Surprise in the Castle


This afternoon we had the privilege of touring the Strečno Castle. I’ve never been inside a castle, or even in the proximity of one. It felt like I was stepping right into the 14th through 17th centuries as soon as we entered through the massive wooden door.

The castle was complete with a naturally refrigerated cellar that maintained a steady temperature of 7°C. It was naturally refrigerated because it was so deep below the surface of the earth. (Like so many things, geothermal cooling was invented long before its use in America.) In order to take food into the depths to refrigerate it, or to retrieve it, a servant was lowered through a hole in the floor with a rope and pulley system.

When we entered into the chapel room in the north wing, we went from an upper level into the chapel down one of many spiral staircases found throughout the castle.

In the center of the chapel floor was an opening that led to a stone stairway down into the area of the crypts.

Before we left the chapel, we were treated to four songs played on a harp similar to one used during the period of the castle. It was a moving experience as I imagined  life, death, worship, meals, and survival in the castle.

The fourth song the harpist played was Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Like many couples, this was one of the songs Danielle and I had played in our wedding. It was the song to which she entered the chapel in all her radiant beauty. As I’m missing Danielle so much on this 17 day adventure in Slovakia, this harmonious surprise from the harpist in the chapel of a castle was a poignant taste of 14th century history and 20th century history alike.

I love you Danielle! Thank you for making September 2, 1988 the second most important day in history for me! The most important was the day that Jesus transferred me from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light.