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 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.