Bone, Fridge, Elbow and other unusual names of Czech monuments
My post today will be about Czech monuments that have unusual names. Some of the names are funny, bizarre, but also quite harsh. We Czechs have a dark sense of humor.
In the last post we talked about Houska Castle – houska means bun, bread roll. But you certainly remember that the castle was built for a man named Housek.
My next favorite castle is LOKET. Loket means elbow. This castle is located in the west of Bohemia near the spa town of Karlovy Vary. It is a beautiful Gothic castle originally from the 12th century which rises above the village of the same name. The river Ohre flows around the castle and that was perhaps the reason why Loket is Loket. The castle is located in the bend of the river and the flow of the river creates the outline of an elbow.
If you have a trip to Karlovy Vary make sure to stop here, it’s wonderful. What’s more, part of the largest meteorite which fell down on Bohemia in the 14th century is also stored in Loket. And finally for James Bond fans – Casino Royale was filmed here.
Next on my list is KOST Castle. Kost means bone, as the name for the castle – nothing much. And here we have two explanations:
No. 1 – it is said that the castle was named Kost during the time when it was besieged by Jan Žižka and after the unsuccessful conquest of the castle he declared that it was as solid as a bone and the bone belonged to a dog. (Just to explain, Žižka was a general, leader of the Hussite wars. In the 15th century he led the Hussite – Protestant army against Catholics and conquered various castles and chateaux along the way but they did not conquer Kost.)
Explanation No. 2 – the founder of the castle, Count Benes, signed the founding document with the Latin name Benesius de Costa which the uneducated Czechs distorted during the reading and renamed it Beneš of Kost.
So choose – sometimes it’s just not easy to find information thousands of years old.
The next in line is the beautiful LEDNICE chateau which is located in southern Moravia. Lednice means fridge. In this case there was first the village of Lednice and then the castle which received the same name. The history of the village of Lednice dates back to around the 12th-13th century. The name Lednice was derived from the German “Eisgrub” which means a sunken place where it’s cold – an ice hole. And it is true that in Lednice it’s mainly in spring and autumn a few degrees colder than in the surroundings. Definitely worth a visit. It is a huge area with beautiful gardens. And last but not least – Moravia is our wine region. Here you can taste the best wine we have.
One of the lesser known monuments is PECKA Castle. Pecka is a ruin of a castle from the 14th century and the name can be translated as a stone from fruit (cherries, plums, peaches, etc.). The castle was named after the round, stone-like shape of the hill on which it was built. This name was then transferred to the town, which originated in the castle grounds. Yes, it’s that simple.
One of the most mysterious places in the castle today is a 56 meter deep castle well. For unknown reasons it was buried and walled up in the Middle Ages. It was discovered by locals in 1947. No traces of water were found. The hole is sloping so the water cannot be drawn. Even at a depth of 56m there is fresh air and drafts.
These interesting facts led to the thought that the so-called well could rather be the entrance to secret corridors.
See you next time!