Lauf Wenzelschloß Castle
The Wenzelschloß Castle, looking across the drawbridge at the front of the castle.
The castle in Lauf is well known to all of us thru the Christmas Carol, Good King Wecenslas. Now whenever you hear this song, you can think of your ancestors possibly walking on the castle grounds.
Good King Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia
Wencelas, Duke of Bohemia, was raised by his grandmother as a Christian in a land that, in the early tenth century, was still largely pagan. At about twenty years of age, Wenceslas took over leadership of Bohemia from his mother, who was a harsh and unpopular ruler. He encouraged the spread of Christianity and many stories circulated regarding his concern for the poor. In 929 he made a treaty with the powerful German King Henry I, who was also a Christian. In exchange for peace, Wenceslas agreed to pay tribute to his neighbor and allow German priests to do missionary work in Bohemia. A small group of pagan nobles, led by the duke’s younger brother, Boleslav, opposed the treaty and plotted aainst him. On the way to Mass, Wenceslas was attacked by
his brother and the nobles and was slain at the gates of the church. He became the patron saint of the Bohemian, or Czech, people. The age old Christmas Carol “Good King Wenseslas, reflects his goods deeds.
This photo of the castle was supplied by Margot Wechsung of Lauf
Good King Wenceslas
Words to the Christmas Carol
Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay around about, Deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, Tho’ the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, Gathering winter fuel.
Hither, page, and stand by me, If thou know’st it, telling;
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence, Underneath the mountain;
Right against the fence,
By St. Agnes’ fountain.
Bring me the flesh and bring me wine,
Bring me pine logs hither;
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear the thither.
Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Thru’ the rude winds wild lament
And the bitter weather.
Sire, the nightis darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.
Mark my footsteps, my good page,
Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter’s
Freeze thy blood less coldly.
In his master’s steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therfore, Christian men, be sure.
Wealth or rank possessng,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.
Castle was built in 1360 by Kasier Karl IV. It is presently being used as a school.
For comments and suggestions, contact Sandy Norton