4. 3. 2014
To Pernštejn in search of the White Lady
One of the most beautiful of the Moravian castles has stood deep in the forests of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands for almost eight centuries now. Set out to learn about the story of this magnificent seat of the Pernštejn family, walk its chambers, climb the fairytale tower and you may even meet the local White Lady. Pernštejn is not only a leading Czech monument, but thanks to its magnificence, also a place used by film crews from all over the world.
The Gothic castle has the Pernštejn family to thank for its creation. To this very day we do not know much about their origins, but one thing is certain – they were one of the richest Bohemian families, whose estate was even larger than that of the famous Rožmberks from South Bohemia in its time. Non-repayable subsidies paid to the emperor however were fatal for them, leading to the ruin of their family and their property gradually being sold off.
The impregnable king of Bohemian castles
When looking at the monumental silhouette of the castle, you may not be very surprised to learn that this castle was never captured over the course of its history. It has the ingenuity of its defence system to thank for this, one which will amaze you to this very day. An advantage was not only the castle’s strategic location high on a rock, but also the excavated dikes, drawbridges and also the system of tall ramparts and towers. If even this were not enough, the lords of the castle could hide away in the five-storey “Barborka” tower, which was only connected with the surrounding buildings by two wooden bridges. If the enemy got inside despite all of this, narrow corridors awaited them which were impassable by a knight in armour.
Don’t visit Pernštejn if you are easily scared
Like most Czech castles, Pernštejn also has its own mysterious inhabitant. This is the White Lady, who used to be a chambermaid here at some point in the past. But she was constantly preening herself in front of the mirror and neglecting her duties. When she stopped going to mass, an old monk decided to find her and discuss the matter with her. But the chamber maid merely laughed at him, which made him so angry that he cursed her for eternity. So nowadays the girl’s ghost allegedly haunts the dark corridors here. Women should also take care around all of the mirrors in the castle. It is said that anybody who looks into them will lose their beauty within a year.
Where else to set out for?
During your travels through the region, don’t forget to visit another historical gem which is to be found not far away. Set out to Žďár nad Sázavou to the unique Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora. This unique monument, which is included on the UNESCO list, is a fascinating place interwoven with mysticism and legend and one which will engage your fantasy to the full.