Houska Castle

If a gateway to Hell existed, where would it be located? What or who would guard it? Legend states Houska Castle in the Czech Republic was that place. Built by Ottokar II of Bohemia during his reign (1253-1278), it sits surrounded by sandstone mountains where there was no source of water, protection or land view and away from trade paths.

It’s defense mechanism was turned to the inside. No stairs led to the first floor. Many windows seen from the outside have no rooms behind them. It remained in the hands of the aristocracy until 1924. It was turned from a Gothic castle into a Renaissance chateau in the 16th Century. During WWII, Nazis took over the castle and made it their headquarters until the end of the war.

The chapel was built over a hole or bottomless well. This well was believed to be the gateway to Hell. Locals wanted to fill it with stones to keep the evil spirits at bay but was unsuccessful. They were forced to cover it with stone plates and build the chapel. Its walls remain moist even during droughts. The walls are covered with ancient drawings of dragons being slain and a left-handed archer (the only known picture). It is even believed non-human remains are buried in the Houska Castle cellar killed by its defenders.


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