The cultural life of Sokolov is centered in the Municipal House of Culture that operates the Hornický dům (Miner’s House) where there is the theatre, both grand and small dance hall and other premises for club activities including the info-center. Other center of social events is the Alfa Cinema with recently renovated multi-purpose hall that serves also as a film club where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee. There is also the monastery church with the concert and exhibition hall. In the underground there is the Nostic Family Tomb. The Municipal House of Culture supports activities of two successful amateur performance groups, hobby organizations and clubs, but also a few nationally successful dance groups that host the best dancers of Czech Republic each year in the dance competitions called “O štít města Sokolova” and the Sokolov Cup. The Basic School of Arts educates children in the field of music, visual art and dance performance with excellent results. Also the local choir is known for their concert events. And last but not least there is the chateau with its exhibition and ceremonial hall, conservatory, museum and library.
Regular Culture Events
The municipality organizes many culture and social events each year. In February the Municipal Grand Ball takes place. In June we organize the celebration of the Children’s Day and the Fireworks Festival. It the period of summer vacation the Mitte Europa international musical festival and the Sokolov’s Culture Summer are held annually. In September the very popular traditional Mininers’ Fair brings many attractions and market of traditional crafts. Among amateur performers is well known the annual gathering called “Sokolovská čurda”. Besides advent concerts the gathering of the councilmen and the local citizens called “Singing under the Christmas Tree” became a favourite December tradition.
Sports and Leisure Time
In our region Sokolov belongs to the best fitted towns for both amateur and professional sports. There is an athletic stadium with a tartan surface, brand new facilities and covered racetrack; there are also football stadiums and an ice hockey stadium. You can enjoy the water in the indoor swimming pool with well-equipped facilities or in summer months you can visit the municipal bathing establishment. You can find sports halls, mini-golf course and fitness centers with new background facilities. There has been a new traffic playground built for children including an indoor section and a climbing wall for children. Children can have fun on several new playgrounds with innovative attractions. There is the health park “Areál zdraví” where people can practice leisure activities or just repose. In beautiful setting on the foothills of the Slavkovský Les and in close vicinity of the town spreads the new water resort called koupaliště Michal with many water attractions. In similarly charming settings a golf course has been opened recently.
The town and its surroundings are interwoven with hiking trails leading to both the Slavkovský Les and to the Ore Mountain summits. Tourist marks point the way also to other interesting destinations in the nearby villages. Bike-trails will lead you to many of these places or you can take advantage of the seasonal bike-bus lines. The Ohře River is becoming ever more popular waterway.
There are also many opportunities for winter sports and leisure time activities. The nearest surroundings are perfectly suited turfs for cross-country skiing (Březová, Lobzy, Slavkovský Les) or there are also good downhill skiing resorts at Stříbrná and Bublava. The ski-bus will take you all the way to the bottom of the slopes.
There is the bike trail no. 204 leading from Sokolov to Loket along the Ohře River bank continuing to Karlovy Vary. Currently under construction is the westbound extension of the trail going to Cheb. From the town center there is a bike trail along the Lobezský Creek leading to the health park, the Michal Water Resort and connecting to the Slavkovský Les bike-trail network. In the close vicinity of the town there are other bike trail connections points from which you can set out in the directions to Dolní Nivy, Jindřichovice and further to other attractive tourist destinations in the Ore Mountains.
The town of Sokolov is well known for the activities of local sports clubs as well as individuals – weight-lifters, cross-country runners, volleyball or basketball players. Among revived and now traditional events held locally belong the Terry Fox Run (over 2200 people joined the run), the dance competitions called “O Štít města Sokolova” (couple dance competition in standard and Latino dance), the Sokolov Cup cynology clubs competition, the Sokolov Miner’s Lamp figure skating competition, the Golden Bar-Bell weight-lifting competition or the triathlon race.
There is also the regular Relay Run of Friendship when also the top council members join the relay run alternately from Sokolov to Schwandorf, Germany or the other way. The surrounding countryside is also suitable for active relaxation – the Slavkovský Les and the Ore Mountains (hikes called Lobezský žabák and Lobezský puleček are held annually).
Tips for a Trip
The town of Sokolov is situated approximately in the center of well known triangle of West-Bohemian spa towns – Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně. Two rivers run through the town, the Ohře and Svatava. From the north it is shielded by the Ore Mountains’ summits and from the south Slavkovský Les. This setting predetermines its charming surroundings.
From Sokolov you can set out by foot, ride a bike or go by a boat, train, bus or car. The Ohře River is becoming ever more popular among the watermen. From Sokolov it takes you to the picturesque town of Loket, national architectural monument with a mighty castle and beautiful scenery. Then you will go past the Svatošské Skály rock formation to Karlovy Vary. You can follow the waterway also by bike or on foot. Near the town there are interesting villages of Těšovice or Královské Poříčí where there is the St. Cunigund’s Church with three roods of conciliation, rather frequent in this region, in front of it. You can also explore the many curiosities hiding throughout the Slavkovský Les mountain range. A legend tells that St Nicholas dwells under the Krudum Hill, whose church has been recently discovered and is going through an archeological survey. The historical Jeronimo Mine is waiting to get open for public – a unique mining memorial. The Wilhelm Mine in Krásno is already accessible as well as the Horní Slavkov Museum. There is the Kladská peat-bog with local alpine style cottages and an interesting knowledge trail. On the hill above the Krásno village there is an unusual lookout tower and several interesting natural finding sites.
Not far from there is the Bečovský Castle and Chateau with the unique St. Maur Reliquary (allegedly the second most valuable relic in our country after the coronation jewels). You can visit the village of Mnichov and the Premonstrate Monastery in Teplá (bathe in the Betlém Pond). It is needless to present the Mariánské Lázně with its singing fountain and many other attractions. From there it is not far to the Kynžvart Chateau and a spa town of the same name. On the borderline hill stands the Dyleň lookout tower, and not far from there in Doubrava you can visit the open-air museum of typical Cheb style architecture cottages and an interesting recently renovated pilgrimage site called Maria Loreto. The Jesenice and Skalka dams near Cheb are offering a lot of water fun. Cheb is also an interesting town to visit with its cluster of medieval houses called Špalíček and the local castle. In Františkovy Lázně, besides the world famous statue of baby boy František, you can also visit the Amerika Pond, and on the way to Sokolov don’t miss the butterfly farm called Motýlí dům (House of Butterflies), the half-timbered farmhouse in Drahov, the SOOS natural park with mud volcanoes, and the Mostov Château known for its excellent restaurant and an interesting collection of Dutch stoves. Well known is the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross in Chlum sv. Maří, a popular place of the region. If you visit Kynšperk, beside its ecclesiastical monuments, don’t miss the interesting roofed wooden footbridge over the Ohře River dating to the18th century.
Along the scenic railroad from Sokolov to Kraslice and further to Klingenthal, Germany, you will follow the valley of the Svatava River. You will go past the Hartenberg Castle ruins (in Hřebeny), pass through the Oloví village and arrive in Kraslice, famous for local lace and musical instrument production. In the neighborhood there are many interesting turfs for both summer and winter outdoor activities, such as the ski centers at Bublava and Stříbrná, the Vysoký kámen lookout point, near Rotava there is the Basalt Organ rock formation (second most interesting rock formation of Czech Republic after Panská skála). You can visit the peat bogs around Přebuz, the Favorit hunting lodge or Jindřichovice.
The area has many places suitable for bathing in the nature, as well as breathtaking sceneries many of which have a lookout tower.