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:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.