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Loket Castle, located on a rocky coast, just 15 kilometers from the Karlovy Vary resort, is one of the oldest monuments of medieval Bohemia. The Ohre River, which bends around the village, is very similar in shape to a bent elbow, hence, according to sources, the name Loket came from.
Previously, this impregnable castle-fortress was the administrative center of the Loket region. Nowadays, the castle is a popular tourist attraction, attracting tourists with its bright festivals and gloomy legends.
The castle was founded in the XII century. Initially it consisted of a church, two towers and the house of the margrave. The fortress was used as a defense for trade routes from Prague to Erfurt and Plauen. At the beginning of the 13th century, a small settlement arose near the fortress walls, and soon a city grew up, often visited by members of the royal family. Soon, cylindrical towers were added and new fortifications were built.
In 1310, after the wedding with Elizabeth of Bohemia, Johannes of Luxembourg became the ruler of Bohemia. However, he did not stay for a year in the Czech Republic, as he was constantly in the battles, exhausting the treasury of the region. During the time of troubles, the queen with her children was forced to hide in the Loket castle from the popular uprising, as well as from the anger of her husband. In 1319, the king managed to sneak into the castle by cunning, he said that he had come to his wife on a friendly visit. As a result, Elizabeth and her son, the future Charles the Fourth, were thrown into a dungeon, where they stayed for two months.
There are several legends about the cruel rulers of Loket Castle. According to one of them, a ruthless margrave once lived in the castle, who once turned into an iron stone. This was due to a curse put on him by the widow, who asked the Margrave for an extension, since she could not pay taxes immediately. To this, the Margrave ordered to throw her into prison, but the old woman shouted: `` You have a heart of stone, become a stone yourself. '' After these words thunder struck, the sky turned black and the margrave turned to stone.
In the 16th century, the castle belonged to the Slik family. However, the castle was soon confiscated, since the Slik family took part in the uprising against the ruler, the city was also punished. In 1725 the castle was badly damaged during a fire, only the first floor and the underground survived. After restoration work, Loket was used as a city prison until 1948. In 1968 the castle was transferred to the Department of Ancient Monuments.
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Topic: Loket Castle in the Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary spa.