Written by Hana Minarikova
Gothic-romanesque Loket Castle was first grounded in the 13th century. It is situated on the bank of the Ohre River in a protected area of Slavkov Forest near the City of Karlovy Vary in Karlovy Vary Region. It was a strategic defence point for Bohemian kings and rulers throughout the centuries. During the reign of Jan Lucembursky, in the 14th century, the Town of Loket was fortified, too. The castle more or less obtained its present appearance during a large reconstruction during the reign of Vaclav IV when a so-called Margrave House was built. Other reconstructions were undertaken in the second half of the 15th century and concerned mainly the main south palace where, during the reign of genus Slik, the Representative Hall was built and also the east palace where Slik´s Archive was established. The aim of the reconstruction was to transform the gothic castle into a more comfortable family residence. There was an unfavourable conversion of the castle to a prison at the beginning of the 19th century which included lowering by one floor of nearly all parts of the castle and a demolition of the oldest part known as the Stone Room. Nowadays, from the original grounding, there is left the particularly valuable Rotunda, foundations of the Castle Tower and the substructures of the north palace. At Loket Castle there is exposed a remnant of the largest meteorite that landed on the territory of the present Czech Republic and which was named Burgraves. It stroke a courtyard of the castle in August 1422 and since its original appearance it has been greatly diminished – reportedly weighed about 235lb and was as big as a horse’s head. In 1812 it was cut in pieces. The biggest piece weighs about 176lb and is stored in the Nature Science Museum in Vienna. Loket Castle offers many interesting sights. The most popular part of the exhibition include the castle prison with an authentic exhibition of torture, museum of weapons and porcelain exhibition. Get to know a place where the Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV came to rest and hunt. A place shrouded in several legends, such as the one about the ruler of Loket rocks, stones and underworld Gottstain, enchanted burgrave or dragon in the tower.
For more information about the Karlovy Vary Region where this place is located click here.