Castles on the Malše
A trip around the ruins of several castles that once stood proud over the Malše River
The starting point of the route (blue hiking trail) leading to the ruin of medieval Pořešín Castle is in the town park in Kaplice. From there, follow the left bank of the Malše. Soon you will pass a small power plant on your right, and past it enter the forest; the river becomes wilder for a bit, and breaks on a rock in a sharp bend.
Follow on to the gentler section, and approach the picturesque confluence of the Malše and the Černá. The trail leads on along the forest edge and through meadows. The left bank begins to rise, but the journey is still comfortable at first. The grade is sharper only in the last section, and the slope falling into the river becomes steeper. In this area, please be cautious when crossing the steep ground. The castle ruins appear on your left, on the promontory, partly hidden by trees. The path climbs left of the castle.
Pořešín is the first place in the Czech Republic that follows the French model of offering a tour of a ruin using large-format drawings or projections. Installed on forged stands in various parts of the castle are 6 drawing panels from the time the castle was in use, allowing the visitor to immediately compare the difference between what the place looked like “then” and what it looks like “now”. An additional 4 panels are forthcoming to bring the number to 10.
These drawing panels will be complemented with stylized identification of the castle buildings, the tower, armory, kitchen and gates, so that visitors are able to take a full-fledged tour of the castle at their own pace without being disrupted or hurried by a guide. This year, historic craft displays in the castle kitchen and forge will be open; you can try replicas of a medieval grindstone, a hand grain mill and a pottery wheel, acquired in cooperation with the Pomalší local action group. Additional exhibits will be added to the castle museum, namely high and late medieval ceramics from Blansko. There will also be a costume of the medieval castle lord, acquired with financial support from the South Bohemian Region. The Pořešín Castle Museum is thus becoming a major institution that provides visitors a look at the medieval life of our ancestors not only in castles on the Malše, but throughout the whole Pomalší region.
A ruin of a medieval castle built over the Malše River. The guard castle, built near the long-distance trail from Upper Austria to Bohemia, appeared on the rocky promontory over the Malše River around the year 1300. The castle only entered written history after 1421, when it was mentioned in a letter by Oldřich of Rožmberk. However, it was reported abandoned as early as in 1541.
The core of the castle was formed by a keep, residential and other buildings around a small courtyard. Fortifications protected the castle at the access path from the northwest. The rampart and moat remain visible today. Fragments of the keep and palace and parts of the fortifications are preserved.
The way to the ruin of Louzek Castle starts by the Church of St. Peter and Paul; climb up Pohorská street high above the town and go straight at the fork, toward Zámeček. A narrow asphalt road will lead you to imposing Zámeček manor (once a formal headquarters of a thread factory, today a grandiose hotel and restaurant). The Malše river will keep you company from this point on; a small hydro power plant can be seen just past Zámeček, using the raceway of a former power plant. The watchful walker can also spot remnants of the raceway chanel north of the power plant. Continue along the right bank of the Malše to the hamlet of Ješkov, where Velíškův mill is an interest historic site. There, cross the small bridge to reach the road toward Skoronice. However, turn off it very shortly and follow the blue/yellow marked trail; the path now follows the edge of a field high above the river. An interesting forest path is the final stretch that takes you to your destination, the ruin of medieval Louzek Castle.
Sokolčí Castle ruin
On a mighty rock promontory over the Černý brook sits the ruin of the Sokolčí hunting castle (13th - 15th centuries). The small castle was only accessible from the east, as Sokolčí was protected by sheer rock faces in the south, west and partly north. The forefront of the castle used to be fortified by an isthmus moat, in which the irregular gate tower was rooted.
The crenelated rampart adjoined its corner, and both sides of the courtyard were lined with castle buildings. The castle probably ceased to exist after a huge fire. The water supply to the residence is an interesting issue.
The mighty granite rock face below the Sokolčí castle ruin, 25 m tall and 70 m wide, is used by rock climbers. There are several dozen climbing routes up it. They are some of the more difficult ascents, mostly crack and chimney types. The routes are secured with rings and drilled hooks.