Střekov Castle: Stunning Gem of Czech Republic

“Střekov castle is situated in the village Střekov in the city of Ústí nad Labem. It was built at the beginning of the 14th century on a basalt rock above the river Labe to protect the important waterway and to collect duties. Střekov castle enchanted many world known artists notably Richard Wagner who was inspired to write a poem that served as basis for the libretto to the opera Tannhäuser.” -Wikipedia

 

Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

One of the most surprising learnings from my time in Czech Republic has been discovering the number of castles throughout the small country. Czech Republic is roughly the size of the US state of South Carolina, 30, 000 square miles, with about the same number of inhabitants, 1.3 million. But imagine, in a country of that size, Czech Republic has over 2000 castles and palaces.

Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

 

I’ve traveled to see many, and have found a few in places where I never would have expected to find a castle. One is only a few miles from my house.

Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Recently, my family and I took a roadtrip north to see a castle owned by the Lobkowicz family, renowned for its dark and looming presence above the Elbe River. That castle is Střekov Castle, near the town of Ústí nad Labem, close to the northern German border. (pronounced Strzh-eck-ov)

The View from Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Bohemian legend says that a maiden once lived in Střekov, the daughter of the Lord over the Castle. She fell in love with a common horseman, yet her father forbid their love. He imprisoned the horseman, who soon died in the Castle tower. Stricken with grief, the maiden jumped from the Castle’s high perch, and as she fell, her golden hair touched the dark basalt rock. Every year in spring, they say golden flowers bloom from the sheer rock in remembrance of her love. Local lore also says her ghost can be seen climbing the rock to reunite with the spirit of her lover, who died in the Castle.

Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

The “ghost” of Střekov Castle inspired Richard Wagner to visit, write a poem, and eventually write the opera Tannhäuser based on Střekov Castle.

 

The View from Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
The View from Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Střekov Castle was built in 1316, and came into the Lobkowicz family in 1563.

Lobkowicz sign, Strekov Castle, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

For you: Have you visited Czech Republic and seen some of its many castles? Which are your favorites?

 

 

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

10 thoughts on “Střekov Castle: Stunning Gem of Czech Republic

    1. Don’t worry — no jumping here. 🙂 You’re photo of rock cress is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

      Yes, we’re all enjoying the experiences here. Especially when the castles we see are so incredible — right out of the pages of the Game of Thrones series, my guys say (not that they’ve all read it). It’s easy to imagine how much history took place in the hundreds of years since the castles were constructed.

      Thank you, Stephen!

    1. Oooh, Jessica! I didn’t know you’ve been there. How fun!

      I agree. My family and I white-water rafted around the castle there, with Czech friends as guides. A memory for a lifetime, for sure!

  1. Yes – my husband’s brother lived in Prague for a year, and we visited. We canoed the river and it rained so hard the river was splashing up at us! We also took a night tour of the town and the guide grew up there, so she had great stories. Loved it.

  2. Awesome! Love that you found out the story behind it. Do you know how lucky you are? I mean how lucky your husband is to have a wife like you who not only agrees to live in a foreign country for four years but embraces it? I love these posts! Keep ’em coming.

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