Tower of the Church of St. Peter and Paul

The Late Gothic tower of the Church of St. Peter and Paul has been dominating the open region at the confluence of the Elbe and Vltava rivers for more than half a millennium. It had her predecessors, first in the form of Romanesque and later Gothic one. The construction of the tower began in the early 1480s. At that time, the church was rebuilt thanks to the legacy of Queen Joanna of Rožmitál, who died in Mělník in 1475 and was buried in the local church according to historical sources.

The tower grew over the course of several years, which was recorded in several places by its builders. The year 1486 is written on the vault of the ground floor of the tower, the Chapel of the Grave of God which belongs to the most valuable premises of the church together with the chamber of the first floor. The year 1487 is found on a ledge below a large Gothic window on the eastern side, and finally, the ledge above it dates back to 1488. It is part of the cryptogram telling the name of the architect Hans Spiess from Frankfurt.

Originally, the tower was finished with a Gothic pyramid roof, as seen on the painting of Filip Massanec on the theme of St. Ludmila teaching St. Wenceslaus (1679) on the side altar in the north nave. The central scene background is the silhouette of the town of Mělník in the form before the devastating fire of 1681. The following reconstruction gave the tower an Early Baroque onion dome, complemented by onions above the corner towers of the gallery. The tower served as a place for watchmen as well as a bell tower.

A challenging repair of the tower was started in 2006 to make it available. The tower gallery (37 m high) welcomes us on its west side. The visitor has a really unforgettable view of the region and the town. For example, the towns of Kralupy nad Vltavou and Kladno can be seen in good visibility, as well as the peaks of the Central Bohemian Uplands in the north, in front of which is the hummock of Říp Mountain.