Near the northern border with Germany lies the city of Ústí nad Labem. Above it, on a steep rock, stand the ruins of Střekov Castle. The monumental structure has inspired German composer Richard Wagner and writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
An impressive ruin above the city of Ústí nad Labem rises on a black rock, jutting upwards from the surface of the Elbe River (Labe) to a height of one hundred metres. On rainy nights, the ghost of the young daughter of a castle lord, who took her own life here by leaping to her death, is said to be haunting the cliff. The first mention of the castle comes from the 14th Century, when the Czech King Jan of Luxembourg decided to have a guard station, which would ensure the safety of Elbe River navigation and serve as a customs house, built here. In the 19th Century, the castle began to attract tourists, who were not only fascinated by the building itself, but also by its surroundings. For many years, there was a cruise restaurant in operation here, visited by famous composers and writers. For example, the composer Richard Wagner, who was looking for a muse in the romantic corners of the ancient ruins, wrapped himself in a sheet and looked down into the valley of the vast Ústí. He eventually wrote a poem, which later became the basis for the libretto of the famous opera Tannhäuser. However, he was not the only artist to have searched and found inspiration here. Střekov enchanted the Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha, as well as the famous writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The Střekov Restaurant is still open and, during lunch or dinner, you can enjoy the view of the picturesque hills of the Bohemian Central Highlands (České středohoří).