History of Hukvaldy castle
Hukvaldy Castle is situated on a 480 meter high peak which is surrounded by the rivulet Ondřejnice on both banks. The deep valley Ondřejnice divides the castle hill in the east from Hůrky and Babí hora (630 m) and the valley road from Tichá to Rychaltice in the west from Kazničkov (588 m). Nowadays the castle hillside is wooded but originally it was treeless.
The beginning of the building of the castle has been connected with the nobleman Arnold of Hückeswagen who was mentioned for the first time in our area in the year 1228 as a member of Přemysl Otakar I. yard. The king sent him to England to negotiate king’s daughter's marriage to Henry III. Arnold came from Rhineland where there was his birth residence, the castle Hückeswagen, near today's Düsseldorf on the river Wupper. He arrived in Bohemia probably through the agency of Cologne archbishop Henry. He was granted the area of the border primeval forest in the north-west of the Moravian Gate to the river Ostravice with the centre of Starý Jičín by the king for his service. The last reference to Arnold appeared in the deed for the monastery in Steinfeld from the year 1240, he died probably shortly after that because his son Frank was stated as his follower and heir in the deed for Příbor in 1251. He tried to colonise the area gained by his father, finally he was obliged to pass a part of his area onto the bishop of Olomouc due to financial difficulties. It was stated in the last will of the bishop Bruno from the year 1267 that the bishop bought the district with 70 vast fields from Frank from the rivulet Sedlnice to the river Odra and to the place Bruneswerde (likely Stará Ves nad Ondřejnicí). The bishop gave the fiefdom – the western part (Příborsko) to Frank so Hückeswagens were deprived of their dominions and became bishop's vassals. The sale of the bishop's area was connected with the facts that Frank lost his seat in Starý Jičín in the year 1260 which Bludovicové obtained and Hückeswagen sold their family seat in Rhineland. They had only the castle in Příbor at their disposal but it was not big enough for them so they decided to build a new and bigger seat. They chose the nearby hill which fulfilled the criteria for the building of a new castle. The founding of the Hukvaldy Castle happened probably in the seventies or in the eighties of the thirteenth century. Henry of Příbor from the family Hückeswagen, Arnold's grandson and Frank's son, who had the dominium as a fiefdom, founded the castle. Henry named the castle after his family line and original family castle. The first indirect reference to the existence of the Hukvaldy Castle is Henry's predicate de Hukenswald in the deed from the date July 29, 1285. Henry appeared in the deed as a witness in the phrasing Henry the owner of Hukvaldy (Heinricus comes de Hukenswald). In the years 1294 – 1307 the Hukvaldy Castle was passed to the bishop. The last reference to the family Hückeswagen in the deeds appeared in 1307 for the last time.
Bishops of Olomouc did not have the Hukvaldy Castle in their direct possession for a long time. Some of their dominions had to be pledged because of the bad financial situation at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The canons Dětřich and Henry of Fulštejn owned the castle in 1311 – 1316, in 1327 Henry of Kytlice was mentioned as the owner of Hulkvaldy. The Hukvaldy Castle was redeemed and was changed into bishop's dominion twenty years after that.
In 1378, after the death of Charles IV., margrave Jošt with his brother Prokop came into conflict with the bishop of Olomouc. The conflict culminated in 1379 when Jošt got into anathema and in 1380 all of them who were against the bishopric were excommunicated. Peace concluded by Jošt and Prokop with the bishop Nikolas of Olomouc finished the fights in 1388 and was aimed against all enemies of the land. The wars of margraves Jošt and Prokop burst out a short time after that at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The bishop of Olomouc joined them on the Jošt's side. The bishop pledged the Hukvald dominion to the bishop's marshal Jošt of Wolfsberg in 1396 because of the debts caused by conflicts and fights. The bishop John Mráz tried to gain the dominion into the direct tenure and borrowed thirty hryvnia of silver from a Jew Nazon from Kroměříž in 1399. However, the margrave Prokop asked for the bishop's dominion as a payment of the bishop’s debts in 1400 and the bishop decided to be protected by the king Sigismund who immediately pledged Hukvaldy to the captain Juro of Messenperk of Orava and hetman Jacob Ščeně of Bělin protected the castle. Margrave Jošt seized control of the castle in 1404 – 1405. The situation was calmed down after Prokop's death and the bishop Lacek gained it in 1406 back. During the Hussite Wars prince Bolek of Opole had possessed the dominion as a pledge from the king Sigismund since 1426, the Hussites got a part of the dominion in 1428 and the rest had been possessed by Bolek till 1434. John Tovačovský of Cimburk seized it before the year 1435. The king Sigismund confirmed the possession of Hukvaldy to Nikolas Sokol of Lemberk, the supporter of Orphans, in the years 1435 – 1437. John Čapek of Sán seized the dominion in 1438 and after that, John Talafús of Ostroha, the husband of Čapek's daughter Žofie from the beginning of the fifties to the mid-sixties of the fifteenth century. The King of Bohemia George of Poděbrady who bought the castle with dominion likely in the years 1465 – 1466 from the pledge, gave it to the bishop of Olomouc Tas of Černá Hora and Boskovice.
When the bishop joined the radical Catholic movement under the threat of papal anathema and revoked loyalty to the King George, the castle was seized by Ctibor Tovačovský of Cimburk, the leader of Calixtines. The Czech Catholic Estates elected Matthias Corvinus the King of Bohemia in 1469 and afterwards the bishop gained the castle again. The wars influenced the bishop's income and therefore the bishop Tas had to pledge his dominion to his brothers Dobeš a Beneš of Boskovice. In 1511 the dominion was redeemed from noblemen of Boskovice and given back to the direct possession of the bishopric again.
