The word “loket” has several meanings in Czech:
– elbow
– the town of Loket not far from Karlovy Vary
– Loket Castle in this town
– length measure

The elbow is less than 60 cm (about 23 inches), but it is not a clear-cut measure, because there were several types of elbow – Prague, Czech, Moravian, Viennese…

The elbow standard was placed on buildings near marketplaces or squares so that merchants (usually cloth sellers) would not argue when negotiating trades. The elbow standard was placed on the buildings either in the form of a metal rod or was engraved in the stone of the building.

In Prague, the elbow standard has been preserved in two places – on the wall of the tower of the New Town Hall and on the gate of the Old Town Hall in Hradčany. So if you walk from Pohořelec down Loretánská Street towards Prague Castle, just before Hradčany Square there is a Renaissance house with a dark brown gate on the right – you can see the elbow standard there.

(By the way – the elbow is the subject of several proverbs. So when someone tells you that something is “for long elbows”, it means that it takes a really long time or it is complicated.)