Do you see a white elephant? Welcome to Beckov!

An exotic animal as a symbol of a Slovak village might simply be – a mistake.

The Beckov Castle. The Beckov Castle. (Source: Ľuboš Balažovič)

No matter how exotic the idea seems to be, there is an elephant with a tower on its back pictured on the blazon of Beckov, a village near Trenčín.

"On a blue shield, a silver-coloured elephant with gold armour carries a silver-coloured tower with a gold window, topped a trident battlement and a red roof with two gold spheres," reads the Armorial Register of the Slovak Republic, the highest heraldic authority in the country.

Beckov is a western Slovak village, with a prominent castle now in ruins sitting on a rock above it, well visible from the cross-country D1 highway near Trenčín.

The blazon itself was registered in December of 1995. Nevertheless, locals and experts have been raising doubts as to whether the elephant should have indeed been painted on it for much longer.

"The former group is pushing for the elephant, the latter for a bull," Beckov-born Peter Gába told The Slovak Spectator, adding that locals do not realise this curiosity most of the time.

As a live elephant has never strayed into Beckov, several legends, say, linked to the Turks or Denmark, surface when people talk about the elephant's origin on the blazon.

Did an engraver go wrong?

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: History talks


Top stories

Slovak wines do great abroad, but inspectors see them as unfit at home

Slovak legislation does not recognise orange and cloudy wines. As a result, inspectors remove them from the shelves of stores in Slovakia.

Michelin-starred restaurants buy Slovak wines while inspectors in Slovakia remove some of them from the shelves of stores

This is not even the end of the beginning

Somehow Boris Johnson sold himself as the least tiresome.

The UK is like a flatmate who promised to move out, but just never leaves. In the meantime, they keep stealing beer from the refrigerator while complaining about how it tastes.

Economy minister: A gas crisis may come after the New Year

Slovakia will probably have to use all measures possible to secure supplies.

Gas storage facility in Gajary.

Tragedy in Prešov and bad news for Kočner from the U.S.

It’s less than three months before the general election and the chairmen of two major parties are facing criminal prosecution.