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?

Read more: -War elephants and exotic gardens - Elephant from the Turks -Danish order of the Elephant - Beckov’s elephant is not the only one

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

Rescuer: People are unteachable. They wear sandals in the mountains

Ivan Krajčír talks about forgotten and dangerous hiking spots in Slovakia.

Ivan Krajčír, 54, has worked as a mountain rescuer since 1988. He is also a mountain guide.

Kuciak’s sister Mária: I wanted to cry during Fico’s press conference, Janko was also a journalist after all

The families want information that does not harm the investigation to go public.

People still remember Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.

The US have invested a lot into our region politically

Now they recognise they need to take care of that investment, says Slovak Ambassador to the US Ivan Korčok.

Ivan Korčok in Washington.

Activities adrenaline junkies can enjoy in Slovakia

Become a race car driver at Slovakia Ring and jump off a chimney in Pezinok.

Adrenaline junkies can try skywalking up at the UFO Tower in Bratislava.