Melnik

Positioned about thirty kilometres to Prague’s north side, Mělník isn’t known for its’ history or architecture but it is, certainly, a beautiful, serene and quaint area. Situated on a hilltop, with extensive views overlooking the meanderings of the Elbe and Vltava rivers, is the main tourist attraction: the cháteau. In spite of its’ bucolic connotations, it’s hard to remember it’s largely industrial while you are standing on the terrace at the castle looking down on the plains. The slopes were planted initially with vines brought in (by Charles the fourth) from Burgundy in 1365. Mainly demolished by the forces from Sweden throughout the 30Year War, the castle’s been massively reconstructed. Obtained, in 1753, by the Lobkowicz family, it was given back to them post 1989, after it had been confiscated by the Communist Regime. Its’ court-yard is adorned with medieval decorations and graffito galleries. The re-built rooms are packed with baroque style furnishing and Czech-baroque pictures. Go to the wine cellars and sample the wine they produce there, or try this at the restaurant or wine bar. A Gothic church is adjacent to the castle; and in its’ crypt a morbid, charnel home is filled with the skeletons of victims of the plague. A compact viticultural museum is located next to the town hall.

Melnik

Visitors to Melnik may wonder what all the hype is about. The surrounding region is largely industrial, and the town’s historical centre is small. However, an afternoon at the Melnik Chateau – with its Renaissance interiors and wine cellar – is worth the effort of travel alone. The town lies …

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