Monuments And Tourist attractions
A castle built by the Czech King Premysl Otakar II. in the mid-13th century on a low (290 m n. m.), but relatively steep rocky hill, which rises directly above the historical center of Brno (about 220 m n. m.). The castle was in the middle of the 18th century, rebuilt into the largest and also the most important Baroque fortress in Moravia, due to forming a well-fortified city and fortification system.
In 1783, Emperor Joseph II. transformed the castle from a fortress prison into Špilberk civilian prison, which was designed for the most hardened criminals. It was possible to put more than 200 inmates in the cells. In 1855, Emperor Franz Joseph I. abolished Špilberk prison, and three years later its premises were repurposed into military barracks, which remained it's function for another hundred years.
In the first year of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, several thousand Czech patriots suffered inside of the walls of Špilberk, some of which are found dead. In 1939-1941 the German army carried out at extensive modifications to Špilberk, in the romantic historicist spirit of the Greater German ideology. The Czechoslovakian army left Špilberk in 1959 and finally ended its military era. In 1960 Špilberk, became the seat of the Brno City Museum.
During a visit to Špilberk you can see various attractions. The first one is open to the sound of one of 32 tracks from 15 bells, which can be heard in the large courtyard area every hour. Another attraction is a tower with 103 stairs overlooking the whole of Brno and on clear days to Pálava. You can also visit the baroque chapel, located in the southwestern bastion and finally casemates.
Open: From the 1st of may until the 30th of september seven days a week. The Open hours are Monday through Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00.
October 1st until April 30th the open hours are: Tue-Sun 9: 00-17: 00
Brno boasts a very unique feature in the form of an extensive labyrinth of underground passageways, tunnels, galleries, crypts and cellars. The cellars beneath the historic centre of the town originated from the Middle Ages, and most of them were built in the Baroque period. After the reconstruction of the underground spaces was made, the city opened three tours which are available to the public.
The labyrinth beneath the Zelny trh Market is the first of these attractions. The Zelny trh Market, is one of the oldest squares in Brno, it's local cellars served for more than 700 years as a utility for merchants. Another use was the storage of food, beer was matured and it was also used as wine cellars, as well as serving as a refuge in times of war.
This location documents the now almost extinct craft of minting in Brno and Moravia. Since 2010 the attraction has been opened to the public. During the tour you will learn about the development of the Rybný market, today called Dominican Square. The exhibition also recalls the now defunct Gothic royal chapel from the early 20th century, it was in the Dominican Square. The exhibition also includes an audiovisual presentation of the history of Brno.
St. Constance James
There is a famous Brno legend connected with Saint James's church. The legend is about an indecent man, who is visible in one of the window arches in the south side of the church near Svoboda square. The man is showing his naked bottom in the direction of Saint Peter and Paul's cathedral. It all arises from a competition between the two churches to build the higher churchtower. The bottom part was directed towards Petrov which means that Saint James's church won the competition, because its tower is 94 m high, whereas Petrov tower is about 10 m lower, at only 84 m high. Few know that there is not only one man, but rather two. "It was evidently a stonecutter's joke when he put such statues on the ecclesiastical building" says Jindrich Chatrný from the department of Architecture and Urbanism history in the Museum of Brno city.
In 2001, archeological exploration revealed the size of the Brno Ossuary, which is located underneath the square beside the church (Czech: Jakubské námestí). Another planned extension connecting the corridor to a nearby chapel which was not been completed. The connecting corridor remained uncompleted at half of it's length. The staircase from the church to the crypt was sealed with a stone slab. The cemetery was closed for health reasons in 1784, despite its size it was forgotten and was only rediscovered in 2001. The approximate number of bodies buried exceeds 50,000.
Located on the Kapucínska Square in the city center under the Church of the Holy Cross. It was founded in the 17th century, and until 1787 was there to bury members of the Order and its benefactors. Members of the order were buried directly in the ground without a coffin. Thanks to an ingenious ventilation system in combination with the specific composition of the soil in the basement there was a natural mummification of the stored bodies. The most famous buried benefactor of the church was condemned to life imprisonment, Colonel Austrian baron Trenck, who was buried in 1872 in a metal coffin with a glass lid.
