The public fountain with the falconer
statue standing in the Old Square was installed here in 1717, but perhaps it is of older origin. According to a legend, the man with the falcon on his arm and the dog by his feet is the founder of the town. It was allegedly a Cheb town citizen who set up a falcons' refuge in this site which later grew to become a town. Another legend tells that the town was founded by Knight Sebastian, who settled here after returning from a crusade. The hop-vines winding up the column of the fountain also remind the now extinct hop growing tradition of the Sokolov region.
was built after 1663 in the late renaissance style on the groundwork of the former castle of the Schlick era surrounded by water canal that was seriously damaged during the Thirty Year's War. To the time period of this reconstruction dates also the fountain standing in the courtyard bearing the coats of arms of Jan Hartvik Nostic and his wife Maria Eleonora Popel of Lobkowitz. Originally the Chateau had two gates and cupolas on the towers. It was encircled by a water canal, surrounded by a park decorated with sculptures and a deer-park. In 19th century it was remodeled in the classicist and later architectonic styles; that's when the towers got the recent typical spires. Since 1960 the Chateau houses the Museum (today the Regional Museum), the town library and the ceremonial hall.
The Old Town Hall
the one storey renaissance style building standing in the Old Square, was built in about 1540 and it was rebuilt to its nearly recent appearance in the 30's of the 17th century after being destroyed by fire. The front wall bears the gothic-renaissance style entrance portal decorated with medallions in the corner gussets. Above the portal can be seen the incorrect version of the town's coat-of-arms (The falcon is sitting on the branch of a stump instead of sitting on triple peak). A small steeple used to stand on the crest of the roof until it was hit by lightning in 1794. Spreading of the fire onto surrounding buildings was prevented by tearing the steeple down by axes. The town hall was spared of the fires that followed.
The St. Mary's Column
of 1701, was built by Wilhelm Felsner a stonemason of Cheb. The Column is standing in the center of the Old Square. It has rectangular ground plan with small turrets on the corners that bear the statues of holy men with their typical attributes; they are the St. Jacob the Greater - the patron saint of the local church (holding the Bible), St. Anthony of Padua - the patron saint of the monastery's church (with infant Jesus on his arms), St. Florian - patron saint to give protection against the fire (with a bucket and a house in fire) and the St. John of Nepomuk (holding the cross). The pedestal bearing the column is decorated with the relief of angels' heads and wings alternated with floral motives and pomegranates.
The baroque Chapel of the Holy Trinity
of 1719 standing across from the Capuchin Monastery with the Church of St. Anthony of Padua of 17th century used to serve the purpose of the graveyard chapel. It acquired its high baroque appearance after the reconstruction of 1772-1774 initiated by the archdeacon Karel Karel Müller. In 1772 it was decorated with baroque style frescos by the hand of Eliáš Dollhopff, an artist painter and a burgomaster of Horní Slavkov. The interior was destroyed in 1874 by a town fire. After that the chapel was restored for the last time in the 90's of the 20th century.
The parish church of the St. Jacob the Greater
used to stand in Sokolov as early as in the late 13th century. After being destroyed in 1632 it was restored in the high renaissance style during the reconstruction of 1632-1637. It received its baroque appearance in 1671-1681 under the ownership of Jan Hartvik Nostitz. In 1672 the originally decanal church was raised to archdecanal church. The temple is of early baroque style and most of its internal fixtures are also baroque. Very valuable is the baptismal font of 1679 made of sandstone. The main altar with the statue of St. Jacob, the patron saint of the church, in the center dates to 1756.
The baroque statue of St. John of Nepomuk
made by an unknown artist was by the former Water Gate near the wooden bridge across the Ohře River. Today it stands near the renovated bridge in the J. K. Tyla Street. The statue was ordered by Jan Kryštof Kuhn, the Bachelor of Theology and Master of Philosophy. The pedestal bears a Latin quotation: "Nobody believed in the Lord and he was overcome" marked with the 1828 chronogram. In the lower part is cut the relief of St. John of Nepomuk lying down.
