Historic sights in Brno which are definitely worth seeing
Capuchin Crypt and Church
The church is situated on the Capuchin Square near the Cabbage Market. Next to the church stands the Capuchin Monastery. The front side of the church is decorated with the Baroque sculptures by Jan Adam Nessman from 1765.
The most interesting place is the Capuchin crypt which is located beneath the church. Due to the good geological structure of soil and system of air-holes, it was possible to mummify the corpses which have been preserved in the underground of the church to the present-day. Except for the members of the Capuchin Order, the builders Ondřej and Jan Křtitel Ern and baron Franz von der Trenck (a commander of the Pandur and Špilberk prisoner) are buried there.
Visitors can attend a permanent exhibition whose part is a tour of the Capuchin crypt with mummies.
Another dominant feature of Brno is the Spilberk Castle. It was established around the mid-13th century by the Czech king Otokar II. of Bohemia. After the fire, in 1578, it was transformed into the Renaissance building by Antonín Paris. During the Thirty Years’ War the castle was turned into a Baroque fortress. In 1820 the fortress was converted into a prison, which was called the “dungeon of the nations” in the Austro-Hungarian Empire as it was the place of political persecution.
Today, the Spilberk castle houses The Brno City Museum. There are permanent exhibitions such as The Casemates (with a torture chamber and instruments of torture), Baroque Pharmacy and Lapidary. Another tourist attraction is a lookout tower. The public can also visit the north and west wing of the castle.
Spilberk Castle homesite: www.spilberk.cz
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
The cathedral is situated on the stone promontory called Petrov. It is the dominant feature of Brno and creates the city’s typical silhouette. From the former Romanesque basilica, which was built as a part of the former Brno Castle in the 11th century, it was turned into a Gothic cathedral in the 14th century. Between 1738 and 1748 it was transformed into the Baroque style by Mořic Grimm. The interior of the building is splendidly equipped with the sculptures by Ondřej Schweigl. There is the largest preserved fragment of the city walls under the cathedral.
Admission fee to the cathedral is free.
Admission fee to the cathedral’s tower and treasure house: 35 CZK (reduced admission fee for students, children and elderly people)
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday: 11.00 - 18.00; Sunday 11.45 - 18.00
Admission fee to the crypt: 25 CZK (reduced admission fee for students, children and elderly people)
Opening hours: Saturday 11 - 18.00, Sunday 11.45 - 18.00
Villa Tugendhat is considered a prewar masterpiece of the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and ranks among the basic works of the world modern architecture. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.
Due to the unusual arrangement of interior and the magnificent view from the villa as an integral part of the interior the villa became an icon of modern architecture at that time. It is situated not far away from the centre of Brno.
Vila Tugendhat homesite:www.tugendhat-villa.cz/
It is the biggest and oldest square in Brno. Originally, it was called Lower Market. Its origin dates back to the 13th century. The square has a triangular shape which has been preserved from the old times. The former appearance of the square changed during the extensive building alterations that took place in Brno at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.
The most frequented historic sights on the square are the House of Lords of Lipa (one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Brno) and its sculptures created by Giorgio Gialdi, the Neo-Renaissance Klein’s Palace and The House of Four Atlantes (atlantes - sculptured male figures serving as supports of entablatures, in place of a column or pier). The sculptures of Atlantes were created by A. Tomola. The dominant feature of the square is a Baroque Plague Column.
Old Town Hall
It is the oldest secular building in Brno. The historical origins of the building with Cistercian-burgundian architectonic elements go back to the first half of the 13th century. Part of the building is the Late Gothic gate which was richly decorated by Antonín Pilgram around 1510. Court arcades were created by Pietro and Antonio Gabri in the second half of the 16th century, in which the roof of the town hall tower was also created. The city administration was situated in this building until 1935.
During the summer, historical halls such as the Ern’s Hall, Crystall Hall, Fresco Hall and Treasure House are opened to the public. The tower is another part of the Old Town Hall which is worth seeing. The tower is 63 metres high and enjoys a breathtaking view of the historical centre of Brno, Petrov and Špilberk.
The history of the Brno town hall is connected with a large number of legends. One of them tells a story about a foreman whose name was Pilgram. He was promised a huge remuneration for creating the town hall gate. However, after he had completed the gate, he did not get any money, and he therefore decided to bend the middle small steeple, so that it would remind corrupt morals of councillors.
Another legend tells a story about Brno’s dragon which tormented the city. Finally, the dragon was killed by a butcher fellow who lured the dragon with bait made of unslaked lime. The dragon (which is in reality a crocodile) has been hanging on the Old Town Hall gateway since then as well as a wooden wheel.
Story about the wooden wheel is another legend. Around 1636 a wheelwright lived in the South Moravian town Lednice. One day he made a bet that he would fell a tree, make a wheel from the tree within 12 hours, and then roll it to Brno. Next day he regretted the bet a lot but he did not want to lose. Finally, he managed to fulfil the task and the wheel has remained in the Brno town hall ever since.
The theatre was built between 1881 and 1882 on the former place of Brno city walls. Architectural style of the building is a combination of the Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Neo-Classicism. Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Hellner were among the first architects of the theatre. The front of the building is decorated with the Tuscan and Corinthian columns, sculptures and the statue of Dionysus in the middle, standing in a carriage drawn by lions and panthers.
It was the first theatre on the European continent to be fully equipped with electric lighting. It was Thomas Alva Edison who came to Brno to project and to install the electric lightning.
For more information visit: www.ndbrno.cz
On the steep land beneath Petrov a square called Cabbage Market was measured during the foundation of Brno. Originally, the square was called “Upper Market”. Middle-class houses standing on the square at the beginning were later substituted with meat shops. Today, fruit and flowers are sold there.
The dominant feature of the market is the Parnas Fountain which was built according to the plans of the Viennese architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach between 1690 and 1695. It symbolizes a cave where a hero of the Greek myths, Hercules, ties up a defeated dog – Cerberus. Inside the cave are allegorical sculptures of three ancient empires of Babylonia, Greece and Persia, and the crowned Europe dominates over all of them. The water supply of the fountain was ensured by the oldest water main in Brno.
The Mitrovskych summer pavilion
The Villa was built by Freeman Antonín Arnošt Mitrovský next to the Augustinian cloister at the end of the 18th century, in the fashionable decorative baroque style of Louis XVI.. It served as a garden gambling house for the Counts of Mitrovský.
A variety of events used to take place in the Villa (one of its events- a grand balls was visited by Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor). The central hall was decorated with a fresco mural depicting a landscape full of tree and plant motives.
We are also planning to organise the following: concerts, small theatre productions and acted tours of the Villa by candle-lights, author’s readings, lectures and talks (history, arts, music, theatre, fashion, travelling etc.), education projects for schools, education events and seminars, conferences and workshops, presentations, banquets, receptions, formal and informal dinners, weddings...
For more information visit: www.letohradekbrno.cz
St. James Church
St. James Church is located on the James Square. It was established at the end of the 14th century. Between 1510 and 1511 a builder, Antonín Pilgram, participated in the church construction, which was completed in 1592 (the roof of the tower). It is the most important Late Gothic building in Brno. The church tower rises above 92 metres. Part of the interior is a gothic crucifix, two reliefs from 1518 (Crucifixion and Lamentation), a cast tombstone of Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches by Jan Kerber and Baroque organ.
The Church of St. James is artistically most valuable church in Brno. In the 60s’ of the 20th century the church underwent a series of alterations made by Bohuslav Fuchs.