Hrad Loket

Castle in Loket

The village's chocolate-box castle was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque fort, of which the only surviving bits are the tall square tower, and fragments of a rotunda and palace. Its present late-Gothic look dates from the late 14th century; the building itself is perhaps more interesting than the exhibits it contains, a maze of chambers on many levels, cobbled together around a steep granite outcrop. From 1788 until 1947 it was used (and abused) as the local prison.

A guided tour isn’t necessary – the English text covers the castle’s history and the exhibits are labelled in English, German and Russian. There are painted Renaissance wall panels and rustic furniture, gruesome tableaux of torture instruments, and two rooms full of luscious locally produced ceramics. Check out the postcard views of the village and forest from the tower.