local lore in south bohemia

near the samson fountain in české budějovice, where i currently live, there is a stone that is a little larger than the others and is oval shaped, whereas the others are square. it is also marked with a cross. legend has it that a traveler who steps on it will never find their way home again. 

there is also a variation that he who steps on it after 9pm will not find their way home again until morning. the stone symbolizes the straying from george of poděbrady (jiřího z poděbrad) of a ropemaker named fillip and eight others who were planning an uprising to overthrow the king. however, the plan was found out and fillip and the eight others were reportedly executed right on the site of that stone.


it’s not an easy stone to find, but after i heard about it i just had to go looking. once found, alex just goes ahead and steps on it. “what did you do that for?!?!” no wonder we still haven’t found our way home yet.

another local legend i’ve learned about since moving here is that of the iron maiden (železná panna) tower, a very beautiful looking old building from the 13th century situated on the malše river quay, pictured below at right. (just the fact that i live in a town with a tower from the 13th century blows me away, but i digress) 


the tower is named the iron maiden for the execution tool of the same name, where more than one unlucky rebel (including the prokop of nearby dubné) met their fate in the attic where the unsightly tool was kept. can you imagine? 

nowadays, there is a fantastic cafe on the ground floor where i have sat, drank herbal tea, and played a game or two of settlers of catan– a near religious experience in such a setting.

what local legends exist in the place where you live?

ps, more about české budějovice: during the third reich & my neighborhood.