This locale exudes history and the enchantment of almost-forgotten tales and legends. Of course, the greatest influence on this magical atmosphere is the Romanesque-Gothic castle that proudly rises from the granite rock face, languidly embraced by the Ohře River. The city itself begs to compete with its historical burgher houses and magical small streets. It is no coincidence that the city's centre was also declared an urban conservation area.

The history of Loket Castle reaches all the way back to the early 13th century, when it was built in place of the former Slavic fortified settlement to serve as a border fortress. Its unique location amid dense forests made it a sought-after royal refuge— even Emperor Charles IV himself used to enjoy coming here for hunting and more. Castle owners included the Jáchymov Schlick family, the lords of Plavno, as well as Loket burghers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the castle was converted into a prison, and served this purpose until 1948, when it was nationalised. Just like the majority of other castles, Loket too suffered from neglect under the Communist regime, and fell into disrepair, until its salvation came with the events of 1989. It was then repaired and opened to the public.

If you set off on an exploration of the castle interiors, you can look forward to an impressive tour, enhanced by a number of interesting features. You can browse the permanent exhibit of porcelain from surrounding (and often defunct) porcelain factories, a weapons museum, as well as an original piece of the Loket meteorite, one of the oldest in the world. It is called "Purkrabí." It allegedly fell to the castle's courtyard in 1422, and weighed a total of 107 kg, making it the largest meteorite to have made landfall in the entire territory of the Czech Republic. You should also definitely not miss out on the highly authentic, heart- and mind-wrenching exhibit of torture in practice. Accompanied by a terrifying soundtrack, life-sized moving figurines will demonstrate how the unfortunate accused were once coerced to confess.

But is it sports and nature's beauty that you seek? Then Loket has something to offer you too. Its loyal and quiet partner, the Ohře River, is a popular destination for keen boaters, canoeists, and rafters. Roughly 1 km from the bridge downstream lies a boat rental shop. And cyclists will get their fill here too. The Slavonický les Protected Landscape Area unfolds right outside of Loket, and is known for its one-of-a-kind peat bogs. Another popular attraction is the cycling route along the Ohře River that leads from Loket to Karlovy Vary-Doubí. Approximately two-thirds of the way along the route, you will come upon another extraordinary sight: the Svatošské skály rock formations. And if you fancy recreational rock-climbing, you will definitely want to stop here for a bit.


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