Mystery of Zvikov Castle

Zvíkov Castle located in Zvíkovské Podhradí, Czech Republic is known for its haunted happenings and a lot of visitors experience paranormal activity here. This castle often referred to as ‘the king of Czech castles’ and meets at the junction of two rivers, Vltava and Otava. The area was inhabited as early as prehistoric times, when the Celts built a fort here in the 1st century AD. The current castle was built in the first half of the 13th century, most probably on the orders of King Přemysl Otakar I, but the exact date is not known. The first written mention of the castle comes from year 1234 and owned by the Kings of Bohemia.

Aerial view of Zvikov Castle
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Zvíkov Castle castle is the most important mansion of early gothic architecture in the Czech Republic. After the first king dynasty of Přemyslid died out in 1306, the castle was taken by Rožmberk house. It was very tough to crack, due to its position. After the time of Charles IV the Roman Emperor, the castle was owned by a rebellious protestant nobleman. Though very hard to access, thrill-seekers have made it there to experience many strange and unexplained phenomenon.

Legend has it that until 1597 a supernatural being haunted residents of the castle in the ancient tower. Zvikov Castle is said to be haunted by “Rarasek” also known as the Imp of Zvikov. According to some records, strange events still occur in the ancient tower. Visitors report unusual photographs, technical malfunctions, unusual animal behavior, and even unexplained extinguishing of candles and fires. In addition, legend claims that anyone who sleeps in the main tower will die within a year.

Ancient Tower of Zvikov
Image Credit: wikipedia

Several times this Rarasek inspired artists, some even to the level when they wrote an opera play about the creature such as the theatrical comedy Zvíkovský rarášek by Ladislav Stroupežnický.

Another monster common in Czech culture, fire hounds are also part of the myths surrounding the Zvikov Castle. It is said that these spectral dogs (in some accounts they are depicted with burning eyes) are guarding a hidden tunnel underneath Zvíkov.

Also there is a mysterious protective symbols carved in the low 11 rows of the tower stones which look like runic letters.


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