Friday, July 23, 2010

Helfštýn, Part II

In part I, I stopped just as we were beginning to explore the palace.

First, a little fun with windows. Here is the East Palace (44) as seen from the courtyard (40):

Different angle, same window (it was the most photogenic):

Going down into the East Palace, we have some old stone carvings:

That's one of the castle's former coat of arms.

Exploring further:

This room is near the corner of the East and North (43) Palace:

And here's a close up of that modern statue:

As we come around under the North palace and climb the stairs, we have a nice view of the East Palace and unnumbered tower.

A little to the right:

That window in the center is where I photographed the kitchen in Part I.

Exploring the North Palace:

On the map there is a structure outlined in brown beside the Palace and #43. Standing there and looking south, we can see the Hussite Tower (35).

The metal 'pipes' at center are for the smiths and their fires (modern, of course). The grassy strip leading away from this door is the road to the cemetery (42). You'll see it again when we climb the tower.

Now, if I ever catch someone graffiti-ing or carving on a castle, I will bop them on the head with my water bottle, which may or may not be empty. At least this time it is just the wood. I have no idea why people need to mark things like dogs. Go learn some actual craft and leave your mark on the world that way, people!

*ahem* Moving along. We can make our way along to the corner of the North and East Palace and out onto the terrace (47- the long triangle in silver):

The north edge of the outer wall:

You can see the moat was pretty sizable here as well. This moat isn't labeled on the map, but the 'Devil's abyss' well (30) sits within it. I'm not certain what part of the moat was used as a cemetery.

Stepping back inside the East Palace:

Exiting the Palace and returning to the Fourth Courtyard (32), we have an entrance beside the Hussite Tower:

Again, those walls were impressively thick.

And here's the tower; I try to save them for last so I can see what I've explored:

First, a general scenery shot:

Now the newest part of Helfštýn, sprawling out below me:

That's the stables with the red roof.

To the left, we have the north edge of the large second courtyard:

And a little more left, the tower by the former entrance (24):

I've just cut off the inner end of the fourth gate in the bottom left of the above photo.

Further further left, and leaning out the tower, we can see the fifth gate (37), remains of the tower, the palace, et al.

Even more stunning, here's the full view of the palace, thanks to a friend who stitched two pictures for me in photoshop:

And the classic 'looking straight down' shot, from the back of the tower:


So, climbing back down to the courtyard, we can take a closer look at the smithy (28):

The above photo shows about a third of the room.

Standing under the arch of the 3rd gate (20) and climbing on the wall and gate, we have this view:

I took a similar shot in Part I, but couldn't resist another.

Exiting the second gate (10):

Here's the tower by the first gate and tower (6):

And a little left, the openings for the cannons:

The next few photos were taken as I strolled around the castle:

Second gate tower.

Thou shall not pass!

And, driving away, we see just how sprawling the castle is, and how much the terrain changes:

That's the palace, Hussite tower, second and first gate towers.

Thus ends my tour of Helfštýn. I hope you enjoyed it.

One last item of interest. On the way, we passed Hrad Stary Jicin:

I returned here at the end of my trip, and will be posting on these ruins soon.

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