The treasure box of Bavaria's legends and tales
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This page is for all young people, if in mind or age, to keep in our quick time the phantasy of pasted centuries. When your family roots were in Germany, especially in the southern part, perhaps you would like to hear again some stories from grandpa.
All stories with links in the summary are located on introducing sites of towns or villages, the others with numbers are below the summary - you can jump by the linked number.
The bell ringer of Thannstein ( 01 )
The wood girls ( 02 )
The angels lake ( 03 )
The poacher named Grethler ( 04 )
The mill of Frammersbach ( 05 )
The bell gift from the water-nymph ( 06 )
The treasure in the "Buchet" ( 07 )
The silent frogs from Pleystein ( 08 )
The magic lake of Brueckeldorf ( 09 )
The treasure in the old Roman castle (10)
In the dead-man's-fields ( 11 )
The white feather ( 12 )
A smart wood carver and three stupid and greedy neighbours ( 12+1 )
The donkey egg ( 14 )
A wonderful Christmas Tale from Sweden -
keep some hankerchiefs in near, maybe you'll need that
In a special region of Bavaria the old tales content stories of visions, so the following too:
In the village of Thannstein there lived in old times a good old confidently guy who had the job to ring every day several times the church bell. He was nearly like a clock, he never started to late although he had to ring the bell first time in the morning at four o'clock. It was in autumn time as he went over to the church tower to do his job. It was dark, a little frosty and foggy as he opened the old screaming door. Touching the rope of the bell he suddenly feared to death.
He saw himself like in a mirror touching that rope. But his contrary, white coloured, more a shadow than a body, said no words and did not move. The old guy flew away and on this morning till lunch time nobody ring the bell. He was fallen in bed, cold fever was shuttling him and only his wife make him feel better with many many good words.
You know, people believe always more to good and positive phrases then to serouis advices and in the afternoon that old guy thought maybe he was a little bit sleepy in the morning and talk himself a scaredy-cat. Although autumn was nearly ending a thunderstorm was coming. That grumbling in the far reminded our old guy on his duty to ring the bell for the Lord saving the village and the harvest. So he ran over to the bell tower, now he saw no ghost. He gripped the rope. Suddenly, just the first ring was to hear, a lightning came down, through the roof, jumping on the bell and from there over the rope in our poor old guy. That was the explanation of the vision in the morning, he had have a presentiment of his death.
In ancient times there should be also a special kind of elfs in the region near Bayreuth, about their behavior and their disappearing people told following:
In the region of Bayreuth there lived in the woods some good female elfs mostly appearing in the size of old small women. They were named "Holzfrala" in translation "wood girls" and they always tried to help the human people. Once a poor maid was on her way to her future husband and she was worrying about the problem that she was poor and he had much more own stuff. So she had taken in her bag some stones so it should look that she has also something to bring into the marriage. On the way she met one of these old women don't knowing it was an elf. The old female asked her about the heavy bag and the young maid told her the truth and her problem. There the elf said: "Because you have told me the truth, don't worry no longer, all stones will be gold coins". And really, coming in the house of her husband, she had no more stones in her bag, they were all gold eagles.
The only enemy of these elfs was the wild hunter, from him we will hear in other stories. He hunted the elfs because they help to the humans. The old woodcutters in these times knew that and while a cutted tree was falling they alway pressed three cross in lefted piece. That was a security point for the elfs, if they could reach such crossed tree end the wild hunter was mightless against them.
But because the woodcutters forget this use in following times the wild hunter had catched them all, the last one should be bounded by him in the near of Mengersreuth.
Big and heavy was the covering snow in the valley and more and more snowflakes are coming down. Dark clouds brought new loads and the ice of a lake was nearly sounding by the screaming blizzard. The way was covered or icy and really invisible. In this weather a lonely female was drag along over the lake carrying a child of four years on her back in a basket.
The child was freezing and crying "mother, I am so freezing, I cannot longer suffer that, please, when we will be at home, I believe I will die soon". The mother was sad for death and dead tired but with the heart of a loving mother she said "Please my love, sustain only fifteen minutes more. Do you not see our small house with the smoking chimney?" She was lying because the thunderstorm did not allow to see more than one or two feet long.
The female fought against the wind and ploughed through the snow but suddenly a hungry wulf was coming out of the bushes. She feared for death but brave like a mother is she put the basket with the child down and attack the animal. But the wulf take no care of her hits with the stick, he pulled her down.
