Travel adventures - Castle Loket and the dark side of history

delishtreats
Taste and travel @delishtreatsFebruary 2019 · 7 min read

Let's see another castle, shall we? I promise that this will be the last one from my trip to Czech Republic...

But before I start, I would like to say that my tooth surgery went very well. I feel much better and the wound hurts just a little bit. If it goes like this I will stop taking painkillers soon. I would like to thank all of you who were thinking of me and who wished me a speedy recovery. I didn't expect that so many people would ask me how I was feeling. You guys rock!

And now we can start the tour of Loket castle 😊

We visited the castle on our way back to Switzerland. It's not that far away from the borders with Germany.

Loket Castle

The castle stands on a massive rock above the town of Loket close to Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic. It's history dates back to the second half of the 12th century.

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The town of Loket is a charming medieval town with its colorful painted houses. The first mention of the town is from 1234.

It is situated in a meander of the river Ohře that flows around the raised place resembling an elbow, hence is the origin of the town’s name.

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We parked our car close to the river and walked up the hill to the castle. It's a lovely walk and if you ever happen to be there, I recommend you to take that walk too as you will love it.

You will enter the castle just behind this square. The entrance fee is CZK 110 per person and the castle is open daily. The opening times vary depending on the season. You will get a text guide with a castle plan for better orientation in the complex.

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Loket Castle is one of the oldest stone castle in Czech Republic. It is assumed that the castle was founded by the Czech King Vladislav II or by ministerial officials to the Emperor Fridrich I Barbarosa. From the 13th to the 15th century, the castle was enlarged and formerly Romanesque building turned into a Gothic castle which was often visited by the royal family.

We started our tour in the courtyard. From there you can see all the rooms that are open to public and you can plan your tour.

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There are 10 rooms that you can visit but I will focus only on the dark side of
history
. Before we start, we will walk up the tower and enjoy the views.

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The tower is easily accessible and even people who are not very fit can conquer the wide staircase.

On the way up there are a few openings in the wall and you can observe how the view is changing the higher you go.


Be careful as there is a dragon hidden in the cellar 😊 It is said that Sarkan who is close to a snake or a saurian is an old good dragon. Local housewives seek to get the fire for their stoves from him.

The tower is 26 meters high and offers beautiful views of the town and its surroundings.

The old castle consisted of two towers, a church and a building standing on the site of the museum today. This original building was burned down in 1725. The only part of the building that remained untouched was the foundation. The rest of the building was renewed at the beginning of the 20th century.

We are standing in one tower and the other used to stand to the north east of the castle.

During several centuries the castle served various purposes. It was used for the protection of the merchant's path leading from Czech Republic to Germany and later it became an administrative center of the region.

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Let's enjoy the views from the tower

We can see The Margrave's House - this is the part of the castle that was burned down and rebuilt.

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The river Ohře...

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St. Wenceslas' Church - the original church was burned down in 1725 and construction of new church was completed in 1734. Unfortunately, we couldn't visit the church as it was closed and we were not able to wait a few hours before it would open again as we had another 5 hours to drive back home.

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There is a balcony from where you can enjoy the views but if it's too cold or you don't feel like going outside you can stay inside and enjoyed the views from the windows. It's not bad either 😊

And here we have all these colorful houses in front of us. A few of them are on the market for sale if anyone would be interested 😊

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The dark side of history...

In 1788, it was proposed to change the castle into a town prison. The work was finished in 1822 and the castle served as a prison until 1947.

In the prison you will find horrible forms of torture by various instruments on motion life-size figurines. The atmosphere is underlined by nerve-wracking sounds. You will hear people screaming and crying. The prison is dark and humid and it all feel realistic..

It is important to mention that not all forms of torture that is introduce in the exposition were used in Czech Republic.

I would like to introduce you to a few forms of medieval torture.

Hanging on gallows (on the left) - This was a punishment for theft. It was considered the least honest way of execution and it was used for lower classes. Thieves could be hanged on chain or on a hook, by their ribs or necks.

The inquisitional chair (on the right) - This was meant as a preparation prior to the proper torture. The convict suffered excruciating torment as the metal spikes pierced his body. The inquisitional chair was used to humiliate those who considered themselves above their status. It's interesting that those who were supposed to be tortured by this device had to buy it first 😊

Waterboarding - This form of torture was used in the 14th century. It is a horrible form of torture simulating drowning. The constant filling of water causes stomach rupture and the water fills up the whole abdominal cavity which causes death.

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Bricking up - This type of punishment was used for adulterers and newborn babies murderers. If the person was bricked up entirely he or she suffocated. It didn't take long before the person died. If the person was bricked just partially it was more brutal as he or she had been suffering from thirst and the lack of blood circulations in their limbs before they died. It is said that very often they got mad.

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Burning and stigmatizing - Fire and hot iron were frequently used in the ancient times. Burning hips, palms, soles or genitals with candles were common torturing procedures in the Middle Ages. Burning eyes was used to punish spies and traitors. Stigmatizing was used to mark swindlers, thieves or murderers. These procedures were not used to punish people but to mark them so that everyone knew that they did something illegal.

