About the White Lady

On the east of Lomnice there are two high hills. The smaller looks like a broken tooth and it's called Bradlec. The higher is covered with trees and it is called Kumburk. They have both been through a lot and there are many legends about them. Here is one: 

The Lord of Kumburk and the Lord of Bradlec had endless disputes. They argued about the borders of their territories, about who was richer, and no judge knew how to put an end to that.

But as it often happens, the cords of fate got tangled, and young Vojtěch of Bradlec fell in love you sweet Veronika of Kumburk. Nobody could break their love: it was strong and indestructible.

But Vojtěch's father did not approve of his son's love for the daughter of his enemy. And he thought of a ruse.

“I've brought you plenty of gold,” he told the witch who lived near the castle, “put a spell on Veronika so she will not recognise Vojtěch and their love with fade away. My son can't be in love with the daughter of Lord Kumburk!”

“Fine. I will do what you ask,” replied the witch when she heard the gold coins jingling. And she put an evil spell that turned beautiful Veronika into the white lady.

Every night, the white lady will wander the walls of Kumburk's castle, singing sad songs, and some people would even see her in their dreams. She gave advice to the rich, left white coins under the pillows of poor children, and good fortune would befall those who touched her precious orchids. She spread so much happiness and joy, but she cried just as much, longing for her beloved Vojtěch.

Sadness also weighed on Vojtěch's heart. Veronika had stopped meeting him under the birch by the brook. He suffered, unaware that it was his own father and the witch who were responsible for his grief.

He even trusted the witch, and believed that she could help him; it was said her magic was powerful. When he found enough courage, he went to visit her.

“Please, my beloved Veronika has gone missing. I don't know where to look for her! Help me, and I will give you everything I have.” He implored.

The witch thought about it. She had already been paid a lot by Vojtěch's father. Why should she help Vojtěch now? But then she looked at the young man and saw how a once handsome man had lost his joyful face, and how his eyes were no longer shining with happiness, but were clouded by concern about Veronika.

“Fine, I will tell you what I know,” agreed the witch in the end. And as soon as she had said those words, he heart was filled with joy! It was the first time in her life that she was doing a good deed, one that Vojtěch and Veronika will sure never forget!

Vojtěch listened very carefully to what the witch had to tell him. And when midnight struck on Kumburk's towers, he went to the Syřenov spring, where he took as much water as he could carry to Kumburk. He made his way through the dark forest, skirted deep pools of water, resisted the strong wind, and did not fear the strange creatures of the night. His love for Veronika kept him going.

He arrived at the castle and poured the precious water he had carried at feet of the beautiful big tree that stood in front of the castle.

After a moment, nine bewitchingly beautiful branches started to grow on the tree. Vojtěch followed the witch's instructions and tied them into to three fragrant bouquets.

“The first bouquet shall open the gates to the castle,” he said and waved the branches. The way to the chambers was free. He walked into a room and there, by the window, stood the white lady.

“The second bouquet shall bring me back my beloved Veronika!” Whispered Vojtěch, and gave the bouquet to the white lady, and the sad shadow covering her face disappeared.

“ Vojtěch! You've saved me!” Cried Veronika and hugged her beloved.

And the third bouquet?

Soon after, Veronika and Vojtěch carried it to the altar. Their love had brought those two old enemies together, and happy days followed for the people of Kumburk and Bradlec: love and friendship had prevailed over hatred and malice.

And the witch? She would never again take money to do the evil deeds of rich lords. She lived near the castle, collecting magic herbs to cast away greed, lies and dishonesty from the hearts of people.

And when you come to these lands, do visit both hills, Bradlec and Kumburk. Among the ruins of the latter you will see the stump of the tree from which Vojtěch made the three bouquets for Veronika.