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Hřebeny – Hartenberg Castle 

Hřebeny – Hartenberg CastleHartenberg Castle, later known as Hřebeny Chateau and now a ruin (devastated by an intentionally fire set in 1985), was probably founded before the year 1200 (1196). Its rich history intertwined with significant noble families (Hartenberg, Maleřík, Šlik, Písnic, Auersperg, etc.), numerous medieval romantic tales and legends, as well as tragic fate attracted thousands of tourists and visitors in the past.

Hřebeny – Hartenberg CastleWhen in possession of the Auersperg family, the chateau was favoured and often visited by J. W. Goethe who, among other things, celebrated his 72nd birthday with Indian bonfires, wrote one of the masterpieces of world poetry (The Marienbad Elegy) and spent here his last days in Bohemia in September 1823 when, after parting with Ulrika von Levetzow, he bid Bohemia his last farewell at the chateau. The following is an extract from his diary describing his first visit to Hartenberg: "When first looking from such great height, you are amazed. The ancient chateau is made up of main and ancillary buildings, arbours and galleries, towers and spires, walls and courtyards of different kinds, all standing on an edge of a headland, below which three valleys meet and three water streams coalesce into a one... I believe the aged elm trees with woods underneath tower as high as the chateau to create an overwhelming scene. ... It ought to be mentioned, nonetheless, that only one's own eyes are able to capture what no words can come close to depict…"

Hřebeny – Hartenberg Castle The whole history of Hartenberg was associated with dramatic events, including conquest, plundering, earthquakes, fires, and its tragic fate continued into modern times after 1945 when, following the deportation of the last owner of the estate, Countess Františka Kopalová, the chateau suffered gradual pillage, devastation, and in the end, also arson.

Interesting tidbit: Legend of the Brave Castle Virgin

Links:

http://www.kdekdy.cz/vylety/hradyzamky/karlovarsky/3040___hartenberg---hrad-a-zamek
http://hartenberg.jinak.cz/
http://www.pruvodce.com/hartenberg/