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Our Region on Postal Stamps
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The Region in Legends and Tales
The Tale of Knight Šebestián 

At the time of the crusades, a knight called Šebestián (Sebastian) lived along the upper Ohře River. He took part in an expedition against the Turks who were making it difficult for pilgrims to reach the Sepulchre in the Holy Land. When the Knight Šebestián returned to his homeland after many years, he found his keep burnt to ashes and the unkempt grave of his wife and child. The knight kneeled, prayed, and decided to leave this place that brought bitter memories of his lost loved ones. He set out along the river and after walking through a meadow valley, he arrived at the confluence of the Ohře and Svatava Rivers. He built a shack in the deserted woods and earned his livelihood by fishing, hunting game and collecting honey from wild bees. The noblemen of Loket often went hunting in the surrounding woods with trained falcons. The hard-bitten knight was also a skilled healer. For this reason, many people from the surrounding Slavic villages came to him. A settlement soon grew around the knight's log house where huntsmen trained falcons. The settlement was named Sokolov (German: Falkenau) after the falcons and an image of a falcon also appeared on the later coat-of-arms of the town.

The legend was portrayed by a sculptor from Cheb who created a statue of a falconer, which can be found on the town fountain built in the middle of the present-day Staré náměstí (Old Square) in 1717. The legendary founder of the town is holding a trained falcon on his palm and a dog is sitting by his feet.

Adapted from: Němec, V.: Pověsti. Brána do historie Sokolovska (Legends. A Gateway to the History of the Sokolov District), Sokolov District Museum, 1987, pages 7 - 8