Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Cheb, The Sudetenland - The Castle. Renaissance stove.
First, the creature comforts of a Renaissance stove, the ceramic wood-burning stove at Cheb Castle. Stoves like this are in homes, castles, anywhere that a relatively efficient heating system was needed. For many, there were ducts and outlets to chimneys for heating the entire place; and many such stoves.
For a look at the role of this kind of stove in theology, lite, see Martin Luther's Stove in Wittenberg.
There he mentored many fellow philosopher-theologians. Behind it, as in many such situations, there resided a third party mischief-maker.
Now that we are warmed up, what happened here.
This Romanesque fortress castle was originally built by the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa - Red Beard. See more of Barbarossa at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_I,_Holy_Roman_Emperor. For the castle itself, see www.marianskelazne.cz/en/turistika-volny-cas/tips-for-trips/. Scroll down to Cheb. It dates from the 12th century, at a place of earlier Slavic settlements 10th-11th centuries. See www.mestocheb.cz/html/e_pamatky.htm. See also the Cheb-Sudetenland posts at The Places of Petr Ginz, from a boy's diary while living in Prague 1941-1942.
The old "Sachsen" area of Germany-area borders on the Bohemia of the old maps, and ethnic groups have lived on both sides - see the map of the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th Century at www.geocities.com/wenedyk/ib/hre_map.html. Watch European boundaries shift at historymedren.about.com/library/atlas/blathredex.htm.
The area came to unwanted prominence when Adolph Hitler visited and then took it over by annexation. The location is strategic for moving from the northwest into Bohemia. See Adolph Hitler annexed the Sudetenland in 1938, see www.spectacularslovakia.sk/ss2001/snp.html,
There is a fine chapel, and a large undercrypt-type space beneath. In some areas, the vast undercrypts of churches, with the huge supporting pillars, were used as bomb shelters.
Undercrypts were used for burials, places for valued items, special chapels. Some have a hole in the ceiling that brings in light, covered in a transparent material, if you look up, goes straight to a mosaic or other symbol or religious figure on the ceiling (way up there) of the main sanctuary.