Postcrossing ID: CZ-590394
Date Sent: 4 February 2015
Date Received: 28 February 2015
Days Travelled: 24
Distance Travelled: 8,946 km
This Postcrossing card was the first I’ve received from the Czech Republic, a country that I have a great affection for as the original home of my adoptive family was in the spa town of Jáchymov in northwest Bohemia. It was previously known as Sankt Joachimsthal and was a mining and minting town (notice that Monika used the original German spelling of my surname when addressing the card). I also have a really good friend from a town south of the capital city of Prague.
I hadn’t heard of the small town of Blatná before receiving this card, but this is part of the fun of Postcrossing – learning about new places. With a population of about 13,500 people, Blatná sits in the South Bohemia Region with a water castle in the middle of an artificial lake and a landscape garden around it. The area has been inhabited since the sixth century and the first written record dates to 1235 when a fortress was built on a rocky piece of land in the middle of marshland. The name of the town means “A Marshy Place.” Local legend states that the fortress was a seat of the Knights Templar in the latter half of the thirteenth century; they are said to have hidden a treasure somewhere within the castle. The only part that remains are the foundations of a Romanesque chapel. The current castle dates to 1579 but was last rebuilt between 1850 and 1856, receiving its contemporary English Gothic looks at that time.