Loket (German: Elbogen) is a town in the northeastern part of the Sokolov district. Approximately 3,100 inhabitants live here. Loket lies at the foot of the Slavkov Forest in the meander of the Ohře River and used to be an important royal town and the center of the Loket region. Elbow is a popular tourist destination. The dominant feature of the town is a Gothic castle overlooking a stone promontory above the river. The picturesque city center is a monument reserve.



Establishment of the castle and the town
The history of Loket Castle dates back to the 12th century, the foundation of the town below it is of a younger date (the first written mention dates from 1234) and is probably related to the German colonization of the border by Wenceslas I. By the beginning of the 14th century the raster of royal cities of Bohemia and Moravia was completed. The government of the Czech King Přemysl Otakar II contributed most to this. Only he impressed the urban pace with the necessary dynamics. The network of royal cities has thickened and practically completed.

Loket also belongs to more than fifty cities connected with the foundations of this great king, as the historian Josef Žemlička writes in his professional publication Přemysl Otakar II. king at the turn of the ages. Žemlička further writes that the solid castle in Loket belonged to the land supports on the border with Cheb from the second quarter of the 13th century. For Přemysl Otakar II. gained in Loket at the pace of colonization penetrating from Cheb. It can therefore be assumed that the king's initiative to colonize the border led to the establishment of a town village under the Loket castle, although opinions on this were not clear. The king equipped the Loket castle fortress with a system of mansions, the hereditary users of which he exempted from provincial jurisdiction and assigned to the court of the burgrave or king, although clear documents date back to the time of John of Luxembourg. The existence of the Manx system in the Loket region can be deduced from the Manx system founded by Přemysl Otakar II. in Kłodzko, where some charters of privileges have been preserved.

From the above, it can be concluded without much construction that Loket belonged to the area of ​​strong interest of Přemysl Otakar II. in the fortification and settlement of the border, as is the case with the nearby Island and Kadaň.

After a geological survey by Friedrich Mohs in 1811, during which kaolin deposits were discovered, Josefa Haidingerová bought land here. In 1816, her sons, brothers Evžen and Rudolf Haidingerová, built a pottery kiln, brought in professional employees (spinners, mallets, modelers and painters), of whom they already had twelve at the end of 1817. A porcelain manufactory was established, advertised as a branch of the Viennese porcelain factory. After the Vienna Inspectorate found deficiencies and ended its patronage, the porcelain factory received its own provincial privilege in 1818 from the governorate. After overcoming the crisis, a very successful production of tableware and pharmaceutical containers began in 1821, which continues under various brands (Gebrüder Haidinger, 1873–1918 Springer et al., From 1918 Epiag) to this day.



Loket Castle