As I told you before, after resting in the historic Czech health resort, I went into the one ancient place. The town of Loket. The city’s name translated into Russian as «elbow.» But there are no bloodthirsty legends, as in case with the city of Antwerp (translated from the Dutch like “Hand Cut”). Czechs say it was named because of the shape of the river-bed Ohře, which bends at this point, resembling the human elbow.
One day 800 years ago on this “elbow” the castle was set. This is the real miracle of medieval architecture and fortification. Like all of the castles of 12th century Loket has towers, spiral staircases, battlements and gloomy casemates. And, of course, the castle majestically rises above all other city buildings like a proud lord over his vassals.
It is interesting that Charles IV (the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor) went hunting from Loket. His horse tripped on a rock, beneath of which a healing source immediately appeared. As you might guess, Carlsbad was founded at the place of this miracle. The other interesting fact is that Charles IV without being a king steamed on the plank bed in Loket. Actually, I don’t know what the reason of it, but the fact remains. Loket was also used as a prison. You would not believe, but it was used as a prison until the mid of 20th century. For me it’s so weird as if the Tower of London was still used as the bullpen at Scotland Yard.
In the late 50’s which the castle was entirely given to the tourists. Nowadays in the castle there are several permanent exhibitions and other historical and entertainment services: performances of opera singers in the open air, historic festivals, knight fights and so on and so forth. For example, you can organize a romantic wedding in the spirit of the works of Walter Scott. With coats of arms, pages, fireplaces, pigs on spits and troubadours with lutes. Such fun will cost 200 euro, depending on the number of invited guests. I think the price is quite acceptable.
Well, of course, like any castle of romantic medieval era, Loket is full of fairy-tale characters. Loket has its own set of endemic ghosts, gnomes and house-spirits. There is even a dragon, though it is sitting in the basement and don’t want to be shown on the daylight.
In fact, this “terrible” dragon was medium sized Wyvern (small kind of dragons). However, this fact doesn’t diminish its popularity among the tourists.
— Town of Loket is a typical example of feudal architecture as well as the Loket castle.
Such words might have said a haughty guide with philological education.
In fact, Loket doesn’t look like mossy and dusty old thing as Stonehenge. Loket is lively and friendly. Being very old, Loket hasn’t lost its charm. All the houses seem to be brand new, the streets are all freshly, and all the colors are bright and juicy. Because of the fact that Loket is quite a small town, almost all of its attractions are concentrated in the central square.
Souvenir shops and porcelain shops. Prices of china match for the quality of the porcelain. Medium-sized service costs about 1000 euro. And of course, around the Town Hall Square there are a lot of small restaurants and cafes, in which it is so pleasant to sit out after an eventful day and tours.
Sitting in one of such cafes directly opposite the hotel «Ferdinand,» with a cup of tea in one hand and a laptop in another I will finish my today’s story about Loket – one of the places of old Europe. Tomorrow I will be in Prague.