Loket castle

Do you have memories which you are not sure that are real? I have one which is very persistent. I don’t remember much from my childhood but I seem to remember very strongly that we went on a school trip to a castle called Loket. No more details, just this piece of information and it carries quite a positive feeling. I keep this memory like some treasure though I absolutely don’t know why, it’s so strange.

Now, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the memory made me really curious about how the castle looks so last year my husband and I went to visit it. I loved the castle as well as the town surrounding it and sharing the same name, and today I’d like to show you some of the photos that I took there.

Loket-1

The name “Loket” would be translated into English as “an elbow” and both the castle and town got that name according to the meander of the river Ohře that resembles an elbow and that you can see below the castle.

Here is another view of the castle, from another part of the town. Isn’t the difference in the perspective quite interesting?

Loket-2

Here is the entrance to castle’s yard:

Loket-3

In my opinion, there is not much to be seen in the castle itself but it has quite interesting history. The origin of the castle dates back to the first half of the 13th century. A settlement was built around the castle and later it became a royal town. The castle was enlarged and became an important royal stronghold. The castle and town were called “a key to the Kingdom of Bohemia” because it used to be said that those who conquer Loket will conquer the whole Bohemia.

Loket-4

One of the most interesting facts relating to the castle is that king Charles IV was imprisoned there as a child at the age of three because of some family and property disputes. Yet he didn’t reject the castle as an adult, on the contrary. He often came there and in his Maiestas Carolina code, a code that never came into effect, he listed the castle among the places that must not ever be taken away from the Czech crown.

In the yard, there were presented some tombstones from an old cemetery, such as the one in the photo below on the left and inside you could see a little collection of targets used to practice shooting, such as the one in the photo below on the right:

Loket-5

But there is more to be seen in the town, not just the castle itself…

Loket-6

A café placed by the castle’s walls that doesn’t seem to be frequented much…

Loket-7

An old organ in the adjoining church…

church-organ

A beautiful fountain in the square which was too big for me to be captured fully so here is a partial view from the street connecting the square with the castle…

Loket-9

and a detail in the square…

Loket-10

We loved many of the houses we were passing by when strolling in the town and some places felt quite special, such as this…

Loket-11

…and this…

Loket-12

The truth is that the place itself didn’t explain what’s behind the scenes of my persistent memory, I’m still none the wiser and may be forever, but at least I can connect the memory and the place now. It feels good, surprisingly good…

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8 Comments

    1. Sandy, it’s an interesting question. In my memories, the castle was just an old abandoned castle situated at the top of a hill, nothing more specific. The castle IS really old and it IS situated on a hill but it’s definitely not abandoned, so there the similarity ends…

  1. It's so interesting that your mind held onto that distant memory and that the memory caused you to go investigating. I love that! It does look like a place that might haunt your memory. Your photos are lovely. The two perspectives of the castle are both beautiful. The fourth picture is my favorite, with it's clean lines and angles and soft colors. The tombstone and target were much more colorful than I would have expected. The cafe looked inviting, and I liked the umbrellas above the tables. That old organ would have been a treat to see. I love pipe organs, and it seems there aren't many of them left here these days. The fountain might have been a challenge to photograph, but I like the image you came up with. It will be interesting to see if, after this trip, that haunting memory lessens a bit.

    1. Linda, thank you for the praise. I’m pleased that you like the fourth picture, I hesitated to add it here… There were more tombstones, most of them quite simple grey and just two colourful ones if I remember it correctly. They looked very unusual… such tombstones are not common here. The targets also surprised me, I’d never seen any like this before. As for the memory, it settled down if I may say so, I feel at ease with it now. It feels good and peaceful as if something clicked together.

  2. Charming! You make me want to visit your gorgeous country to see all the castles and villages first hand. I also like how you showed the castle from two perspectives. You have the eye of a true photographer.

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