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:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.