…… from year 1523
… in years 1578 – 1587
… in 1588
… in 1588
… in 1593
… in 1594
… in 1607
… from 1628 to 1644
… from the 1960s to the early 19th century
… in 1806
… at the beginning of the 20th century
… 21st century
STORY OF THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE and his potion of immortality
“The potion of Immortality for the Governor of Krumlov, Mr. William of Rosenberg …”
William of Rosenberg (1535 – 1592) was an influential and self-confident nobleman who successfully managed his estates in southern Bohemia. He was the richest Czech nobleman of the time. That is why the life in Krumlov castle was very similar to life in the court of Emperor Rudolf II. Many artists, alchemists and adventurers came there. At first Wilhelm did not trust the art of alchemy. He gradually became interested in esotericism, occult science, and astrology. He became a supporter of alchemy just like the Emperor Rudolf II.
William of Rosenberg has set up alchemical laboratories at his houses in Treboň and Český Krumlov. He invited to him many famous scholars. The alchemists aspired to convert lead into gold called Aurum potabile (drinkable gold) and desired to produce the infamous Potion of Immortality.
Český Krumlov was said to be the Mecca of Alchemists. There were many alchemists at the court of William of Rosenberg, such as Edward Kelly and John Dee. It was also said that William of Rosenberg was easily tricked by various fraudsters and charlatans.
From 1565 the scholar Antonín Michael from Ebersbach supervised by the laboratories in Krumlov. At the same time, he was given the position of the regent of the Rosenberg mines by William of Rosenberg himself.
The ruler of Český Krumlov did not have any children with his first wife. After her death he decided to marry the young Polyxena of Pernštejn. Their spectacular wedding took place on January 11, 1557, in the Rosenberg Palace in Prague. The Emperor Rudolf II. personally attended the magnificent wedding. William of Rosenberg hosted thousands of poor people during his wedding.
At that time Antonín Michael of Ebersbach was to create for William of Rosenberg a beverage to stop aging. The alchemists called the drink “conservationem senectutis”. Antonín Michael of Ebersbach tried to concoct this miraculous drink. It took him more than five years. Eventually he managed to produce a golden-colored liquid. William was already very sick. Antonín Michael of Ebersbach wrote to William about his discovery, and brought the promised potion to him.
“It’s aurum potabile, drinkable gold, which heals all diseases and prolongs life.”
The governor of Krumlov drank the potion given to him by his alchemist. And after a few days he died.
Mr. Peter Vok of Rosenberg, brother of William, cast Antonín Michaela of Ebersbach into the prison under the tower of the Krumlov castle. The alchemist died there in 1593.
The legend of the bat
Antonín Michael of Ebersbach came from Germany. From 1575 he worked for the nobility as a regent of mines. He oversaw the mines of William of Rosenberg and the ore extraction. He devoted himself to alchemy and magic. Antonín Michael of Ebersbach bought the house in Široká Street no. 77 in 1588. The entire house was reconstructed with a generous budget. Ebersbach benefited from the interest in alchemy and strived to produce the so-called drinkable gold, aurum potabile. He tried to convince everybody that he could make such a potion. However, he did not succeed in making solid gold. He decided to achieve his goal using black magic. In this house, he was said to use a magical circle painted on the floor with holy chalk to call out ghosts from the world beyond to his aid. The ritual chanting was suddenly interrupted by a bat which flew into the room through the window. Today it is the room 203 in our hotel. The window opened and the bat came into the room. The bat got under his nightgown and began biting Ebersbach. He lay on the ground and eventually managed to kill the bat. The legend says that by breaking the secret formula, he brought misery and bad luck on himself. At that time people believed that bats were flying in the evening to look for a people willing to give their soul to the devil. As soon as they find such people, they fly into their hair and take their souls to hell.