Reconstruction of Velešín Castle
Reconstruction of Velešín Castle


Velešín Castle is one of the first royal stone castles in Bohemia and served as a border castle on the southern edge of the Bohemian Kingdom.


King Wenceslas I (Václav I) is considered to be the (possible) founder of the castle and the one who gave it the name.


Around 1265 Přemysl Otakar II (son of Wenceslas I) traded the castle with Čéč of Budivojovice in order to obtain the necessary land for the establishment of the royal town of České Budějovice. Čéč transferred the castle (the year remains unknown) to Beneš Pyšný of Velešín, predecessor of the Lords of Michalovice.




Today's view
Today's view

It was mostly the Lords of Michalovice who, together with the Rožmberks, played an important role in the colonization of South Bohemia. In addition to Velešín, they also owned Sokolčí Castle, Benešov Fortress, and Tichá Castle. After the end of the reign of Přemysl Otakar II, the castle once again passed into royal hands.


In 1283 under Wenceslas II it was returned to Jan of Michalovice. His son Beneš inherited it from him, then in 1346 it passed to his grandson Jindřich of Velešín. Petr of Michalovice, who was the owner since 1361, built a chapel in honor of St. Wenceslas.


The castle enjoyed a convenient location on the trade routes from České Budějovice to Freistadt and Weitra, so over time it evolved into an important  marketplace, which is probably why the Rožmberks bought it in 1387 for strategic reasons. At the time the castle was still a royal fief, but in 1391, when Velešín was promoted to city status, Wenceslas IV released it from feudal bondage.


For more than 100, years the castle was owned by the Rožmberks. After 1487, it was abandoned due to excessive maintenance costs.


In 1541 it was already mentioned as dilapidated. With the death of the last Rožmberk Petr Vok in 1611, it was given to Jan Jiří of Švamberk as inheritance.


In the time when the castle was abandoned, many people began to look for treasures there, but they also took the castle apart piece by piece. A farmer discovered a beautifully forged iron gate at the castle. He hesitated for a long time, but finally he decided to take the gate with him, which suited him well. One night he invited the gate with his helpers and transported it away. The very next morning he has equipped the gate; it was like a glove. At midnight the gate began to squeak miserably. But the next morning it was calm again. The landlord has greased and checked the gate; Everything was in order. However, the next night, the gate crunched so hard that the dogs, cattles and hores howled. At dawn, everything stopped again. On the third night the pitiful crunching of the gate was unbearable. The farmer has decided to give that ghostly gate back to the castle. In his estate peace and comfort came back then.