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Mělník-seat of the earliest Czech kings

The town of Melnik is located on a high place, by the side of the rivers Vltava and Labe. This is one of the earliest known human settlements in the country. The city is today known for its cathedral and heritage buildings, not to mention wine making and old town square.

History

The place was known to be settled in the sixth century by the people arriving from other parts of Europe, during a mass migration that took place around this time.

It was associated with the Premyslid clan, who were the earliest rulers of the country. The patron saint of the country, St. Wenceslas, belonged to this dynasty. The rulers of the dynasty built associations with the Psovan clan by marriage.

The settlement grew around a castle called Melnik, which came up on the remains of an earlier castle belonging to the Psovan clan. The settlement was declared a city in the 13th century.

Melnik castle

The original castle transformed into the current Melnik castle over the course of centuries. Extensive additions, restorations, repairs and renovations finally resulted into the castle as it is today. It is the most notable town attraction and offers tours of its living quarters and halls, and the wine cellars. The bedroom of George Lobkowicz, preserved since 1926, offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the wealthy in the last century. It features a huge king size bed and other furniture. The dining hall offers a look at some old maps. Also of note are the coats of armor.

The hall, a place where concerts took place, is filled with tables and chairs to seat dozens of people. It offers portraits of the Lobkowicz family. It is also notable for its elaborately decorated wood ceiling. You can look at the family heirlooms in the other parts of the castle, ranging from hunting trophies to weapons. Of special interest would be the altar dedicated to St. Ludmila at the chapel, dating back to the Baroque period. The castle is also home to a modern restaurant that offers splendid views of the river through large arched windows. You can also explore the spacious cellars that hold wine. Visitors can also buy wine at the castle shop.

Church of st. Peter and st. Paul

This building is notable for its setting, situated as it is on a rocky peak overlooking the river and much of the city. The church was built in the 13th century, but most of what can be seen today is from the 16th century, after it was repaired following a fire. The church also features a tower with clock, which is a good vantage point if you want to enjoy a view of the surroundings. Among the more interesting if slightly morbid attraction here would be the crypt featuring thousands of human bones.

Main square

Another attraction here is the main square featuring dainty buildings, straight out of a picture book. The town hall is also located here and is distinguished by the clock tower. This is a good place to relax, where you can sit on the benches and watch the crowds or cool off near the fountain.

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