Mělník – where rivers and wine meet

Mělník is a town at the confluence of the two largest Czech rivers, the Vltava (Moldau) and the Labe (Elbe). That itself is a matter of interest, but we have one other fact that is a little more interesting... Mělník is also a town of wine! Rewarding yourself with a glass of wine after a long day spent visiting historical sites – that sounds like a plan, don’t you think?
But let’s start from the beginning. How did the town arise and what is its – not just wine related – story?
The first mention of this area dates from the 9th century and by the end of the 10th it was already linked with wine production. The vines flourished on the sun filled slopes even in ancient times – ever since the reign of the Přemyslids, when Saint Ludmila founded the first vineyard. Her grandson, Saint Wenceslas, also devoted himself to wine-making, and went on to become both patron saint of Bohemia, as well as of vintners. Another important monarch, under whose rule the practice of wine-making flourished, was Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. It was he who had French grape varieties brought to Mělník, and raised its production to a new standard.
Only the wars of the 17th century forced Mělník into decline, and for many years its economy relied solely on agriculture. Despite all these difficulties and hardships however, it still retains the atmosphere of a place with a fascinating history. The majestic Mělník château also stands testament to this, as does the town itself, both having undergone many different periods of rebuilding, all of which have left their mark on its unique architectural legacy. Today, it belongs to the aristocratic Lobkowicz family, boasting the beautiful interiors of the château and wine cellars.
You can learn about viticulture in the Regional Museum of Mělník, one of the oldest museums in the Czech Republic, founded in 1888! Its permanent exhibition will bring you closer to local history and nature. Also worth a look is the unusual exhibition of historical prams and perambulators. A different, but equally exciting experience is a visit to the technical monument of the Hořín water lock, which came into operation in the year 1905 and is located on the Mělník-Vraňany water canal.
To round off your visit, be sure to include one of the greatest curiosities - the Mělník Ossuary. Beneath the Presbytery of the Church of Saint Peter and Paul lie the skeletal remains of up to 15,000 people... although everyone who visits must no doubt ponder the transience of life, you will not be leaving with a sense of anxiety. The bones and skulls are assembled into the shape of an anchor, a cross and a heart - the Christian symbols of faith, hope, and love.

Practical information: 

  • Information for tourists including a list of sights, tips for trips, advice regarding accommodation and meals, interesting and practical information about the vineyard and a calendar of events can be found here.


Tuesday 29.11.day 3 / 7°Cnight -1 / 3°C
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