The former memorial to the victims of WWI
used to stand on the Hard Hill above the hospital near the town cemetery. In 1907 an 18 meters tall lookout tower was erected in the site. Its half-timbered upper structure was later removed and replaced by a 5 meters tall bronze statue of Christ made by Tony Schönecker, an artist of Sokolov (1893-1979). During WWII the statue was smelted and used for war purposes. Recently the lookout tower has been restored to its original appearance and it serves the tourists.
The Hornický dům (Miners' Center)
– MDK, today serving as the headquarters of the Municipal House of Culture, was built in 1923-1924 according to the project of Rudolf Wels, an architect. The face wall of the building bears a monumental relief of 1923 by Wilhelm Srb-Schlossbauer, a sculptor of Karlovy Vary, depicting "One day of the miner's life"
The Evangelic Church
The inflow of settlers of evangelic rite at the late 19th century raised the need of a new church. It was finished in 1904 and ceremonially consecrated in the same year. Later a parsonage has been added. The church building is decorated with many neo-Romanesque and Art Deco architectonic elements.
Central School Building
The oldest school building in town is this two-story impressive eclectic architecture building of the late 19th century. It was built as the boys’ and girls’ elementary and council school with German language of instruction. Today an elementary school resides in this building. In 1998 a memorial tablet was installed on the building to commemorate Theodor Schwarz, former student of the school, who fought as the pilot of the Czechoslovak RAF wing during WW II.
Capuchin Monastery with the Church of St. Anthony of Padua
Capuchin Monastery with the Church of St. Anthony of Padua has been founded of the incentive of John Hartvik Nostic, the landlord of the estate and the Lord Chancellor of the Bohemian Kingdom. It was ceremonially consecrated in 1667 by Maxmilian Rudolph of Šlejnice the Bishop of Litoměřice. The monastery forms several convent buildings and a square shaped courtyard with circular water well. The dominating feature of the monastery is the church of St. Anthony of with tall baroque style gable. The church was renovated in 2003 and it serves as a concert and exhibition hall.
The Nostic Family Tomb
The Nostic Family Tomb is inside the St. Anthony of Padua Capuchin Monastery Church at the western end of Staré náměstí (the Old Square). At the beginning of 19th century it was explored also by Josef Dobrovský, who worked as the preceptor of the Nostic’s children. The tomb had been built-in for long years before it was opened after an extensive restoration in year 2000. Above the entrance portal you can see the original Nostic Family coat of arms made of stucco with a German inscription "Entrance to Silence". Inside the vault there are the remains of Capuchin monks and the Nostic Family members reposed in stately setting. The tomb is open to public only on special occasions and to limited number of visitors only.
Historical Town Center
Staré náměstí (the Old Square), one of the most charming quarters of Sokolov, will capture you with its three centuries old public fountain with the statue of a falconer representing the legendary Knight Sebastian, the alleged founder of Sokolov, with the St. Mary’s Column of 1701 made by Vilhelm Felsner, the sculptor of Cheb. At the eastern end of the square in the neighborhood of the St. Jacob’s the Greater Parish Church is the so-called Anniversary Fountain, built to the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Emperor Franz-Joseph’s accession to the throne, and renovated in 1998. At the western end the premises of the Capuchin Monastery and the Church of St. Anthony of Padua close the town square. The recent appearance of the square has been preserved since the reconstruction after a fire of the town in the late 19th century.
