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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The river Ohře...
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.
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 😊
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.
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.
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.
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,