ruins in the Czech Republic: Helfštýn Castle. The conservation reconstruction works have been going on for years there, so the castle is now fully prepared for the tourist season and its visitors.
When history weds the blacksmith’s craftThe history of the castle goes back to the 13th century. The castle had various owners and it gradually dilapidated until it turned into an uninhabitable ruin in the 19th century. The conservation works started at the beginning of the 20th century, leading to the recently finished conservation of the palace wing that visitors can now tour.
Every year in August, the castle hosts the Hefaiston blacksmith workshop, thanks to which the castle takes pride in a unique collection of blacksmith craft. The main presentation centre is the permanent exposition situated in the basement of the castle palace. The permanent exposition is accompanied by the monumental compositions created during Hefaiston, or acquired through purchased, donated or loaned works.
What to see nearbyOnly a few kilometres below the castle, you will find the historical town of Lipník nad Bečvou. There, you can see the best preserved town walls in Moravia with bastions, a square with Renaissance and Baroque houses, a Renaissance chateau, or a synagogue at the centre of the Jewish quarter. A bit further away, there is Ostrava, the capital of north Moravia, with a popular zoological garden and sites related to the industrial past of the region. And if you prefer nature, visit the Poodří Protected Landscape Area. Also, an interesting place to see just a short walk from Helfštýn is the Hranice abyss. The deepest abyss in the Czech Republic with the largest measured lake depth of 404 metres bears the title of the deepest flooded cave in the world, the bottom of which has yet to be reached.