Jánský vrch castle stands on a hill above the town of Javorník in the north-western edge of Czech Silesia, in area what was a part of the Duchy of Nysa. For most of its history the castle belonged to the Prince-bishops of Breslau (Wrocław) in Silesia.
The castle is first mentioned in written sources in 1307, when it was still the property of the Princes of Svidník. In the 1348, they sold the castle to the Prince-bishop Preczlaus of Pogarell (1341–1376), and since that time, the castle belonged to Breslau bishops.
During the 15th century, the castle was considerably damaged by the Hussites and therefore large-scale repairs were needed. The rebuilding of the castle took place under the rule of Bishop Jan IV Roth, at the end of the 15th century, and it was completed in 1509 by his successor – Prince-bishop John V Thurzó (1506–1520). At that time, the castle was also renamed as Johannesberg, to honor the patron of the Bishops of Breslau, John the Baptist.
The original fortified castle was later rebuilt in the Baroque style under the rule of Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch (1716–1795), who made it his primary residence. During this time, Johannesberg castle and the town Javorník also became the cultural center of Upper Silesia. Among the most famous personalities living there, was August Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, renowned Viennese composer and violinist.
Following the death of Prince-Bishop Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch, the castle was once again rebuilt as a summer residence by Bishop Joseph Christian Reichsfürst von Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein. It remained an important centre of cultural life in the region until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1959, the castle Jánský Vrch was loaned to the State and recovered by the Czechoslovak government in 1984, following a property agreement between the Polish and Czechoslovak Catholic archdioceses. It is now under the administration of the National Monument Institute in Olomouc and since 1 January 2002, it is on the list of Czech national cultural monuments.References:
Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin and one of the the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. While time has taken its toll, Heidelberg Palace’s fame lives on to this day.
Heidelberg Castle is located 80 metres up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill, the red sandstone ruins tower majestically over the Neckar valley.