A prior trip to discover Templštejn ended with the realization that I had somehow taken a wrong direction – at least for a car – yet the end of that journey was a beautiful gorge in the Jihlava valley – well worth seeing. As we left Řeznovice, I determined to try a different route – one that took us into the village of Jamolice. Jamolice was where the original Templar commanderie was set up in Moravia according to the history books and the small village still proudly carries the memory of that in its coat of arms.
Jamolice is a small village that essentially hugs the sides of the road passing through it. Once inside the village, we saw a sign pointing ahead to Templštejn but we drove right through the village without seeing another. I was a bit confused as I thought the entrance was in the village but around 1km outside of Jamolice, we found a second sign and pulled off the road and parked. According to my phone GPS, we had a bit of a hike ahead and the day was cold – below zero – and windy, so we wrapped up warmly and set off – my new dowsing rids in hand. After around 2 km, the pathway began to descend gently into the forest and towards the river valley below. The wind was howling and as it ripped through the tree tops. It seemed to me as if the forest sang a song of rustling leaves and swaying boughs and I remarked to my companion on it recalling a day in Prague when the Goddess seemed very present via the wind in the trees. I thought perhaps she was talking again?
After a short and gentle descent, we saw it finally, We had reached Templštejn! The peace, stillness, and quietness of this place contrasted to the howls of the wind whipping through tree tops we had experienced earlier. I thought the quiet somewhat strange actually – perhaps magical even. The first thing to see is a huge thick wall – possibly 2+m thick – made of the local Gneiss – a whiteish looking rock when weathered. Behind the wall lay the ruins of the castle complex.
The ruins were sold off by the Czech forestry a few years ago at auction and are now owned by a private individual who, along with volunteer groups, is slowly trying to reverse the decay at the site. It is free to visit and you can see that some work has been done to preserve what is left of the site. He has also put up a website – which features a lot of articles, news, legends and so about the castle and though in Czech, it can be translated by Google if you set up automatic translation in the browser.
I was pretty excited to be honest and we climbed up the huge wall that we had first seen via a wooden structure erected for the purpose but which looked a bit flimsy and care was needed to ascend and descend safely. The views from the top were magnificent looking down into the Jihlava valley and I could see the gorge I had found with my daughter a week or so ago. There was also a camp down below – a tradition for kids in the summer is to go away to camps – and this was one of those camps.
After that we walked around the ruins, exploring as best we could and I definitely found an energy line passing through the corner of the site that I could pick up on both sides of the castle as well as inside it. I didn’t feel any particular atmosphere but the quiet was eerie I thought.
We discovered the well – which is very deep and safely covered with a sturdy steel framework to make it safe. I tossed a coin down it with a wish and it took quite a while before I heard the gentle clack of the coin hitting rock. I took lots of photos too of course.
A brief history of the castle is as follows – The first mention of the Templars is in Jamolice in 1297 and the castle at Templštejn was founded between 1281 and 1298. In 1312, the order was abolished and the castle was bought by one Bertold Prikner who later sold it to Přibík of Šelmberk in 1349. By 1379, it was owned by the Lords of Lipa who expanded and rebuilt it. In 1482, the castle became the seat of Ososky of Doubravice, but the castle was later again taken by the Lords of Lipa. The estate was confiscated after 1620 when the Lipa heir took part in some unsuccessful uprisings and was abandoned after a fire shortly after. In reality then, the castle was only held by the Templars for a short period.
According to the official website, there are lots of interesting legends and rumors about the place including hidden treasures (in the well), tunnels, ghostly knights and so on. In reality, the castle was probably occupied by older Templar’s whose fighting days were done and who were tasked with administration of the estate. One interesting legend involves the old Templars being called upon to help defend the area and sending a young page instead all dressed up as one of the order. In short, when this young page arrived, his horse bolted and he charged the battle scene inadvertently. The enemy thinking a Templar force had arrived quickly dispersed and victory was had. The page returned to the Templar fortress and was rewarded with a grant of land.
No archeological work has been done apparently but some finds are stored in a museum nearby that one day I will go and visit.
Walking away from the castle, for me the sounds of the wind and birds came back as we reached the top of the valley and left the silence and peace of Templštejn until the next time.
Last night, I plotted the Castle, the church at Řeznovice and the convent Rosa Coeli at Dolni Kounice on google maps and discovered…. they lie on a straight line. I’m not surprised and I do think that somehow they are linked to each other in terms of their siting and original use.
It looks a wonderful site to explore.
I do like the idea of the young page and his bolting horse… as if the old Knight had sent his spirit out to defend the place,
Yes. I find the Czech’s like their myth and legend and embellishments – a bit like the Irish you know – love a good story. Makes it all the more interesting.