The Mělník castle belongs to the most important sights of this town. Since Princess Ludmila, the grandmother of the Good King Wenceslas, who was born in Mělník, the castle has been the residence of the queen widows of Bohemia. Under Emperor Charles IV, Mělník became a royal town. His last wife built the chapel of the castle with its gothic vaults.
The last queen who resided in Mělník, was the wife of king Jiri of Podebrady during the 15th century. In the following years, the estate of Mělník became the property of different noble families. In 1542 the castle was reconstructed in renaissance style and the two arcades, richly decorated with sgrafitto patterning, have been added.
During the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, the castle was abandoned. In the year 1646 Count Czernin started a major reconstruction and had the early barrock southern wing added. The Count purchased the Mělník Estate from the Emperor Ferdinand II. The heiress of the Czernin family, Countess Ludmila Czernin, married Prince August Anton Lobkowicz in 1753. With the exception of the Second World War and the 41 years of communist rule, Mělník Castle remained in the Lobkowicz family.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.