Love this story I got from Paul Von Stache. It’s a fairy tale or folk story from Silesia (Schelsien). I had never heard it before. It sounds like an original Grimm tale, and definitely not a Disney-Happy-Ending-with-singing-Animals Story.
The tale is about Kunigunde von Kynast. It took place in Kynast Castle (a/k/a Burg Kynast) in Schlesien. Here’s the story:
The tale of Kunigunde von Kynast
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful and wealthy young maiden who lived in Kynast Castle (today it’s Chojnik Castle in Poland). Her name was Kunigunde. All the knights wanted to marry her. But she thought she was too good for all of them. So, she came up with a decree that any man who wanted to marry her would have to ride his horse around the perimeter wall of the castle. Many tried and all fell to their deaths (much to her amusement).
One day a very handsome knight came to the Kynast (Chojnik Castle). Kunigunde fell immediately in love and wanted to marry him. She retracted her decree about riding the perimeter walls. But he insisted on doing it. He completed the most dangerous task with his life still intact. Kunigunde was overjoyed, for now she would marry. But the knight refused to marry her and publicly rebuked her. He said he only did it to avenge the poor souls who died for her amusement and folly. And he left. Kunigunde was so humiliated and ashamed that she threw herself over the castle wall to her death in the valley below.
And that’s how a Schlesien fairy tale goes. Not a real happy ending. But the ruins of the castle are still there and it’s a popular tourist site in Poland today.
Where is Castle Chojnik?
Today, Castle Chojnik is in Poland, near the border of the Czech Republic, above the town of Sobieszów, which is part of Jelenia Góra in southwestern Poland. Its remains stand on top of the Chojnik hill within the Karkonosze National Park, overlooking the Jelenia Góra valley
Thanks again Paul Von Stache for sharing this wonderful piece of folklore with us!
Looking for More German Fairy Tales?