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Vítkův kámen Castle

Vítkův kámen (Vítek Stone) is the ruins of a Gothic castle on top of the mountain of the same name on the right bank of the Lipno dam in the district of Český Krumlov. The ruin stands above the settlement of Svatý Tomáš, about five kilometers from Přední Výton. It is the highest castle  in the Czech Republic.

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The castle was founded by the Vítkovci family and served as a border fortress and the administrative center of the estate. The first reliable mention of the castle appears in 1347, but there are also unconfirmed speculations about its establishment before 1277. The castle was under the ownership of the Rožmberks (also Vítkovci family), who imprisoned King Wenceslas IV here in 1394. The Rožmberk family owned the castle until the beginning of the seventeenth century (the reign of the last Vítkovci family Peter Vok) with a short break during the Hussite Wars, when in 1427 Oldřich from Rožmberk sold it to his brother-in-law Reinprecht from Walsee. It did not return to the Rosenbergs until 1464. During their reign, walls with five bastions were added to the original castle. In the years 1602–1622, the castle belonged to the Habsburgs, under whom it was raided by a detachment of Austrian insurgents in 1618, and the castle garrison was therefore strengthened to two hundred men. It then belonged to the Krumlov estate of the Eggenberg family, and during the Thirty Years' War, it was home to the garrison of the imperial army. The castle was used and maintained until about the middle of the eighteenth century and then burned down and became an orphan. In 1869, the castle was partly repaired by the Schwarzenberg family, who also converted the castle tower into a lookout tower.

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In the first construction phase, the castle consisted only of a residential tower (donjon), in front of which there was a walled trapezoidal courtyard. The entrance to it was through a gate over a bridge from the opposite rock. The tower itself had a floor plan of 14 × 17.5 m and four floors with flat ceilings. The ground floor was illuminated only by narrow slit-shaped openings in the longer sides of the tower. The first and second floors were residential. They were illuminated by larger windows and there were entrances to the prevet on both floors. The first floor could be divided by wooden partitions into several rooms, and a large hall was located above them. The third floor was used for operational purposes and defense.

The outer fortifications were created only in the course of the sixteenth century. The relatively weak curtain was strengthened by the five bastions with few protruding bastions.