Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sounds from silence in Špilberk castle, by Magdaléna Rotreklová

Sounds from silence in Špilberk castle

This story is about Blanche of Valois and her stay in Brno.

Blanche of Valois was the first wife of Charles IV, the king of Bohemia, who was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the House of Přemyslid from his mother's side. She lived in Brno for one year (in 1337). In 1346 she and Charles were crowned the king and queen of Bohemia. Although they got married in childhood (both were seven years old), they loved each other and their marriage was very harmonic. When Blancha died in 1348, Charles really mourned and he forgot her.

Sounds from silence in Špilberk castle
So, this is Brno? Although I don´t see very clear, I am absolutely sure. And the castle on the top of the hill before us must be Špilberk. Špilberk, my new home. Home? Marcus Tullius Cicero, my favorite Roman philosopher, says one beautiful quote:  What is nicer than the fireside? But what is my home? I grew up at the French court of my cousin Charles IV of France. When I was married with the king of Bohemia Charles IV I moved in his kingdom. With him I am feeling great everywhere, but now I am alone…No, now I can´t cry!
„Your majesty, we are here,“ the coachman disturbs me from my sad thoughts. I get off the carriage and look around. I see a big and quite beautiful building with the strange name Špilberk. Suddenly I notice a young woman near me. She makes a bow and tells me:“I am your new maid. My name is Anna.“ “Can you show me my rooms? I am very tired, it was a long journey.“ “Of course, come with me.“
What a beautiful morning! My first morning in the new home. The sun is shinnig and from my window I see hundred roofs under me. Today Brno looks friendlier and prettier than yesterday evening. After all, it shouldn't be so bad there.  Next days I have so much to do – I take care of working the castle, I get to know new people and I start to learn Czech. I must say that it is very difficult language, but I want to be closer to people there and they speak only a little bit German and of course Czech. Only the burgrave of Špilberk speaks somewhat French. Now I can build an easy  Czech sentence and I understand quite well. These days everything I miss is  only my husband Charles. I am angry with his father, the Czech king John of Bohemia. He is scared of us – me and Charles. People love us more than him and his new wife Beatrix.  How long must we even wait?
Days are going calmly and quietly. But one evenning everything is changed. It is 28th September and I am going to sleep. In the middle of night something wakes up me. I can't make sense of it because everywhere is complete quiet. I open my eyes and suddenly I see a figure in my room. I am so frightened that I can't move on. It is a beautiful woman with long dark hair and brown eyes. She reminds me of someone, but who? I haven't got much time to think about it, because she comes to me, smiles (she has a little bit sad smile) and caresses my face. Then she dissapears.
“Your majesty, it is the morning. You should wake up,“ “Thank you, Anna, can you help me with getting dressed?“  During my breakfast I try to ask her: “Anna, didn't you hear anyone in my room?“ She looks surprised and answers: “No, definitely. Did anything happen?“ “Nothing special, don't worry about it.“ I am feeling like a madman. Was it only a dream? I don't believe it.
For three nights I see this woman, for three nights I can't say any word. I am only looking at her and she is only smiling. I'm not scared of her. No longer. Next night I expect her coming. But I sleep all night and don't see or hear anybody. Until the week after one night she comes. “What's your name?“ I ask her. “Elisabeth,“ she says and…dissapears.
In the morning I wake up early and quietly pussyfoot in the castle library. There I am looking for some chronicles. I Lea through them and try to find the name Elisabeth. Yes, there is! “Queen Elisabeth, the wife of John of Bohemia was born…“ “…14th May 1316 Elisabeth give birth the boy, called Wenceslaus…“ Wenceslaus? It was the first name of Charles IV. Of course, it must be his mother!“…She died in 1330…“ So I saw her spirit. But what did she want to tell me? Why did she visit me? I am thinking about it the whole day. A also ask Anna if she knew queen Elisabeth.“Yes, I knew her. She loved our country, but John, her husband…You know. He was always abroad like now. He isn't evil, but he likes travelling and fighting more than Bohemia.  So queen Elisabeth was because of it very sad and angry. They argued a lot. She pinned her hopes on her son Charles.“ “He won't disappoint her, I am sure,“ I answer.
The next night Elisabeth comes again. “I know who you are,“ I say, “Don't worry, Charles will be great king. He is clever, kind and brave. And people love him!“ Elisabeth smiles and I see tears of emotion in her eyes. “I trust you, Blanche. But now he needs you. It won't take a long time and my son will become the king of Bohemia and you will become the queen.“ I want to say something else, but she kisses me on the forehead and says: “Goodbye, my dear Blanche. God bless you.“ and she leaves. In the morning I get a letter from Charles. “Blanche, in one week I am going to arrive in Bohemia. And then, my dear, you will come to Prague and we will live together. You can't imagine how I am looking forward to you…“
So today is the last day of my stay in Brno. I will miss this beautiful city, but I hope I will return there with my husband, with Charles IV.

No comments:

Post a Comment