I’d read a rumor about a fire breathing dragon that flew around the Castle of Drahotuš near Olomouc. I’m sorry but I can’t resist investigating such rumors. So today, I and a friend set off to the Hell valley looking for the ruins of an old Castle and to see if we could find the dragon.
We drove the 1 hour 20 minute trip from Brno in beautiful weather eventually arriving at Podhoři around noon. Then began the search for the Castle as it didn’t appear to be signposted at all. In the end, we asked a villager who gave us a circular route to get there and back. Hrad Drahotuš isn’t very well know to tell you the truth. It hasn’t been well preserved unlike its nearby rival Helfštejn so it’s a bit off the beaten track. Even better!
The Castle was founded by one Bohuš of Drahotuš sometime before 1269. The Lords of Drahotuš belonged to the families of the Lords of Čeblovice and they held the castle until 1371, then moved to the Opava region. Margrave Jan Jindřich and then his son Jošt, received the castle from them. It then passed through several hands before ending up desolate in 1543. There are a number of interesting stories about ghosts, secret tunnels, owners being forced to destroy part of the castle and so on but the one that intrigued me was about the fire breathing dragon. Today, the castle is little more than a few ruins overgrown by the forest at the top of an escarpment with amazing views. However, once in the past, it must have been quite a sight.
We set off for the Castle following the river Jezernice up the valley by the Czech name of Peklo up to v Pekla. So repeating that in English – we followed the river up the Hell valley to ‘In Hell’. I must say, it looked nothing like Hell to me being a V-shaped valley with outcrops of slates on both sides and a small river running down it. It seemed more like heaven actually through which a representation of Živa Herself traveled.
On reaching v Pekla, the path takes a turn up the steep side of the hill and it is quite a climb to the top that is for sure. Along the way, we passed numerous slate outcrops, often covered in mosses and two natural springs – always a good sign when hunting Earth energies. Once on top, we were soon treated to magnificent views as well as a cooling rain shower that came as if from nowhere and left as suddenly.
After a few kilometers, we finally reached the ruins of the Castle where we ate our sandwiches in the sunshine before exploring. I discovered a more or less north-south energy line running through the Castle with my rods but they kept telling me any energy vortex was to be found further up the ridge to the north.
So we continued to scramble up the ridge following periodic checks on direction with one of my rods. It was quite steep and difficult going in places so, after sitting for a rest and to take in some more amazing views of the Hell valley, my friend asked me how much further. I was in the process of saying just further I guess when we both noticed my rod was now pointing back the way we came. It took a couple more minutes to find the energy vortex with the rods in a grassy glade between several large trees where we sat and meditated for a while. It wasn’t hugely strong but it was there. Was this the fire breathing dragon of the legend? Perhaps, we will never know but such energy vortices are often referred to as serpents or dragons and they have a fibonacci shape to them like a curling serpent.
After sitting there a while, we began a careful descent down the mountain and I have to tell you that this killed my legs….. It was harder than climbing even if my breathing was less labored.
On the way down, we passed the 17th Century bridge and also the village church dedicated to Saint Havel, which looked like it deserved a visit but was closed. Some other time. It had been a good day and a drive home awaited us. At home, I found this reconstruction of how the castle may have once looked…
It’s a shame so little of it is left now and that it is more or less forgotten.