Gutštejn Castle

The castle was founded around 1300 as the ancestral seat of the Lords of Gutštejn. The first written mention of the castle dates back to 1319, when the Abbot of Teplá Monastery leased 3 villages to Jetřich (Diettrich) of Gutštejn and his son Sezema. The Gutštejn family owned numerous estates elsewhere in Bohemia; thus the castle in the western part of the country was rather neglected in terms of care.

In 1422, Jan Žižka of Trocnov besieged the castle and conquered it. Later the castle was returned to Jan of Gutštejn, who was the son-in-law of Přibík of Klenová. The castle no longer suited the needs of the Gutštejn family; in the 16thcentury, the administrative centre of the estate was moved to the town of Bezdružice and the castle was abandoned. Already after the middle of the 16th century the castle is mentioned as deserted and after the end of the Thirty Years’ War only ruins remained.

The oldest phase of the castle is represented by the remains of the perimeter wall on the north, west and partly also on the east side. The bergfried, a square tower with rounded corners, dates from the turn of the 15th century. It is believed that wooden palisades helped to protect the castle from the north. When in the 1990s it was considered to restore the castle and turn it into a visitor facility, a modern palisade for a short time prevented access of uninvited visitors. The plans were abandoned, however, and Gutštejn returned to the state of fulfilling mainly aesthetic function, which has been the case over several centuries.

Today, visitors can walk through almost the entire castle, but the tower remains closed to the public. A short distance from the castle is the Šipín hillfort and directly below the castle there is a Czech tramping hamlet, which is still used by wandering tramps today.