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The Region in Legends and Tales
The Midnight Horseman 

A long time ago, a horseman used to gallop at breakneck speed around the Church of St. Joachim at midnight. Nobody has ever learnt where he came from and where he was heading. As some believed that he was riding out of the church, felons sentenced to death were locked in the church for the night to cast light on the mystery surrounding the midnight horseman, for which they were promised a pardon. In the morning, they were always found dead. One such felon was also locked up in the church for the night and he hid under the altar cloth. There was a tomb in the church where deceased clerics were buried. As midnight chimed, the tombstone raised and a figure of a man emerged from within, undressed and disappeared behind the church door. A low cry and whistling sounded from the outside and the horseman went galloping around the church on his horse. The felon left his hiding place, grabbed the horseman’s stocking and hid once again. In a little while, the horseman returned to the church, put his clothes on, yet he could not return to the tomb with only one stocking. In the morning, people came to see what happened to the felon. He was alive and he told everyone what had happened that night. The people opened the tomb and found a dead body with a single stocking. Now more people were waiting for the horseman. When he appeared again, they asked him what he wanted. The horseman answered: "I am not worthy!" The people laid him to rest in the cemetery where the horseman finally found peace. As promised, the felon was pardoned.

The catholic parish church was originally built as a Lutheran church. It was a single-aisle church built between 1534 and 1540. It was destroyed during a devastating fire of the town in 1873 and rebuilt with the aid of preserved outer walls in Gothic Revival style. The church served as the tomb of the Ostrov branch of the Šlik family and Jáchymov mining hetmans.

Adapted from: Nürnberger, H.: Pověsti a pohádky zkraje mezi Klínovcem a Doupovskými horami (Legends and Fairy Tales between Klínovec and the Doupov Mountains), translation Z. Čepeláková
Literature: Kuča, K.: Města a městečka v Čechách, na Moravě a ve Slezsku (Cities and Towns in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia), volume 2, Libri, Praha 2000