The Hotel U Bílého koně – one of the oldest in Europe – was built on the main square in Loket in the middle of the 16th century.
The town of Loket was founded in the year 1234. Its name, which means “elbow”, mirrors the fact that the town is beautifully surrounded on three sides by the Ohře River, as if the river is holding the town.
In the Middle Ages, royal audience attendants stayed at the Hotel U Bílého koně located right across from the King’s castle.
Charles IV – the last Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, who ruled in the 14th century – was imprisoned as a child in Loket castle. But when Charles IV became Emperor, he loved to visit Loket and held his diplomatic meetings there. Legend says that while hunting in Loket’s forests, Charles IV discovered hot springs and founded the town of Horké Lázně (Hot Springs), later called Karlovy Vary. The best Czech mineral spa at Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) is located just 12 km from Loket.
Holy Trinity column embellishes the main square at Loket, surrounded by Loket’s town hall built in early Baroque style, the ancient Church of Saint Wenceslas and the elegant Hotel U Bílého koně building, simply illustrating Goethe’s well-known saying:
“architecture is silent music”.