A trip to Brno, the former capital of Moravia, will help you appreciate the past and present of the Czech Republic. Here, literally every building radiates a special atmosphere. In this city, over the thousand years of its existence, buildings and monuments of different eras have grown, and the streets are saturated with the former glory and victories of a small country on the world stage.
What to do in Brno
First of all, it is worth planning an inspection of two hills in the city center. There is a cathedral on Petrov Hill, and a famous castle on the top of Špilberk.
Next to the vegetable market is the Old Town Hall with the legendary dragon, and the dungeons promise unforgettable adventures.
Church architecture lovers will be interested in seeing the Church of St. James and the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady. If you want to take a trip to the countryside, Veveri Castle is an excellent choice.
Historical landmarks and architecture
The castle was founded in the 13th century by Přemysl Otakar. Four centuries later, it became a military fortress and then turned into a prison for criminals and political prisoners. Spilberk casemates are a popular place for tourists, already overgrown with romantic and terrifying legends. From the walls of the castle overlooking Brno.
The castle is also a cultural center, which houses the Brno City Museum, concerts and theatrical performances are often held. The inner courtyard is decorated with the baroque chapel of the Holy Trinity.
The villa is located in the Chernoye Pole area and designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This is an example of innovative residential architecture that embodies innovative spatial and aesthetic concepts. The winter garden occupies two thirds of the ground floor area.
In addition to it, there is a music corner and a library. The living area is directly connected to the terrace, from where a private staircase leads to the garden. The structure of the house is made of reinforced concrete slabs, heating equipment is located in the basement.
The royal castle-fortress is a monument of medieval architecture. In the 13th century it was just a hunting castle, but in the middle of the 14th century Henry of Luxembourg decided to make it his main residence. And after the end of the Thirty Years’ War, Veverzhi was restored and given the appearance inherent in the Baroque style then relevant.
Now sightseeing tours to the castle are organized daily from Brno. You can get to it both by land (car, bus), and by boat along the river. Every year, new exhibits appear in the castle and rooms for excursions are opened. Recently, for example, wine cellars have become available for visiting.
This Gothic castle is located 40 km from Brno in the forests of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. Since its construction in the 13th century, Pernstein has never been captured by enemies thanks to well-fortified walls.
The castle has retained its original appearance to this day, which makes it possible to explore the ancient interiors of the halls and walk along the corridors, listening to the legends about the mysterious inhabitants of the citadel and imagining their life within these walls.
The triangular square was formed in the old days at the crossroads of ancient trade routes. The first mention of it appears in the records of the XIII century. Of interest are the buildings with which it is surrounded. This is the house of the masters of Lipe with mythological scenes and vine ornaments. The Klein Palace is a Renaissance building with large cast-iron bay windows.
The House of the Four Fools is another interesting building from 1902. The blockheads are four statues holding a balustrade on their shoulders. There are also sculptural installations. This is a plague column from 1689, which recalls the outbreaks of the epidemic in Brno, and a clock made of black granite — a glass ball shoots out of them every day at 11 am.
Old Town Hall
Today, the town hall serves cultural purposes as it houses an art gallery, and concerts, festivals, theater performances and film screenings are held in the courtyard.
In summer, you can climb the 63-meter tower to enjoy the impressive view of Brno from its height. Tourists are escorted into the arched passage through the portal. In the inner courtyard they will be shown the talismans of the city: the Brno dragon and the wheel.
The fascinating Labyrinth under the vegetable square offers thrill-seekers a tour of medieval tunnels and underground corridors — winding and mysterious.
The old cellars, used since the 17th century to store food, now contain amazing exhibits proving that the local passages were also used as a prison. One of them housed a mint, the work of which will also be introduced to tourists by a guide.
Temples and churches
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
Situated on top of a hill, this Catholic cathedral is visible from all sides. A significant cultural monument attracts guests of the city with its architecture. It is distinguished by an exquisite baroque interior, as well as twin towers 84 meters high, which were completed at the beginning of the 20th century.
The main part of the building dates from the mid-1700s. At 11 am you can hear the noon bells ringing. Another attractive object on the territory of the temple is the old crypt.
Monastery of the Capuchins
The pink facade of the Capuchin Church in Brno does not stand out too much from other buildings and does not compete with the majestic cathedrals. Of interest are statues made in the 18th century, as well as a number of earlier frescoes and a crypt.
