Samson’s fountain sits in the middle of the Přemysl Otakar II Square, in the center of České Budějovice.
The area around the fountain, surrounded by historic buildings from as early as the 1500s, is the largest town square in Czech Republic.
The figures of Justice, Wisdom, Courage and Prudence and a quartet of bronze gargoyles guard the square, and there’s so much to see it would be easy to walk right over the small spot that strays from the otherwise neatly arranged bricks and concrete slabs.
Just a few meters from the fountain, in fact, there’s a small, rounded rock with a cross carved into it.
The Bludný Kámen (literally Stray or Wandering Boulder) marks the place where the gallows once stood.
Some locals call it the “vicious stone” because it’s said to memorialize the executions of 10 men who conspired against King George of Poděbrady in the 1470s. It is said that the local rope companion Filip, during his reign, joined the conspirators around a German swordsman preparing an uprising against the king. However, the city informant, the father of Filip’s girlfriend Markéta, found out about the conspiracy. After the betrayal, nine or ten people, including Filip himself, were captured and executed on the spot where the stone lies today.
Despite it is literally astray in the otherwise paved square, its title, “bludný” also references a local legend that says anyone who walks over it after nine in the evening will wander the streets lost until the sun rises.