Bishopric and its possession were on the downgrade during the bishop John Grodecký period in 1573 – 1574. The dominion got in debt and was pledged to bishop's brother Henry Grodecký. The bishop Stanislav Pavlovský waived the direct possession in 1593 and pledged Hukvaldy to his brother Valentin Pavlovský who was hetman at Hukvaldy until then. His attempt to enrich himself led to the uprising of the subjects. The bishop solved the problem in that way that he appointed Lucas Lotus of Telč to the leadership and the castle was held in trust by the secretary Kašpar Neuber and the burgher Jacob Čon of Příbor.
The bishop Francis of Ditrichštejn pledged Hukvaldy to the town Příbor for six years in 1617 and in 1618 land hetman Ladislav Velen of Žerotín put the garrison of the estate there. The castle was seized without any violence. The official became Alexander of Radějov, the garrison was the battalion of Hanakians. The burghers of Příbor attacked the castle and the garrison of the estate was driven out in 1620. Moreover, the subjects took an oath of loyalty to the bishop and George Harasovský of Harasov was appointed as an official. Walachians who were led by Adam of Víckov seized control over the dominion in October 1621 and in November Hungarians tried to capture the castle. Walachians and also Polish Cossacks attacked it again in 1623. Although the garrison of the castle had a low quality of arms, the castle was defended. The bishop believed in the strength of the castle so that he hid the Olomouc church treasure of books of estates and feudal books there in 1639. The count of Oppersdorf, the owner of the neighbouring dominion of Frýdek, hid the furniture of Frýdek Church there. Lots of other aristocrats acted similarly and hid themselves in the castle as well. Danes and Swedes did not try to seize the castle seriously. Swedish attack was fended off by the garrison in 1643.
Since the beginning of the eighteenth century the castle was only the administrative centre of the dominion, only a hetman, a burgrave, an income scribe and grooms resided there. The castle was a centre of nobility till 1760, and then all offices and authorities (except for archive and registry) were relocated into a newly built castle into the settlement around the castle. The castle was a hiding place for bishop's officials during the Silesian Wars in 1742 and 1758 when it was unsuccessfully besieged.
The fortification character of the castle contributed to the fact that a prison was built there. Not only the guilty subjects were put in prison there but not later than in sixteenth century also disloyal clergymen of Olomouc diocese. The main reason of imprisonment was divergence in Catholic belief and moral offences that time. The first reference to the prison was in the year 1559 when the bishop Mark Khuen ordered the Hukvaldy official to put the priest Prokop in the prison where firstly convicts had been put. Hukvaldy used to be a bishop's prison because it was the best fortified bishop's castle which was confirmed by the fact that bishop ordered to put the priest Lucas in the Hukvaldy prison in 1561 because it was a better secured prison than the castle in Kroměříž. The prison for clergymen was in the lower part of the castle (probably in so called Kulatina – Round Timber) in 1593. If there was an improvement of some prisoners' stay, they could be moved into the room in the upper part. The most famous prisoner in the Hukvaldy Castle was the Olomouc canon John Philopon Dambrowský who was well-known because of the poisoning of some bishops and he was imprisoned there in 1585 – 1587. The prison was used till the first half of the eighteenth century. However, it was not used as a prison in the second half of the eighteenth century any more when the clerical apparatus was moved into the settlement around the castle and the original prison for clergymen was moved to the bishop's castle – Mírov.
In the Romantic period there were only unsystematic building activities and adjustments of the castle, only the St. Andrew's Chapel was kept in good condition. The castle used to be cheap and accessible source of building material for long time. The most necessary repairs, which concerned the gatekeeper’s flat, were done in 1855. The archbishop Bedřich of Fürstenberk attempted to reconstruct the castle and had the walls which were going to tumble down fixed. The archbishop Teodor Kohn continued repairing the castle in the nineties of the nineteenth century, he wanted to change the castle into a romantic ruin nevertheless he did not succeed in it. Olomouc archbishopric had the castle repaired every year since 1896 when the bad condition of the castle was noticed. The trees on the courtyard were cut down, all outside walls were fixed, all holes in the masonry were poured over slaked lime and sharp sand, and tops were poured over hydraulic burnt lime against spreading water and snow. Not only were the jambs of all windows and doors but also the chapel on the first courtyard mended properly. At the same time it was suggested not to allow the visitors free entrance without previous announcement because tourists destroyed the ruin and took away some parts of walls and stones and threw stones into the water well and filled it.
In 1964 – 1965 National Institute for Reconstruction of Historic Towns and Objects elaborated documents for the renovation and utilization of the castle, since 1969 sequential implementation has been done by the District Museum of National Science in Frýdek-Místek. Mainly gates, outside walls, mottos – so called Round Timber and palace were repaired and a guardhouse at the fifth gate was roofed. Wide-ranging reconstruction work was in motion in the seventies of the twentieth century which should enable the rescue of the sight and making it accessible. The building of the stone bridge over the big moat began in 1970, in 1974 the renovation of the Round Timber was finished, it was equipped by a staircase and a gallery. St. Andrew's Chapel was repaired and painted in 1975. Inner part of decaying castle was preserved, the masonry of the palace was fixed by braces and circular masonry was strengthened by the ferroconcrete wreath. Wide-ranging security work was done also at the beginning of the eighties in the twentieth century. The building was statically ensured, the Renaissance palace was partly reconstructed, it was roofed and inner parts were adjusted.
In the half of the nineties of the twentieth century two lookouts and an outlook gallery became accessible on the metal staircase, fallen masonry at third, fourth and fifth gate was preserved. It threatened that the horseshoe bastion of the fortification of the fifth gate was going to fall down, it was the reason why it was got down to the half, secured and the supporting pillars were removed. Securing of the castle and repairs have been going on up to the present day.