The Story of Horymír and Šemík

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

As you know, the history of the Czech Republic is full of great personalities, unforgettable stories, and legendary events. Today, we decided to dig deeper into the origins of Czech legends and their ever-changing meaning. Do you know any of them? Do you know their purpose? What about the story of Horymír and Šemík? If yes, great job, pals! If not, tune in to read and learn more about it!

The legend dates back to the time when the prince Křesomysl was ruling in the Czech lands. The main characters of the myth are the prince, Horymír, the farmer who was living in the countryside near the village Neumětely, and his horse, Šemík, which was incredibly intelligent for an animal. Křesomysl had an obsession that he could not control in any common sense – hunting the treasures. Since the prince had the ultimate power, he encouraged the nation to abandon their daily activities, such as farming, and become miners. Getting treasures or money for free is everyone’s dream, isn’t it? At least, it was the prince’s most significant desire. When Horymír heard the news, he was extremely disappointed with the prince’s idea. The farmer proposed that if people start leaving the farms and households, the starvation and famine will follow. Later, it turned out that the farmer was right – there was simply not enough grain to make bread.

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Nevertheless, no one liked the protests of Horymír, mostly because nobody else supported him: he was the one against the entire nation. Miners thought that silver and gold are more essential than simple bread. To calm the farmer down, miners decided to kill him. Luckily, Horymír was not home when they set his house and crops on fire. When this happened, Horymír decided to perform an act of revenge: he burned the entire village where miners were living down, and created a barricade from rocks in the mine so that they could not continue the process of digging. For such a fearless and, at the same time, brutal act, the farmer was punished and sentenced to execution. He tried to speak for himself by suggesting that he couldn’t have done the deed alone, but nobody believed any of his words. Time had passed, and he was asked for his last, most desirable wish. Surprisingly, it was so simple and basic: Horymír wished to see his lovely and beloved horse, Šemík, for the last time in his life. The farmer was granted the request, and he was taken to Šemík. When the farmer saw the animal, he took his last ride near the castle ground. During the ride, Horymír whispered something to him, but no one knew what the whisper was about. Few minutes passed, and Šemík rushed to the ramparts, gorgeously jumped over them, and casually slid down the small mountain (most likely a cliff). An interesting fact is that you can still see his footprints on one of the rocks in Vyšehrad Castle. When the guards approached the ramparts, they were not only shocked but also amused by the abilities of an average white horse. By the time on-lookers got to the gates, Horymír and Šemík were already on the opposite side of Vltava; they were on their way to Neumětely, their home.

Without any doubt, the extraordinary jump has affected the health situation of  Šemík: he was extremely exhausted and tired after the stunt, his injuries were fatal. The miraculous thing happened a few minutes later: the dying horse spoke to the farmer in a human voice and asked for a favor. His last wish was the building of a tomb by Horymír. We don’t know why, but the tomb had disappeared from the surface of Earth, but it is still believed that Šemík is calmly dreaming in the Vyšehrad rock. He is gaining the power to wake up and help people again.

Sofia Chesnokova

Sofia Chesnokova

Passionate about digital marketing, copywriting, and Prague!
Sofia Chesnokova
Sofia Chesnokova

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Passionate about digital marketing, copywriting, and Prague!