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2022-08-15

Košťálov Castle


Košťálov is the ruin of a keep-type castle from the 14th century about 2 km north of the town of Třebenice. It stands on the hill of Košťál or Košťálovu (481 m above sea level), which belongs to the western half of the Bohemian Central Highlands.

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Although the first written mention of the castle dates back to 1372, its architectural form makes it possible to think about the creation of the building in the first half of the 14th century. Neither the builder Košťálov nor the first owners are known. The first written mention of Košťálov dates back to 1372. The contemporary chronicler Beneš Krabice from Veitmile tells a story about how lightning struck the castle and burned the toes of the shoes of the burgrave Aleš the Younger of Slavětín and his wife. Aleš is mentioned in the sources in connection with Košťálov as early as 1378 and 1380. In the first case, it is connected with his being cursed due to some dispute with a clergyman. If Aleš from Slavětín was burgrave of Košťálov, the castle did not belong to him and he managed it for someone else. In the absence of written sources, only speculations appear in the literature about the owners of Košťálov, which link its foundation to the families of Zajíc from Hazmburk, Kaplíř from Sulevice and Slavětín. The author of the first inventory of Czech castles, František Alexandr Heber, was convinced that Košťálov was of royal origin, which is unlikely given the property structure of the surrounding estates.

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The interior of the palace - the former knight's hall. The next news about the castle comes from the time of the Hussite Wars. Sedláček writes that in 1422 a Hussite army camped under the castle. Since a year later Jan Kaplíř is mentioned as the owner of nearby Třebenice and surrounding villages, it can be assumed that he was also the lord of Košťálov.

As late as 1486, the castle had the character of a lordly residence. At that time, Košťálov was divided between the three Kaplíř brothers: the eldest Zdislav lived in the palace of the upper castle, Dobeš and Jan each in a separate house in the lower castle. The castle remained in the Kaplíř family until 1609, when it was acquired by Adam from Vchynice. At that time, however, the castle was no longer inhabited.

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Košťálov is a donjon-type castle, whose main residential and defensive building was a donjon with a rectangular floor plan. It consisted of an upper castle with a donjon and a lower castle with at least two residential buildings and other buildings of an economic nature. The donjon was originally three-storey, on older images the remains of the top floor are still visible. On the second floor was a knight's hall with four windows on opposite sides. The lower castle was fortified. The remains of this fortification were still visible in the middle of the 19th century. From the aforementioned contract from 1486, it is known that there were at least two residential buildings. During archaeological surveys in the 19th century, the remains of a kitchen (stove tile, dishes) were found in the northeastern part of the lower castle. In the northwestern part, they located the finds of a forge, according to the findings of the remains of keys, horseshoes or bridles for horses.