The majestic ruins of the Děvičky castle stand on a peak of one of the Pavlov Hills (Pavlovské Kopce) and it dominates the landscape like a king. It has been guarding the area since the 13th century and it has been called by many names: Dowina, Diewiczky, Dívčí Hrady, and after the region was colonized by a German population, it was called Maidberk or Maidenburg.
The place for building the castle must have been chosen by a strategist of Napoleon’s qualities, as the castle stands on a rock which is impossible to access from three sides. The castle protected an important trade route from Mikulov to Brno. Today, after climbing up the steep hill, you will see villages, fields, vineyards, the endless surface of the Nové Mlýny reservoir and usually also predators searching for their prey from the air.
The current appearance of the castle complex’s torso is Gothic and dates back to the 14th century, with later modifications dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The ruins today are a rounded irregular rectangle sixty-five metres long and twenty metres wide. The preserved perimeter walls are two meters thick, you will also see semi-buried cellars and children will be thrilled by a great view of Pavlov or Dolní Věstonice from the embrasure. Generally, children love this place because they feel like in the times of knights and princesses when they run around the ruins. If your kids have a foam sword, they should definitely bring it with them!
We almost forgot to explain why the castle is called Dívčí Hrady (Maiden Castle) or Děvičky. You can see three cliffs in front of the castle, which are petrified girls according to a legend. At night, soft wailing is said to be heard from these stones. However, the legends do not agree on who the petrified girls were and why they turned into stone. Some people say that the girls were the daughters of the lord living in the castle, while other people swear that the girls were a Tartar princess and her female companions.