For three hundred years there was a city prison here, but the building did not exude threat and oppression. Not in Czech strict architecture logical crowned ensemble of the entire town, and even the cloud that covered Loket and entangled in the spire of Loket castle, turned out to be in place. Across the sky, driven by the fresh March wind, the clouds raced. If at this time you raise your head up, looking at the flag on the city hall, it seemed that it was not the clouds rushing above, but the town hall tower itself swaying in the wind.
More than thirty narrow stone steps (a flat companion, this climb seemed dizzying) - and we are at the castle walls. As if to remind him of his difficult history, under a dark arch in a narrow courtyard, stone cores and square crosses are arranged in an accurate hill.
Vika brought us to the first exhibition - the Loket Museum of Torture. In cramped dark closets with barred windows of the entrance doors, people tortured by severe executioners moaned and screamed. Madame Tussauds wax museum is resting! Particularly nervous comrades fled to the air, while my husband and I started a romp in a narrow corridor, taking pictures of ourselves behind the lattice of a free camera, now looking with joyful eyes from a metal cage set just for this purpose.
There was also a knight’s hall, where today the Czech newlyweds spend marriage ceremonies for a fee, and a hundred years ago the great Goethe made an offer of his former passion, 19-year-old Ulrike, in his declining years. There was a Loket Gotstein - a dwarf with a long copper beard, holding onto which, it was necessary to make a wish, and certainly good, so that Gotstein's revenge for bad thoughts did not overtake you.
But we had the most fun when, at first having arranged a photo session at the pole with shackles, we learned that this construction was intended for displaying unfaithful Loket women. And once again we laughed like crazy, finding “Romanesque hello” on the corner of one of the turns of the spiral staircase, which is also a Romanesque-style toilet with a slotted window. The toilet is of a modern type, only sewage poured through a hole in the floor ... on the heads of servants fussing in the courtyard.
And what else to expect from the building, whose history goes back 8 centuries? In written sources, references to the city of Loket refer to 1234. Over the centuries of its existence, the castle repeatedly passed from hand to hand, was a prison and a solemn hall for the Czech monarchs: here Charles IV spent his imprisonment for two months in infancy. Two hundred years later, the city magistrate sat here.
In 1434, the castle was laid by King Zikmund of the Luxembourg Chancellor Kashpar Schlick under a loan of a decent amount as financial assistance, and only in 1598 he returned to the townspeople with a hereditary gift.
In 1788, the restructuring of the castle began in the city prison that existed until 1948. Changes in economic purposes radically touched and architecture. The palace was demolished, all the castle buildings "diminished" to the whole floor. It was not until 1992 that the building could be returned to ownership of the city. Since that time, the reconstruction begins, and then tourists are allowed into the castle.
Loket castle is a wonderful exhibit for inspection, but in the town itself there is also something to see. With the number of streets no more than three, concentric circles converging to the castle, Loket boasts a dozen cute private hotels, luxurious forests in the vicinity, as well as the embankment of the river chosen by ducks for living. I did not want to leave, but Karlovy Vary was waiting ahead. I had to obey the circumstances ...