In this moment the small boy, first he had screamed, felt a strange braveness, took mothers stick and hits with an unhuman strength on that wulf till he escaped with bloody back. Then the child went to his laying mother saying "dear mother, the wulf is away, I beat him, mother mine, do you hear me". The exhausted female looked first to her boy then to the sky because her boy seemed her like an angel now. She got the strength to keep on her feet and soon they both reached their home.
The next few weeks she told everybody about the miracle and the braveness of her small child. So the folks named that lake the "angels lake" since these times.
From the Allgaeu region I heard a story about a poacher, his name was
Near the small village of Schattwald was living a poacher named Grethler, people said he has a contract with the devil. So he should give visions to other people to become unvisible. He appeared then to viewers like a tree stump. Once he was personal really afraid because one forest ranger sat down on him making lunch. The Grethler now feared, that the ranger will push his knife, using with the bread and meat for his meal, in the stump sitting on, than the magician would be hurt. But he was lucky, it did not happen.
Also this guy should have known magic words to bound people on a place. So one ranger could not move more for- or backwards after met the Grethler. The poacher walk away and meeting a woodworker on the lane he told him to look for the ranger still standing in the wood. This poor man could first move himself after that other guy has told him regards from the Grethler and that he can move now.
So you can imagine, that even the people recruting captains of the army had no chance to catch this poacher because always they met him, he was looking like an old weak man, what they are not looking for.
People told, he normally had a tiny bag with him including a male bee, named by him "Jordan". But in realitiy it was the devil. One day the Grethler want change his mind and behavior, so he went to a deep canyon and throw the bag into. But coming back, the "Jordan" was behind his kitchen table again. The Grethler still was like before and after his sudden death people found the contract with the devil under his pillow.
Poachers must be a lot in the old times, so folks in Lower Frankonia told following story about
In a valley near the village Frammersbach there was once a copper mill. The owner, divorced by death from his wife, was there alone with his son. Business ran well, the son was a good one, but he had one mistake. He loved more to hunt, in reality to poach, than to work in the business.
His father did not like this illegal doing especially he knew the owners of the hunting region, the dukes of Rieneck. They were people not liking to be somebody's fool. But the miller could say what he want, his son did not hear and was still poaching the dears.
One day a strong stag crossed his way. One good shot, he got him and starting to cut the good pieces out of the animal's body suddenly he was disturbed by a young hunter on a horse. This guy had hunted the stag and founding him dead and the miller's son with a knife working on he acclaimed as a poacher. Young people are mostly quick excitable and so started a fight. The son of the miller killed the young rider's man with his knife after he was punished from him by pushes.
He did not know that his dead "enemy" was one son of the Duke from Rieneck. This strong knight came after hearing about the death of his son with all his men to the mill, pulled the murder out and hang him in front of the house. The miller trailed away and long times everybody had seen on this location the ghost of the young miller's son.
First after centuries a stranger came in the area, bought that ruined mill and installed a waterdriven mechanical hammer, what you still can see now there.
In Lower Franconia with the river Main people knew many stories about water-nymphs, here the story of
As in the Middle Ages the big war raids against the invaders of the "holy land" in middle east were started, the voice of the "holy war" came also to the ear of the duke of Klingenberg at the river main. He took his coat with the cross and his sword to free Jerusalem like thousands of other german knights. His young female was desperate and crying but he only said "It is the will of the Lord, he and the holy virgin will safe you, my wife". But before he leaved he gave his wife an old silver bell once his family has gotten by a water-nymph as a gift. He told her to keep it well in her room. If he would die in the far the bell will sound and note her. In the contrary, if she would run in infidelity, the bell also will sound and he must die in the same moment wherever he will be. This magic the water-nymph had put on that gift.
One year was over, a second, a third, no message reached the desparate lady. She was very sad because the rumours said that thousands and thousands of the knights were be killed by the hooked swords in Arabia. But the bell had not sounded.
A young knight was fallen in that time in love to her and denied the believe of magic. He told her, her husband had said this story only to keep her in fear. Also he had a message for sure that her husband was dead. He was so very good in talking, the young lady believed to him at the end. Just as she had agreed to marry him, he had given her a marriage kiss and striped away the old marriage ring from her finger, the silver bell was ringing like hell. The magic was true.
Desparation and tremendous fear let the young wife fell down. The bell did not stop ringing, so the female jump out of the door, ran all steps to the top of the castle tower and killed herself by jumping in the river Main. The young knight, failing in saving her, made an holy oath and went forever in a monastery. But on the same day and time, people told later, the duke of Klingenberg was suddenly and with no reason dieing in the far Arabia.