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There were many more examples of torture but I think that this is enough for today 😊

I hope that you enjoyed our walk through this medieval castle and that it wasn't too bad to learn about various forms of medieval torture.

Thank you for reading,

Cheers,
Martina

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Comments

Thank you for taking us on the journey through the castle. The dark history shows that the good old days were good only to those who did not fall out of the ordinary.


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Thank you for stopping by!

I think that anyone could get into such troubles. People were blaming each other and who knows how justice worked at that time. For me it's enough to know that torture still happens in certain parts of the world nowadays. This is scary..


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Thanks. I loved the first part of the article but I admit I started getting nauseous at the end and skip most of the descriptions of the torturing devices.

I'm glad your surgery went well, a bad foot is one of the traveler's worst enemies.

Thanks for sharing.


10

I've almost missed your comment! I understand :) It's not easy to look at them. I also didn't feel very well when I was there :)

I hope you're doing well! :)


0

Love it... absolutely incredible to see things like this... Not the torture, but the history. I also think its beautiful to see the way you shoot the pictures, l think the colorful roofs and their shapes... That's something I don't see every day :D


6

Torture is part of the history plus it still happens - we just don't get to see it..

This castle has a long and rich history but I didn't want to go into too much detail as otherwise it would end up too long and no one would read it :)

Thank you for the compliment! These photos were taken with the mobile phone as my camera was broken at that time so I'm very pleased to hear that you liked them anyway :)

Thank you for stopping by Dave! Have a great day!


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frejafri
Freja Fri @frejafriFebruary 2019

wow what a crazy castle!
My first impression was that the town is absolutely cute and gorgeous!
But then the atmosphere changed a bit at the end of the post 😂
humans are crazy huh...


5

Some of those techniques really were scary but they didn't all happen at that castle. A few of them were added just to complete the exhibition of medieval torture..

I also didn't know that it would be like that and I was surprised to see what this castle was hiding :)

Thank you for stopping by!


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...my thoughts too! Totally crazy.


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Glad to hear you are feeling better now, tooth pain can be close to torture sometimes. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are to live in the 21st century :)


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Thank you Dan. Well, some of these practices are still applied in some countries. It's a horrible thought but the torture is still practiced.. anyway, good that we live in part of the world that doesn't do it :)


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OK I finally got brave enough to read this and you did a good job of not giving too many horrendous details, but I will always remain horrified that people could do that to other people. The views are amazing and your photos are quite wonderful!


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Hahaha, I tried my best :) It all felt so real there. There were drops of water falling from the ceiling, constant moans, some screaming here and there, it was very humid and cold.. brrrrr.. and imagine that not all torture practices are past yet. There are countries that do not respect human rights completely..

Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad that you found the courage to check it out :)


0

I could not have gone through there without sobbing! But I know how easily affected I am and avoid knowing as much as I can about such horrors. Knowing that it continues today is almost unbearable to me.


20

Yikes Martina! I did not expect to learn that info about the castle. It really was not even long ago it was a prison. At first i found the castle beautiful. Now, my stomach feels icky.

I am glad your out of torturous pain from your tooth. That can hurt so much!

See you next time 💙


3

Hahaha, I agree with you. But this is part of history that should not be forgotten. And some horrible things are still happening in the world but we just don't hear about them that often..

Oh, me too! :) Of course I don't chew on that side yet but it surprisingly doesn't hurt at all. I was expecting some horrible pain so now I'm happy that it didn't happen :)

Thank you for stopping by and for your nice comment!


5

Truly. It is one mysterious and often crazy but beautiful life we live. Such a conundrum at times. Philosophizing on it gives me feelings of shock! (Like physical shaking and chills! It happened in YTT)

Oh yes! Once the tooth is out, it can feel much better unless you get a dry socket which hinders the spot from healing. I had it once. It was not fun. You'll be back to eating on that side soon enough. Will you have the tooth replaced? Or live with the space?


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It looks as if it was taken out of a mediveal fairytale, even though the torture museum was kind of creepy, lol. Amazing photos and post presentation it really put me in the mood to travel:)


2

The torture belongs to the history and I think it's important not to forget about it even though it is indeed creepy :)

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words!


0

Ohh! That's a bit too heavy for my morning breakfast read! I"ll remember not to be naughty now 😥


2

These things we happening and we should not forget about them but I'm sorry that you got to read it with your breakfast :) Next time, I'll put a warning in the title :)

And yes, we should be nice to each other :)


1

Such an amazing place, the castle has such gorgeous aspects and such a long and interesting history <3 And .... the dark side of the medieval times sent shivers down my spine ! The cruelty we can inflict on each other is unsettling...

Incredible post, @delishtreats! I really love it <3


2

Thank you spider! So nice to hear from you! :)

Oh, yes, it's unbelievable what people can do to each other. I am someone who wouldn't hurt a fly and seeing such cruelty on other humans is indeed unsettling. And knowing that torture still happens in certain parts of the world is even worse..

Have a lovely day spider! :)


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