The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Karvina
In the immediate vicinity of the Fryštát chateau, in the old part of Karvina, stands the most important landmark and one of the oldest surviving buildings around Těšínska. The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross dates back to the 14th century when Prince Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty chose this site for a temple.
The age of the church is testified by the Gothic paintings from the 15th century that depict various religious events which were created directly in the lime plaster.
The current appearance of the church is due to its reconstruction after a fire that occurred in the late 19th century. Maybe it was the fire that started the legends about the power and sound of the local bell. It was apparently so powerful, that when the bell rang from the church tower, all evil was changed into good and sadness into joy. When the bell fell into the ashes after the fire, it was buried in the ground and for many years no one knew about it until it was found by a shepherd’s pigs who dug up the bell out of the ashes.
The bell sounded again but when it was heard by the princess in Těšín (Cieszyn) she decided to obtain it at any cost. The townspeople sold the bell for an incredible sum of money – apparently the entire road from Frystat to Cieszyn was covered in gold pieces. When the princess awoke the next day, the bell was miraculously back in its place in the tower of the church Frystat. The lady of Těšín took this as a divine sign and so left the bell where it belonged and also let the people of Fryštát keep the gold coins. However, she had the only window of the bell tower, through which came the beautiful sound of the bell, bricked up so as not to feel so sad.