The monks buried the dead in the basement, leaving the body after the ceremony on a brick pillow. Dry air and low temperatures mummified the corpses, making them well preserved.
Church of St. James
The late Gothic temple is located on Yakubskaya Square. It was first mentioned in sources in 1228. Its current appearance was formed during the reconstruction in the 1870s — at the same time the main altar appeared in its current form.
The church became the resting place of the famous defender of Brno — Louise de Raduit Sous. Its ceiling is known for its unique murals and monograms, because of which the building was declared a national cultural monument.
The museum tells visitors about the technical and industrial progress of the last two centuries. A variety of inventions are presented here — from the first watch movements to airplanes. Visitors have access not only to collections of materials illustrating the development of the fields of science and technology, but also to scientific documentation.
The main building has steam and water engines, vintage cars. Museum visitors study the history of optics, information technology and the achievements of the metallurgical industry.
It is the second largest art museum in the Czech Republic. Its origins date back to 1818, when it was first founded as the Francis Museum. From the very beginning, the building was an art gallery and was very different from similar institutions.
It is the only museum in the Czech Republic that shows an interest in all art forms: it introduces visitors to traditional fine and applied arts, as well as photography, graphic design and architecture.
The museum presents Czech art in a European context through permanent and short-term exhibitions. The International Biennale of Graphic Design, first held in 1963, has already become a traditional event here.
The art gallery is of interest to visitors, regardless of their involvement in art. The exhibitions are accompanied by activities in which special attention is paid to children. The gallery also exhibits art collections for the blind and visually impaired.
Museum of Gypsy Culture
Founded in 1991 on the initiative of representatives of the Roma intelligentsia as a non-profit organization. Since 2005, the museum has become a state charitable institution of the Ministry of Culture — the only one of its kind.
The museum’s collection is large and includes about 25,000 items. Here you can see the types of dwellings that the gypsies used, interior items, clothing and jewelry. Samples of fine art, written materials, audio, photo and video documentation are presented separately.
Observatory and Planetarium
The observatory was opened in 1954 and gradually became the main institution for the popularization of the physical sciences — not only astronomy, but also geology, chemistry, and physics. All this is presented here in an understandable form.
Visitors get the opportunity to watch the starry sky, watch audiovisual programs, as well as attend educational performances and experimental shows. Inside there is a planetarium and has its own observation deck.
Scientific Experimental Center
The science and entertainment park is located near the exhibition center. Visitors come here to see 170 exhibitions.
The entire exposition is divided into five thematic sections:
- Science center for children (from 2 to 6 years old).
The Science Theater holds regular performances full of fun experiments.
The center also offers additional activities, including special programs for school groups. On them, visitors will launch a hydrogen rocket, become a weather forecast star, freeze their own shadows, experience an earthquake, launch a tornado, and even lift the veil of secrecy of the Bermuda Triangle.
This theater is the largest not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe. It was founded in 1882 and bears the name of a well-known journalist and poet of that time. But not only performances are of interest. The building itself is unique: its architecture intertwined the styles of the late Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism.
It became the first theater equipped with electric lighting. For this, a power plant was built specifically nearby. Today it is the main stage of the Brno National Theater Company.
Natural attractions and parks
The area in South Moravia hides numerous caves and gorges. Despite not being registered as a national park, the Moravian Karst is considered an important natural attraction in the Czech Republic.
There are hundreds of caves here. Most of them are connected to each other and form an extensive network 35 km long. There are no analogues of this place anywhere in the world. It is because of the karst landscape that numerous valleys with rock formations appeared here.
Abyss of Macocha
This is a depression formed as a result of the collapse of the cave. You can admire it from above, from observation platforms, or get inside through a network of caves as part of an excursion group. Tourists are offered to see the stalagmites and stalactites in the illuminated passages, as well as take a boat trip along the underground river.
The Macocha Abyss is a favorite tourist attraction. It is equipped with pedestrian bridges and even bike paths. This allows you to make independent excursions on it.
The Brno Old Park was founded in the 18th century by Emperor Joseph II. In the center of it stands a neo-Renaissance building, the purpose of which remains unknown. A fountain beats nearby and a dozen architectural monuments are located.
The territory is buried in trees and flowers, many playgrounds and tennis courts have been built everywhere. An artificial river flows through the park.
Yoga courses or sports classes are often held here, there are separate paths for walking dogs. Today, Lužanki is perhaps the best place to relax in the center of Brno.