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At the Mass for the Miners' Souls 

Every year, in the late afternoon on Christmas Day, the Church of St. Nicholas emerges from the ground. It slowly rises from the earth as if enlightened by the sun until it reaches its full size and magnificence. Subsequently, the bells in its belfries start tolling, chiming for the souls of tragically perished miners with a clear and captivating sound. Dark shadows slowly emerge from various edges of Slavkov Forest and silently approach the church. They gather around the illuminated altar. Young miners holding bowls with precious stones are standing at the front. Above the altar is a crib made from these precious stones. The symbols of the black miners lie on a small table covered with a red cloth in front of the altar – a hammer, a mallet and a rake. The coat-of-arms of the nearby towns hang on the walls. Old men with beards and high ruffs sit in the front rows. Their names appear as the names of the feudal owners of the towns. The rows behind them are occupied by former councillors and the heads of miners' guilds, while the remaining rows and the rest of the church is crowded with black miners. Accompanied by the majestic sound of the organ, a priest with a long white beard, clad in golden vestments celebrates the mass. It is said that with the tones of "Gloria in exelcis deo", the entire Krudum Mountain glows and an angel descends to the church announcing the birth of the Lord. The mass ends with a chorus of thanksgiving, the miners return to their adits, and the church slowly submerges into the ground. The church remains hidden to the eyes of the living throughout the year to re-emerge once again on Christmas Day. It is also said that the living should not come near the church during the mass. Those who see the church in all its glory are so enchanted by its beauty that they cannot resist joining the mass. However, their souls join the souls of the miners and they disappear into the underworld.

Archaeological research conducted in Slavkovský les (Slavkov Forest) near the village of Hrušková in 2002 discovered the ruins of a stone structure, which most likely belonged to the Church of St. Nicholas. The small medieval church was first mentioned in historical deeds in 1253 when King Václav I (Wenceslas I of Bohemia) gave the church to the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.

Adapted from: Brtek, J.: Pověsti svobodného královského horního města Horní Slavkov a jeho okolí (Legends of the Free Royal Mining Town of Horní Slavkov and its Surroundings), Sokolov District Museum, 1994; Jaša, L: Krudum, Mýty, báje a pověsti Slavkovského lesa (Krudum, Myths and Folklore of the Slavkov Forest)
Literature: Klsák, J.: Nálezová zpráva k archeologickému výzkumu zaniklého kostela sv. Mikuláše pod Krudumem, (Report on the Findings of the Archaeological Research on the Ruins of the Church of St. Nicholas under Krudum Mountain), 2002
http://sweb.cz/SlavkovskyLes/index.html