There are several memorials, statues and memorial tablets reminding of the town history. The statue of the Soldier of Sokolovo reminds of the first battle of the Czechoslovak troops against the Fascists near the Ukrainian village of Sokolovo. The statue underneath which there is deposited the soil of the battlegrounds has been unveiled in November of 1951.It is the work of the artist sculptor Vendelín Zdrůbecký. The Memorial by the Cemetery was erected in 1971 in memory of the Soviet prisoners of war who died in the local POW hospital. In the Old Square there is the Memorial Tablet to the American Army that liberated the town on May 7, 1945. There is another memorial tablet on the house where Johann Wolfgang Goethe spent a night. In the old square you can also find a tablet commemorating the stays of Karel May, the novelist, and his novel Christmas situated to Sokolov. In the nearby Růžové náměstí (the Rose Square) there is a memorial tablet in memory of two Russian soldiers who ate food that they found when clearing the debris after an air raid and were punished by hanging on the chestnut tree behind the church. The tablet on the façade of the former Ohře Hotel marks the site where the Jewish Synagogue used to stand until it was burned down in 1938. Toni Schönecker, a local native is the author of another memorial that can be found in the Husovy Sady Park, his Memorial to the Killed points out the absurdity of all wars.
Looking on the town market building only few visitors now realize that it is the former administrative building that belonged to the chateau once used as the horse stables. The adjacent one story building with four wings, now changed by many reconstructions, represents the former residence of the Nostic estate administration. Across from the market place is the lodge building that is connected with the market premises by a gate with ironwork rail that continues by the fence wall surrounding what is recently a yard. This 18th century building served in the past as the quarters of the Nostic’s forests manager. Behind the lodge there is a last remnant of the town fortification – a wall and part of a prismatic tower of 16th century built of hammer-dressed stone. However, a modern façade rendering conceals all that. The last building of the chateau is an 18th century baroque style house with a gambrel roof. It was originally the gardener’s house but later on it was used as the accommodation quarters for the Nostic children preceptors. The most notable persons who worked as preceptors and tutors to the four sons of Count František Antonin Nostic were Josef Dobrovský, a historian and linguist, and František Martin Pelcl, a historian and national revivalist.
The Regional Museum, established in the chateau together with the Municipal Library is one of the Sokolov’s important culture centers. Even though it is mainly oriented to mining history, it presents also some rare exhibits documenting the history of the region, its ethnography and nature. Each year several dozens of interesting thematic exhibitions take place there.
Stroll around the sights
We would like to invite you to take a stroll around the sights of the Sokolov town. Lets start by the statue of the Soldier of Sokolovo near the Municipal Office. You will pass the Sokolov Chateau on your right side. Continue to the Chateau park connected with the Husovy Sady Park through the squirrel migration bridge. Lets then cross the street and proceed around the indoor swimming pool to the Schönecker’s Memorial to the Killed and the nearby new playground. If you continue toward the hospital you will climb to the Hard Hill with a lookout tower on the top. From the tower you can enjoy the view of the town and the surrounding mountains. Lets then return to the Husovy sady and proceed to the Náměstí Budovatelů (the Builders’ Square) with the dominating Hornický dům (the Miners’ House) of 1925 where there is the Info-Center. If you pass the Hornický dům on the way to the Lobezský Creek, you will go past the St. Thomas’ Church and the former Ohře Hotel with the tablet commemorating the Jewish Synagogue that used to stand here until 1938 until you get to the Ohře River bank. In front of you there will be a renovated footbridge whose predecessor build of metal survived over hundred years. Nera the bridge stands the statue of St. John of Nepomuk. From there you can see the parish church of St. Jacob the Greater enclosing the eastern front of the Old Square that is a pedestrian zone. If you take a stroll down the square you will see the Anniversary Fountain, sometimes also called the Schram’s Fountain after the Schram family who participated in its construction, the Old Town Hall, the St. Mary’s Column and the fountain with the legendary falconer, you will get to read the memorial tablets informing of J.W.Goethe and Karel May stays and the acknowledgements to the American Army that liberated the town on May 7, 1945. The Capuchin Monastery closes the western end of the sqare. If you go along the monastery wall between the houses on your left you will find a fountain built by Jan Hričák. From here you will go only few steps past the lodge to the chateau, where there is a museum, and the park.
The public fountain with the falconer