Roudnice Castle was built in the 12th century by Bishop Jindřich Břetislav, the nephew of the Czech king Vladislav I, to protected an important trade route from Prague to Upper Lusatia along the Elbe. The castle complex included several farm buildings, protected by a fortified wall; the castle itself had walls that were two meters thick, and watch towers in each corner. In the mid-14th century, it was rebuilt in a Gothic style and became a favorite summer residence for Prague bishops. It is said that Jan Hus was ordained as a priest there.
In 1421, the Catholic Church sold the castle to Jan Smiřický, who renovated it once again. George of Poděbrady, king of Bohemia (1420-1477), captured Roudnice from Smiřický in 1467. It passed into the ownership of William Rožumberk, the Supreme Burgrave and one of the wealthiest men in Bohemia. After Rožumberk’s death, his widow Polyxena Pernštejn married Zdenek Vojtěch of Lobkowicz, Chancellor of the Czech Kingdom and later 1st Prince Lobkowicz, bringing Roudnice into the Lobkowicz family’s possessions. In 1652 their son Václav Eusebius, 2nd Prince Lobkowicz, embarked upon an ambitious project to transform the castle into an early baroque palace. From 1657 until the Second World War the Lobkowicz Collection's library was stored in Roudnice Castle, leading to the library being named the Roudnice Lobkowicz Library.
The castle is open to the public. The basic tour includes visits to the courtyard , tour of the castle chapel with předsálím with information about the family Lobkowicz, a tour of the Romanesque castle from the courtyard, the view from the balcony of the castle. The wine tasting tour includes a tour of the foundations of the original Romanesque castle from the 12th century with a presentation of the town, the castle and the winery.References:
The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.