© Städtisches Museum Halberstadt

How the game of chess came to Ströbeck

Short facts

  • Halberstadt OT Schachdorf…

Or: Playing for freedom

In Ströbeck, it's okay to see the world in black and white. Everything in this chess village is devoted to the noble board game: There is a chess tower, and the village square is a large chessboard.
In 1011, Bishop Arnulf assigned a noble, Count Guncellin to guard the tower of Ströbeck. Heinrich II had captured him as a prisoner of war; he was to be kept incognito until new orders were received. The peasants treated their prisoner in a friendly manner. Because everyone was bored - the guards as well as their unwilling guest - Guncellin carved chess pieces, made a board and taught the peasants how to play chess. They were delighted to learn the new game. When the Wendengraf regained his freedom, he gave the game to the people of Ströbeck and it is still played in Ströbeck today.
In 2016, the chess tradition in the chess village of Ströbeck was included in the nationwide list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in Germany.

On the map

38822 Halberstadt OT Schachdorf Ströbeck

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