From the area of Waldmunich, that is in the near of Furth im Wald, I have the story of
The "Buchet" is a forrest part near the Bohemian Forest in the near of Waldmunich. In that forest one general named Campbell should leave all the army money in reason of a quicker escaping from the enemy general Wallenstein in 1632. A lot of people later on were searching for all that gold, but nobody could find it although one guy had seen the hidden place. But he had given an oath and he was true. The only thing he always told was that the treasure should be under a stone marked by a haircomb sign. As father death was taking him he confessed several tries to dig out that money by himself, but he was always disturbed by a big black dock with eyes under fire, his last words said.
Years later a young nice farmer's maid working in that wood found a big stone with a curious mark on. Looked like an haircomb. She was wondering about but did know nothing about this old story. Just working further she suddenly felt the earth moving, looking back she saw the stone was sunk down and away. She checked the place exactly, the stone was away but on his place now she found three pieces of gold. She put them in her pocket and walked home with joy.
But, after walking some feet, suddenly a big black dog was appearing and blocked her way. She could handle in many kinds, no chance. Yes, it seemed, the dog became angry and threated her to attack. In this moment it seemed somebody was crying to her "Throw the gold away". She had done so, the dog barks with joy, took the gold pieces with his teeth and ran away. So the maid could walk home after her fear was gone too. This happened on a Good Friday.
This being in the 17th Century she didn't want to the treasure to provide the funds to play casino and start building a property portfolio, instead she wanted the money for her poor father. This also made more than willing to share the ordeal with other people.
At home she told the story to her friends. A lot of them walked out in the "Buchet" and tried their luck, but all were no sucessful. Old people explained the senseless search following: the treasure could be seen only one hour in the year and only on the Good Friday. Adding to this only people born on sundays can see the treasure.
Although one female, she said she was born on a sunday, her whole life every Good Friday was searching in that forest, she never found the treasure. So, maybe he is still there. If you are in the area, born on a sunday, try your luck.
About bad swears the following two stories tell us, first
In the town Pleystein they have a townlake, in older times it was the lake of an old castle. There should be a lot of frogs but you can not hear them croaking, even frogs brought from other areas should be dumb after they reached this lake. And the reason should be following: In the good old times, as people more believe to the Lord, all evening the bells ring the glory of Holy Mary. In this hour nobody works, everybody pray and sing the holy songs. So also the three sisters living in the castle.
After the last sound of the bells people can hear the sisters singing the Ave Maria on their castle tower. Some even go in the near to listen the holy songs. But curiously, always just after the sisters begin to sing, all frogs in the castle lake start to croak like hell. It seemed they do not like the holy melody. One day sister Luitgard gets so mad that she cries in the name of the Lord he should punish these unholy comrades by losing the voice. In the same moment no croak was more to hear and that was it. Never the Ave Maria was disturbed by them and people told, it should be the same in our days.
The second story tells about punishment for envy and greed in eternity
Near the village Brueckelsdorf at the town Burglengenfeld you will find the so named "witched lake". Once he should have lots of good tasting and big fat fishes and his owner gots lot of money from him. Every year the water was let out and then all fishes could be caught. One year, there were so much fishes, that the owner nearly did not know how to handle the catch, one poor looking female came and took one small fish. She just tried to take another small one as the fisher saw her. With hard words he pushed her away. The female gots mad, throws the fish away and cried a swear over that lake that he never will have fishes again. And so it happened. Everybody could see fishes swimming in the water, but if the water was let out, no fish was seen more.
In the old times people believe digged treasures belong to the devil, this story from south Bavaria tells about:
Near Buch at the Erlbrook you will find an old Roman castle, now it is only an earth hill in the forest. In the Middle Ages there lived a rich farmer in this area. He was not married and his behavior was like Dagobert Duck, catching money was his biggest fun even by illegal methods. But then the rumours getting stronger and stronger, the Swedisch soldiers were coming in this part of southern Bavaria too. So this farmer was in fear of his money and in a dark autumn night he went out to that old Roman castle and digged his huge money box there. And really, some weeks later the soldiers attacked his village, killed, raped, robbed and set fire on the roofs. His farm was burned too but he could save his life. Only for a few weeks then the plague killed him. So nobody knew about the treasure.
