A day of dual chateaus
We left Prague fairly early this morning and drove to the central Bohemian village of Nymburk, which is home to the lovely Chateau Loučeň. This château was originally the summer cottage for a Duke, whose disdain for dirty money required that his butler wash and iron his money. His maid’s task was to iron his newspapers in order to remove ink from the pages so that the Duke would not dirty his hands. I thought these were some pretty interesting tidbits. During our tour of the castle, the money washing and newspaper ironing area is on display. The Duke’s eccentric nature didn’t stop with paper products, he was also known as a ladies man and had 15 children. Rumor was, he was likely related to almost everyone in town.
The grounds at Château Loučeň were fun to explore, with eleven labyrinths and mazes. The largest maze has towers so that a friend or family member can assist in case someone gets lost. This scene of being lost in a maze reminded us of Mr. Taurance in the movie The Shining. Concerts and other events are often held at the Château. There are also accommodations available, but from the one room we saw, an update is needed. Soccer (football) fans will be interested to know that the oldest filed in the country is on the Château grounds…the first match was played in 1889. There is also a medieval pub on site, which is where we grabbed lunch.
Many historically famous people have stated at Château Loučeň at one time or another, including American author, Mark Twain. Mr. Twain was in the area on a hunting excursion when the occupying family invited him to stay. I assume he must have also stayed at Château Mcely as they have a room that bears his name. I know this, because that’s where we’re staying tonight—which is a bit apropos since I do a bit of writing myself. Granted, no where near the literary level of Mr. Twain.
Arriving at Chateau Mcely, was like being inserted into a dreamy fairytale. The grounds are palatial, the accommodations are second to none, and the service has been impeccable. After walking around the grounds a bit, we grabbed a tandem bike and road into the village of Mcely. We stumbled upon an apple orchard and may have tasted one or two of the forbidden fruit. After getting back to the Château, we freshed up and headed to the restaurant for dinner. The dining room is stunning, but since it was such a lovely evening, we opted to sit on the patio, which has an impressive wall of windows that can quickly be put in place during the cooler months. Our meal at the Château’s restaurant, Piano Nobile, was superb. I will be producing a video on our experience here at Château Mcely…when it is live, you can click here.
Prague is simply stunning, but it was nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of town and see some other parts of this beautiful country. Tomorrow we head to Kutná Hora, where I’m told we’ll get a very special tour of the Church of St Barbara, a UNESCO site. We then head to Buno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city. If you missed the Road Diary update yesterday, click here.