Loket Castle (Czech Republic)
Karlovy Vary Region See list of castles in Repubblica Ceca
Stone Royal Castle Loket, is a more than 800-year-old mansion, towering on a granite massif that flows through the river Ohře. It was probably founded as a border fortress. The castle served the kings, the Šliky and lords of Plavno, the town burghers, and in the 19th and 20th centuries it was also a prison. Shortly after 1989, it was open to the public, the guided tour runs through porcelain expositions, the collections of the former city museum, the museum of weapons and the premises of the former prison, where there is now an impressive and authentic exhibition of torturous law.
The exact dating of the founding of the Romanesque castle varies. The founder is considered to be either the Czech King Vladislav I or the ministers of the Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa who settled the area here from peasants from the German lands.
Establishment of a fenced substructure
It is a fenced hill, which is later promoted to the royal city. At the end of the 14th century, the castle acquired its present Gothic form and is a frequent refuge of royal family members.
The first written mention of Loket
The first written record of Loket comes from 1234. Later in the reign of Přemysl Otakar II. there is a large reconstruction of the castle in early Gothic style.
The imprisonment of King Václav (Charles IV)
For the rebellion against King John of Luxembourg, Loket is home to Queen Eliška Přemyslovna with the little Wenceslas, later Emperor Roman Charles IV. Despite being imprisoned in his three years, he likes to return to Loket in adulthood.
Castle guard Chancellor Kaspar Šliko
The castle is besieged by the Hussites, but it is not captured for the second attempt. The reward for financial assistance is pledged by Chancellor Kaspar Šlik and under the management of the Šliky family, Loket is transformed into a representative family residence with features of the rising Renaissance.
Castle under the management of the Lords of Plavna
After the conflicts with the burghers and after the large confiscations of the Šlikov property, the Loket castle passes to the lords of Plavna. However, these do not appear to be good landlords and the castle passes into the administration of the city burghers.
The castle is the property of Loket
The castle became the property of the city burghers and in the following years it was mainly used for economic purposes. The town council is even sitting in the castle for the catastrophic state of the town hall.
The death of Jiří Popela of Lobkovice
In the castle prison, once the highest Czech master of the Czech Kingdom, Jiří Popel of Lobkovice, was murdered in Kladsko and later in Lokta for insulting the imperial majesty. It is buried on the site of a former church tower.
The Thirty Years' War
Like the entire Czech country, the castle and the town of Loket suffer numerous disasters in the Thirty Years' War. The city is many times besieged and bombarded, eventually conquered by imperial troops. By the end of the war, siege was not spared by Swedish troops, but mainly Loket economically decimated plague wounds and imperial regulations to include Lokte among the border fortresses.
Conversion of the castle to the city prison
In 1788, a proposal to rebuild the castle was made in prison, which was completed in the twenties of the 19th century. The palace of the Rock Room in the neighborhood of the castle tower is being redeemed. As a prison the castle functions until 1948.
Castle under the administration of the Monument Institute in Pilsen
The castle is exported from the property of the town of Loket and it is transferred to the administration of the Pilsen Memorial Institute.
Restoration of the castle to the town of Loket
There is a new stage for the castle, which returns to the city's property. The foundation is responsible for the newly founded Loket Castle Foundation (later transformed into o.p.) and Loket regains its ancient beauty and the new attention of thousands of visitors.