Nearly 100 years later there was a blacksmith in the village always looking for treasures and handling with magic arts too. One night he saw in his dream this farmer. The man begged him to solve his soul out of hell by digging out the treasure he had won by unholy manners.He told the blacksmith some rules he has to watch. If he wants, he can take two companions with him but nobody are allowed to talk not even one word and also not looking back equal what will happen. Start to dig out must be at midnight in the night of Saint Thomas.
Next morning the blacksmith talked to some friends and in the named night they all three startet to the old Roman castle in the forest. One remark by the side, the blacksmith weared a red jacket. On the named place the blacksmith made a circle with his shovel around the treasure point, none of them should be go out of that otherwise the devil will pull him. (That was the believing in these old times). Just at midnight they started digging.
And a lot of curious things started too. The sound of a big farmers vehicle was to hear, seeming to overdrive them, horses were screaming and seemed to push them down, the forest looked burning like hell. All three men had fear in all bones but they did not turn or say something. They only dig and soon they saw the top of the treasure box.
But the devil did not give up. He tried another way. Suddenly a fourth guy was there but not coming into the circle. He was looking with a bad smile watching the three treasure hunter digging. They saw, he was the devil, his goat foot and the small horns on the head under the hat with the rooster feather were the best proof. Suddenly he said: "The guy with the red jacket is mine". The blacksmith feared to death, forgot the rules and asked "Why me".
That was the end of the treasure hunt. Although they had seen the box nearly half out of the ground, now it disappeared and the devil was also hiding away with a tremendous laughing. The three men ran home and so the farmer is still in hell, I guess.
In the fields of the dead man
Near a small village not far from Aschaffenburg there are some fields named the dead-man's-fields. Once on a terribly and stormy night in december a farmer was coming home from another village with his horse and no heavy freight on his trailer. Suddenly the horse stood still and no good words or punishment let him go on. The poor animal was sweating, the nose was foaming and it really crazy. The farmer checked everything, found nothing, but just in this moment he remind that exactly that place had some bad rumours about. He turned and fearing for death he saw a black figure sitting on the trailer's end. Making a cross with his hands the farmer asked " what do you want". The ghost answered "I am looking for one guy who will solve me. Do you will?". The farmer agreed and asked " what shall I do and why?".
The ghost told " as I lived these fields are mine. But I was so miserly that in a night like tonight, it was the same date, I went out and plough a piece of my neighbor's field away. Also I changed the place of the border stone. Would you please plough this part back to the neighbor and relocate the stone too?" The farmer said yes but his question was "how I should know how much I have to plough back?". The ghost promised to show him, jumped off the trailor and a fireball was running over the field. Then it was away. The horse was quiet and the farmer could go home. Next morning he went out to the fields and a burned stripe showed him how much he has to plough back. After he had done the ghost was never seen and nothing more happened in the nights.
The white feather
In the old times a farmer had at night times troubles with his horses. One night they were crying or yerking like somebody push them more than usual work. Another night somebody must have bound the hairs because in the morning they have all curled ones. Or one morning the farmer found them all contrary standing in their boxes. So he got afraid. He went to one of his neighbours who was told a wise man. This guy listened to all that stories and then thinking about he said: my friend, I guess, there must be a witch around. Look very carefully and if you will found something not owing to you or in the barn or to the horses, catch it and burn it as soon as possible".
The farmer went home, next morning his finest horse had again curled and bounded hairs and on his back the farmer found a tiny little white feather laying. He took it and throw it in the stove where it burned with a curious sound. After that, time for breakfast was ready and all his male and female workers appeared at the big round table. But one maid was curiously missing, everybody search for her but she could not be found. And also in the coming days, weeks and years, nobody has seen her more.
After a long time you've waited here is a new story. I am very sorry about the delay but business first then the fun. And fun had this clever guy from Lower Bavaria also:
The Joe from the woodfarmers was a poor wood carver. In the winter times he hade weaved together with his simple wife (simple means "not to much brain" but good) a fine piece of cloth. Spring was coming and he send his wife to the market to sell the cloth and buy a bred and a pig bellows.
Joe had three neighbours, their profession was also the weaving and they were early in the morning also on the way to the market. On the bridge they met his wife and bought from her the fine cloth for a quarter. The simple wife was happy, got the bred and the other stuff, but that was all. Normally the cloth would have bring much more. So Joe was angry about his wife and thought about revenge.
Next morning he filled the pig bellows with mud and walked to the town. Near the bridge he met his neighbours and they asked him what he have in. " It's medicine" he told, "I bring it to the pharmacie". Hey, that could help our wifes, they thought and started a trade with him. First as they offer 100 dollars he sold. And hurried away because they would very soon find out that he cheated them.
