Today, I and a friend took a trip to the Czech-Austria border. My objective was to locate a ruined Castle called Novy Hradek. The Castle has quite a history initially being built around 1358 and being extended over time until taken and partially destroyed by the Swedish army in 1645. The ruins were partially rebuilt for uses as a hunting Lodge and also as a 20-bed hostel until the totalitarian communist regime started when the whole area was part of the strongly guarded border with the west and no one was allowed there. After the fall of that horrible regime in the velvet revolution of 1989, the ruins have been accessible. However, now the ruins are once again, shuttered by the Government as part of the COVID actions – though why you shut ruins is anyone’s guess? However, no one is seriously going to stop someone taking a hike and so that is what we did.
I drove down to the nearby village of Lukov where we parked the car and then began the 3-4km trek towards the site of the castle. After the first 1.5km, the path takes a turn in to the national park Podyji, which is a thickly forested valley area with the river Podyji at its bottom. The river forms the border with Austria. I had chosen this walk for a couple of other reasons. First, the river valley in that area had been settled in the 6th Century BC and just beyond the castle was supposedly the site of one settlement. The whole area was a place of settlement and in the later parts of those settlements, the occupants were Slavs. Additionally, the area is strange as the river has almost formed an ox bow so you have a strangely bulbous border that just looked, well, strange.
The website on the castle is full of historical information that can be translated using Google Translate. It can be found here. I was also interested in the geology which comprises some lovely schists that are full of shiny muscovite with occasional quartz veining. These rocks are highly metamorphosed and have plainly undergone much pressure and heating.
Entering the forest, the walk took on a new atmosphere. A gloomy, misty cold day, the forest was silent, damp and dark. The leafy cover gone, the stark skeletons of trees stood everywhere often covered in the greenest of moss. The goddess energy seemed strong. Eventually, we came upon the castle and were quite stunned at how large it is and in places, how in tact it was. We took a good look around and we did a bit of dowsing mapping two energy lines crossing through the main structure. The river below provided a constant hum of waterfalls and water while the odd crow croaked its annoyance at our presence.
The feeling I get in these places is certainly one of awe but there is a sense of an energy too. A background natural energy that also hums if you listen. Unfortunately, with the limited time before darkness, we were unable to go further and investigate the river or the settlement location. another visit will be required and in the spring when there is more light and time.