Roudnice nad Labem is a small town on the left bank of the Labe (Elba) River. It has a population of approximately 13 500 and covers an area of 16,67 km². The town is situated near the site of Říp, notable for its connection with the legend of Praotec Čech. Hire a car in RUNWELL company and let's go!

Roudnice stone bridge was the third oldest stone bridge in Bohemia (after Judith bridge in Prague and Písek bridge) and it was built at the expense of Prague bishop Jan IV of Dražice, who probably got the idea of connecting the two Elbe banks during his stay at the Papal court in Avignon in the south of France, if not sooner. The building of the bridge was successfully completed in1340.

 Roudnice chateau

castle

This Early Baroque chateau came into being in Roudnice nad Labem during 1652-1684 on the site of the original Romanesque castle, which was extended and modified in later periods. Shortly after the middle of the 16th century, under Jan Tarnovský of Tarnov, the eastern wing was built by Italian masters. It was linked to the round tower at the eastern end of the castle. Further construction followed when the estate was taken over by Vilém of Rožmberk in 1575. After his death, his fourth wife Polyxena of Pernštejn married Zdeněk Vojtěch Popel of Lobkowicz in 1603. The couple continued to develop the castle, creating a new western wing. With this addition the castle complex took on its typical enclosed trapezoidal layout. An entirely new era of construction came with Václav Eusebius, 2nd Prince of Lobkowicz. In 1652, he decided to rebuild the original complex in a radical way. The first architect invited to take part in this project was Francesco Caratti. He proposed a regular layout of four wings surrounding an enclosed rectangular courtyard. However, he was present only during preparatory works and during the construction of the bottom floors of the eastern wing. After him, Carlo Orsolini continued the construction, but he soon died. Antonio Porta took over (in 1668) and brought the project, which was initiated 1652, to its completion in 1684. 

Watch tower

hlaska 1

The watch tower (Hláska) is the only existing remainder of the fortifications of the old Roudnice. The old town was located in the present-day Jana z Dražic square and Poděbradova street. Originally, it was enclosed by wooden walls. It was Jan Očko of Vlašim who had solid stone walls with town gates built in 1378. As part of this fortification, a Gothic tower, today’s Hláska, was built on a heightened place to serve its observation and warning roles. Until the second half of the 17th century, it was not in any way damaged, with the exception of 1665 when it was almost destroyed during a great fire in the town. It was reconstructed in the 18th century and modified for its new purpose. A water reservoir for the fountain on the Horse market, which is now Hus square, was placed here.

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Augustinian Monastery

deva Marie

The monastery was founded for the then new order of Augustinian canons by Jan IV of Dražice. The foundation stone was laid in 1333 and the construction work took over 20 years. The monastery complex comprises the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and the building of the convent itself. The convent originally had a square ambulatory with a paradise garden and a capitular hall in the east. The monasterial Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is a typical building of the Czech Gothic of the first half of the 14th century. It has got a basilical tripartite nave with a lavishly conceived chancel. Roudnice monastic society was active during all of the 14th century. By the end of the century, 30 canons were registered here. The first blow hit the monastery in 1421 during Jan Žižka of Trocnov’s march from Litoměřice to Prauge when it was damaged and burnt out by the Hussites. In 1431, Roudnice ceased to belong to Prague archbishops and it fell under the management of a secular feudalist Jan Smiřický. The turning point for the local monastery came in 1603 when the Roudnice estate got into the hands of the Lobkowicz family. That’s because Polyxena (of Pernštejn by birth), the wife of Zdeněk Vojtěch Popel of Lobkowicz, secured the title of provostship for the local parish. The monastery fell victim to a fire several times, but it had to wait for a more profound reconstruction until 1725, when it was rebuilt by the most prominent North Bohemian architect of the time, Octaviano Broggio. 

building Roudnice

(c) roudnicenl.cz

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