A short distance to the north of Prague lies the small town of Mělník. I had wanted to visit this town for some time as it is situated at the confluence of the Vltava and Labe rivers - joining to form the Labe which then flows north to Germany, where it is known as the Elbe. Mělník also has the customery zámek, with its own vineyards and winery, and also a small ossuary underneath the church.

We caught the bus from Holešovice bus station. (Incidentally, the fare was cheaper by buying the vouchers from the tobacconist stand - tabák - rather than paying the driver on the bus as is normal practice. You can buy a voucher for each single journey. Mělník bus station is nothing special! We walked up the hill towards the town, and then left in the direction of the river. On the left of this road was a small hotel with an excellent restaurant - very good food, freshly cooked at a very good price. A little further we came to the valley with a great view of the rivers.

view of the confluence of Vltava and Labe riversthe path up to the chateauthe canal joins the river

To the right the path goes uphill towards the zámek, while on the left are fine views of the joining of the rivers, and views over the surrounding area. On the immediate left, on the slopes down to the river, are the chateau's vineyards. A little further along, a canal also joins the new river, as seen in the photograph above.

At the top of the hill you come to the zámek, which for a small fee you can tour. The tour is rather "do-it-yourself", and of course photography is forbidden; although after a conversation with the person on duty, we were allowed to take some video. Afterwards we took the optional extra tour of the cellars, including the wine-tasting. The guide here spoke good English and was very helpful. The wine was good, too! The tourist shop sells brochures, souvenirs, and, of course, bottles of the chateau's wine.

the design on the barrelsthe barrels in the wine cellara gryphon on the barreltopsee how big the barrels are!

Close to the zámek is the small church, and at the back is the entrance to the crypt and ossuary. For a small fee one can visit this strange sight. The bones of thousands of people are here, piled high around the crypt, forming thick walls of bones! Within the walls skulls form designs such as a heart, or words. You can see these in the photographs.

a tunnel through the boneswords in the bonesa bone heart!What We Were.....

The inscription reads:

What you are, we once were too!
What we are, You will be too!

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