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Edelstein

Edelstein
Locality type: Castles
Continent: Europe
State (country): Czech republic
Place: Jeseník district

The ruins of Edelstein castle are placed in a distance of 15 kms of eastern direction from the town of Jeseník, not far from small town of Zlaté Hory. The rests of the ruin were preserved on one head of long range (Příčný vrch), between communities of Zlaté Hory and Heřmanovice, in an altitude of 695 metres above sea level.

However, there do not exist and reliable testimonies about the fact, who constructed the castle, but it is obvious that it was established in the second half of 13th century. One theory affirms that Edelstein was built by bishops, in order to protect newly built communities and gold mines. The other investigators are convinced that this castle was built by Bohemian King Přemysl Ottakar II. Nevertheless, there is a coherence between colonization of Edelstein and gold finding-places. Gold mining as well as mining of rare minerals increased here since early 13th century. Moreover, merchant way from Wroclaw (Breslau) via Nysa, Glucholazy and Bruntal and further to Moravia passed here. So, it was necessary to protect these localities. The altitude and the suitable position enabled very good view from here.

First  written notice about the castle comes of 2nd September 1281, in a document of Nicolas I. Opolsky, Opava Prince, illegitimate son of King Přemysl Ottakar II. The castle was seized by rapaciouis knights Otto and Oldrich of Linava at that time. They rended to Thomas II., Wroclaw (Breslau) Bishop a substitution for destructive invasions into their dominions. When they did not answered a summons, they took away Edelstein castle, and gave it, as a mortgage, to Bishop, including mines, of course. So, strong fights broke out between Wroclaw (Breslau) Prince Henry IV. and Bishop Thomas II., as far as the colonized localities of Jeseník region are concerned, and just Edelstein castle became one of reasons of dispute. Finally, Henry seized the castle in 1285, and the castle became a part of Opava Dominion.

However, Nicolas II, Opava Duke, had to step back Edelstein to Bohemian King Jan Luxemburg, together with gold mines in 1335. Nevertheless, just in 1361, Emperor Charles IV. gave it back to Nicolas II., Duke of Opava dominion. In 1445, the castle burnt out completely, from unknown reasons. Prince Bolek, owner of castle at that time, let it reconstructed immediately. Within Hussite wars, Edelstein with its crew became a Hussite bastion, at the edge of Catholic Silesia. So, Jost of Rosenberg, joined Wroclaw (Breslau) Bishop (after hesitation) Catholic estates in Bohemia and Silesia, against King George of Poděbrady, castle-owner at that time-period. On 14th July 1467, Bishop Jost attacked the castle, seized it, and demolished it completely in the course of several days. As far as the castle´s dimensions are concerned, Edelstein belonged to most powerful Silesian castles, especially in a period, when it was reconstructed by Bolek. However, now remained rests of several fragments of walls and towers, giving a small idea about position of buildings and fortifications.

The piece of ground, on ground-plan of extended trapezium was divided by moat into two parts, different of its parts. Till now, there were preserved  rests of basic fortification walls, the ruin of round tower, rest of corner bastion, which reinforced the fortification, moats and lines. The second part, less fortificated part of castle complex, was formed probably by administration buildings.

Text: Denisa Arvajová

Photo: Google

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