Legend of Saint Hubertus

Legenda o svatém Hubertu

It’s a well known fact that Saint Hubertus or Hubert is a patron of hunters but the origin of his story isn’t.

Hubert was born between 656 and 658 in Toulouse, France and died in 728 near Brussels in Belgium. He was known as the First Bishop Liége and the “Apostle of Arden”. He came from a noble family and as a young man he was sent to the Royal court in Paris. Like other noble men, he was a passionate hunter and he took a part in many hunting games. He married Floribanne but she died giving birth to their son. Later, Hubert withdrew himself into the forested Ardennes.

Legend says that during Good Friday hunt he saw a majestic stag in the middle of the woods. The deer had a glowing crucifix between its antlers. In that exact moment a voice spoke to him, asking: “Hubert, why do you still hunt and chase wild animals? It’s time to start looking for me, the one who has scarified for you.”

After this profound experience, he turned to religion and refused any pleasures, distributed all his personal wealth to the poor and, soon, he became a bishop. Firstly, his legacy was followed by hunters in Belgium, then in the Netherlands and in Germany. His cult became popular in our country in the 17th century. Franz Anton von Sporck who built a baroque spa building in Kuks played a huge part in popularizing the cult.

Many churches and chapels in the Czech Republic are dedicated to the saint patron of hunters such as Velké Karlovice near Vsetín, Karlova Studánka in Bruntál or Benecko in the Krkonoše mountains. The most famous is propably the chapel of Saint Hubert which is located in the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. A Gothic Revival column structure is the newest building in the complex which was added to UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The original Saint Hubert’s Liqueur is one of the gems of the Metelka brand.

The beverage with an unmistakable and rich taste of herbs and fruits is literally a pride of the Metelka family. Its origin dates back to 1937 when Antonín Metelka, who was a founder of the Metelka brand, created an original recipe of the Hubertus liqueur for an association of hunters. With a huge effort, he created a quite complex combination of herbs, fruit juices, and spirits. This almost prevents anyone from imitating the liqueur. Saint Hubert’s Liqueur retains its original taste.

„Saint Hubert’s Liqueur is a synonym for a first-class quality and an unforgettable experience of a unique blend of herbal aromas and flavours.“

The grandson of the founder, Milan Metelka restored the tradition of the herbal liqueur in 2002 when the company celebrated ten years of existence. Only few litres of the liqueur with the original recipe from 1937 were produced just for the owner and stuff. However, the response was very positive and it made the management to restore the product brand and add it to the company’s portfolio after decades.

But taste and aroma of the liqueur had to be slightly adapted to current customers’ style and requirements. The label underwent innovation and due to a small recipe modification the name was changed to Saint Hubert’s Liqueur.