Loket (Sokolov District)
Skyline of Loket
|• Mayor||Zdeněk Bednář (TOP 09)|
|• Total||26.74 km2 (10.32 sq mi)|
|Elevation||427 m (1,401 ft)|
|• Density||120/km2 (310/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Loket (Czech pronunciation: [ˈlokɛt]; German: Elbogen) is a town of 3,000 inhabitants in the Sokolov District in the Karlovy Vary region of the Czech Republic. From 1938 to 1945 it was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland.
Loket means "elbow" in Czech. The town got its name due to the town centre being surrounded on three sides by the Ohře River, and the shape the river takes is similar to that of an elbow. The town centre itself features Loket Castle, a 12th-century gothic castle. The town centre is a national monument and as such is preserved from modern developments.
The town plays host to an annual opera festival, which takes place in an open-air amphitheatre with the castle as a backdrop, and also plays host to the Czech Motocross Grand Prix. Loket was also used to portray Montenegro in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Loket, a royal castle was built on a landmark promontory within the Ohře River bend. It used to be called the "Key to the Czech Kingdom". Soon after, a small town, first mentioned in 1288, arose below the castle. In the early 15th century the royal town was fortified and turned into an important focal point of the Czech Crown. In the course of the 19th century, the town became famous for its local porcelain factory. However, industrial production was located in the surrounding towns.
The most visited historical monument in the town is Loket Romanesque castle from the early 13th century. In the days of the House of Luxembourg, the castle served as a temporary residence of members of the royal family. During the Thirty Year War it was conquered and plundered by Swedish troops. The abandoned castle burnt down in 1725, and was rebuilt into a regional jail in 1822.
The town was part of the Austrian empire, in the Falkenau 18th district (one of the 94 "Bezirkshauptmannschaften" in Bohemia):
In 1945 the German population was expelled according to the Beneš decrees. In the late 20th century, the castle underwent a complete reconstruction and was subsequently open to the public.
- Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
Twin towns — Sister cities
Loket is twinned with:
- Illertissen, Germany
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Loket.|
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