The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is located in a magnificent, charming baroque Černín Palace. Yet, it might surprise you that the stories this palace hides are worthy of the creepiest Halloween night.

As you might guess, the Černín Palace was not always a governmental building. Throughout the 17th- 19th centuries, it belonged to a wealthy, nobel Černín family. Count Černín was dedicated to building the largest palace in the country and the works were finished in 1723 with almost all significant sculptors and artists contributing to the design in some way. To name a few, Giovanni Maderna, Francesco Peri and Antonio Travelli all acted as plasters.

By: Txllxt TxllxT via Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 4.0

The ghost stories followed the construction along the way with the ghost of the original founder, Count Humprecht Jan Černín, but the most famous legend came later.

The Czechs actually have their own equivalent of Marie Antoinette – it was Countess Černínová. Even though she didn’t say anything along the lines of “let them eat cake” when referring to starving citizens who didn’t have any bread, she acted pretty much the same. In 1770, Bohemia faced famine with many dying of starvation. However, Countess Černínová wasn’t short of rare delicacies and was even known for bathing in milk. The peak was reached when she threw a grand ball and appeared in shoes made of bread. The behaviour was insulting not only to the starving people of Bohemia, but also to local demons. Countess was approached by nine demons who then danced with her until her bread shoes caught fire. After that, they – possibly – ripped her apart. Other legends say they simple dragged her to hell in one piece.

The Ministry remains empty in the evenings, and that’s probably for the best. Legends say Countess keeps strolling through the palace, shamefully glancing at her shoes after midnight. Anyone who accepts her offer of being her dance partner will eventually join her in the flames of hell.

Countess Černínová was punished in mysterious ways, and now she is forever tied to her bread shoes, which should’ve served as a mockery of dying citizens of Bohemia. We guess that the moral of the legend is clear: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Anna Zhadan

Anna Zhadan

Anna is a Media and Communications graduate with over three years of professional experience in TV journalism, as well as creative, technical, and journalistic writing.
Anna Zhadan