Open: 1.4.-31.10 Mon-Sat 9-12 - 13-18 Sun 11-17 11.1-31.3. Mon-Sat 10-16, Sun 11-16.30
Built for Grete and Fritz Tugendhat from the years 1928-1930, and designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is an icon of modern architecture. As the only monument of modern architecture in the Czech Republic it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa is situated on Černopolní 45 in Brno. It is considered the most significant pre-war work of the architect van der Rohe, who is considered one of the founders of modern 20th century architecture. The villa is one of the most important functionalist works of modern architecture. An important part of the exhibition is furniture designed by the architect van der Rohe.
Open: year round from 10:00 to 18:00. The tour must be booked in advance.
The first electrically lit theater in Europe. It is a protected cultural monument of the Czech Republic at the same time a significant architectural monument in the city of Brno. The theater was built in Brno Malinovsky Square and planned by the company Atelier Fellner and Helmer, who proposed a number of European theaters. The Mahen Theatre building, built in the style of neo-Renaissance, neo-Baroque and Neoclassicism was completed in 1882. At that time it was a very rare decision to equip the theater with the then only three year old invention - the electric light bulbs. The project wiring for theater was created by the inventor himself, Thomas Alva Edison. Mahen Theatre was the first electrically lit theater in Europe and is a national technical monument.
Zelný trh, which was originally named the High market, was founded in the 13th century on the then undeveloped site. It included also the Poultry Market, Pottery market and Vetešnický market. In the 15th century, it got it's present name Vegetable Market (German: Krautmarkt). The square is dominated by the Parnas fountain from the late 17th century, situated roughly in the middle ground of the sqaure. The fountain was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, which was built in the years 1693-1695 by Adam Tobias Kracker, from Vienna. At the top of the square stands the Holy Trinity with statues of Immaculata, Vol. John of Nepomuk, Vol. Primitiva, Vol. Constantine and two angels from the high Baroque period, which are works of Antonín Schweigl from 1729.
The important buildings around the square are the Dietrichstein Palace (the building first High Regional Court,  Later the Moravian Museum), Theatre Husa (palace Hauspersky of Fanal),
Little Chap (formed by the merger of four houses Gothic and Renaissance origin) and the recently renovated theater Reduta.
In the bottom part of the square stands the building no. 2, where from 1969 to 1990 housed the Faculty of Law.
Katedrála sv. Petra a Pavla
Petrov cathedral was originally dedicated to St. Peter dating back to the 12th century. Since then, the building has undergone several reconstructions in the Gothic period. During reconstruction in 1500 it was consecrated to St. Peter and Paul. During the Thirty Years War, there was a fire and then the subsequent Baroque church restoration was carried out in two phases between 1651-52 and 1743- 46. In 1643 during the Swedish siege of Brno the church was damaged and burnt down again. Adjusting to the present form, designed by Moritz Grimm took place in the period of 1743 - 48. In the late 19th century the chancel was modified into gothic style and total reconstruction under the leadership of the Viennese architect August Kirstein, which built two towers and further construction work was completed in the year 1909.
From the interior it is worth mentioning the statue of the Madonna and child from about the year 1300, which is a late Gothic pieta and baroque altar and pulpit. During the tour, you are also shown the Romanesque crypt foundations of the original church, and a treasure of liturgical objects are on display. It is also possible to climb the towers of the cathedral and see the panorama of Brno.
Interestingly the chime at noon sounds on Petrov at 11:00am.
According to legend, the bell rings an hour early to commemorate the end of the siege by the Swedes. (The Swedish General said that the siege of the city would end when the bells sounded at noon.) The Brno defenders rang the bell for noon at 11am, the Swedes pulled away with everything and this ruse saved Brno.
It is open Monday - Friday from 11.00 to 17.00, Sun from 12.00 to 17.00. After the opening time it may be visited if there is no guided tour, service, wedding, funeral or concert.
The first mention of the Old Town Hall dates back to the 13th century. When Brno gained city rights. Originally it was a one-storey stone house with a tower. During the 14th century. The building was gradually upgraded, to the Justice and noteworthy bell tower in 1348. In the first half of the 15th century was fitted with a chapel of the Immaculate Conception. The chapel was abolished in 1784 and converted into offices. Inside the building in the 15th and 16th centuries, were stored Moravian plate (Terriers) and other important documents. In this period more buildings were built and the main building was raised by one floor. By the end of the 16th century the tower was also raised about four meters, the courtyard was established as a Renaissance arcade gallery.