And really, very soon they arrived and wanted to punish him. But he had have another idea before. As they came into his house they found him running behind his wife and always hitting her with an old stick crying "monkey stick from monkey young make my wife now young" . And his wife slipped into the stove and out slipped his young daughter. The foolish neighbours got so greedy that they bought the stick from him. At home they hit their own wifes till these were blue over and over the bodies, but never grew young. So they found out Joe had fooled them again. So they ran back to kill him.
But it seemed he was died in the meantime. In his house they found his crying wife and Joe was laying like very death on his bed, a piece of wood on his side. So the neighbours were angry that he slipped away for their revenge and one of them took the wooden piece and hit him for the last time. But suddenly Joe moved up slowly and asked with a voice like a zombie "who has disturbed my eternal sleep" Now the greedy neighbours believed this would be a magic wood to awake dead people. And they bought it for much money from the "awaked" Joe.
Because the kings daughter was dead and the king had promised a high value for this magician who could make her alive again.Three days they hit the princess but she did not want become alive. Just, as the king would kill the three, they could escape in last minute. But Joe could not escape from them. They caught him, put him in a bag and wanted to kill him by throwing in the river. On the way to there they got thirsty by carrying the heavy bag with Joe. So they stopped at the pub to have a drink. The bag with Joe was outside near the wall.
By chance a priest was coming the way and Joe cried in his bag: " I should become pope but I don't want". The priest heard this and said " if you not want, perhaps I can become pope instead of you". Joe said: "yes priest, but then we must change the places, I can go away with your horse and you must go in my bag". The priest opened the bag, Joe went out, the priest went in and Joe closed the bag and rided away.
After a while the three weavers came out the pub and walked to the river. There they throw the bag into. As they looked up they saw Joe on the other beach on a horse. What a surprise. And Joe said "thanks, such nice horses are only on the river bottom to found". Greedy like devils for a soul the three guys thought how to handle that. Then they decide the bravest one of them should jump in the river and the other two would hold him with a rope. If he will see the horses, he should shake the rope and the others will jump into to help him. If he will have problems he should cry and they pull him out.
So it happened. One jumped in, the other two hold the rope. But just in the water he began to shake and rip on the rope because he was fearing for his life. The other two fools believed " he just have the horses" and jumped also into the river. By this Joe get off his three greedy neighbours for ever.
Here I am with a new funny tale. I guess you also have in your country some areas where the people don't like so much the other ones and if they could, they would kidding them. In old times in Germany, especially between Tyrolia and Bavaria, there were some "strugglings" and from that the new story tells:
The donkey egg
In older times in the small Bavarian town named Weilheim a local judge lived and he was always a little jealous about the traders with their donkeys. He wanted one for himself alone but the prices always looked him to high. One day another Tyrolian trader was coming in town and the judge asked him again how much a donkey would be. The trader wanted 50 Gulden (old currency) but the judge thought again that is too expensive. By the way he saw big yellow balls on the traders wagon he'd never had seen before. So he asked him "what's this, my friend?"
The trader wanted to make a joke and said "these are eggs my donkey had put out that night". The judge suddenly got the idea, maybe this would be the chance to get cheaper a donkey and he asked for price and how to handle the breedings. The Tyrolian laughed like hell secretly, sold him one "egg" for 12 Gulden and told him the manual. "You must carry it up to the Goldberg (a hill in the near of the town), sit down on and keep it warm till the young donkey will come out".
The judge did what he've had said and after a while he reached the peak of that hill and warmed the "egg" with his backpart while sitting on. But the way was long, he was sweating and tired and his a.. had pain after a while. So he wanted to change the position but what a mess, the "egg" slipped him away and ran down the hill. There is hided into some bushes. In the bushes a rabbit was sleeping, now afraid about the unawaited visitor and jumped out. The judge saw the rabbit coming out of the woods and he cried what he can "donkey, here! Donkey here !" But the "donkey", our rabbit, ran avway in the fields and was never seen.
The foolish man looked a long time after him till he understand that the Tyrolian had made a big fool of him. So he went back in town and want punish him, but the pumkin trader was long times away.Up
Sorry dear friends, long time I'd other
importants works but now I'll give you a new, but in reality old tale again. This tale
is not from Bavaria, but it is so wonderful and for Christmas, coming soon, marvellous
to hear or tell so I decided to give it to you. The tale is coming from Sweden and
I try to translate it so good I'm able to: