Broumov & Adršpach
While in Broumov, we would stay for one night in the local monastery. In 1213 King Ottokar I of Bohemia, the father of Wenceslaus I entrusted the Broumov region to Benedictines from Břevnov Monastery in Prague. The former fortress was shortly after the year 1300 rebuilt to a monastery in Gothic style.
I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.David Rockefeller
The Břevnov Monastery was burnt down by the Hussites in 1420 and Abbot Nicholas and some other Benedictines escaped to Broumov. It was an important moment for the Broumov Monastery, because it was preferred to the abbey and united with Břevnov into one single complex. Then it became one of the most important Benedictine monasteries in the Czech territory.
A unique copy of the Turin Shroud is kept at the Broumov Monastery, one of 40 created and the only one north of the Alps. It was found in the monastic church of St. Adalbert in 1999 above the chapel of The Holy Cross hidden in a wooden box with an original letter certifying its origin back to 1651.
The library used to be part of the monastery grammar school. The biggest handwritten book of the world, the Codex Gigas, or so-called the Devil’s Bible was placed here for almost 200 years - during the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Today the library can be seen on a guided tour.
The beautiful historical interior sadly holds only 17.000 volumes, a mere fraction of the original collection. Many of the books were destroyed over time. The worst destruction took place under the Communist regime.
Once we sorted out some communication issues we were able to sample a small taste of monastery life when we stayed at Dům Hostů for the night. What we found that was particularly interesting was that besides a key to our room we were given the monastery itself!
Broumov is a small pleasant town and upon our arrival, we found a packed restaurant where we had dinner. The next day as I was looking for an electoral attachment I visited a store where I was asked if we were the visitors the storekeeper saw last evening. She was very pleasant and was surprised that we would stop in her town for a visit. In fact, she was even surprised that we were visiting near the Polish border, remarking that they did not see many foreign tourists unlike Germany or Italy.
I told her she was underestimating the allure of her country and would tell all of my colleagues what a beautiful land it was.
Adršpach - Teplice Rocks
Adrspach Teplice rocks are beautiful and unusual sandstone formations covering 17 km2 in northeast Bohemia. The rocks and its surroundings have been associated with a number of mysterious stories from ancient times, full of forest fairies, bandits and magic.
Shaped by water and wind for millions of years the “rock town” in Adrspach was literally unknown. Locals ventured there only in the face of danger or to escape from invaders. The first climbers and foreign visitors appeared as late as at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
It took a great fire in 1824 when rocks began to emerge from the dense forests that had once grown there. In the nineteenth century, Adrspach “rock town” became more accessible when the paths and trails were constructed and the first regular visitors appeared.
Hiking through the rocks involves some climbing of ladders but with copious railing, the entire route is quite safe.