The South Moravian capital perfectly combines history, modern architecture, culture and busy nightlife in original bars. You have to see the legendary Tugendhat Villa, the mysterious underground, the atomic bomb shelter for the chosen few, an infamous jail and the second largest ossuary in Europe: all of that in the city of students, science and an omnipresent magical atmosphere in all seasons. We have selected six activities and places that are a must in Brno!
When visiting Brno, you simply have to see Villa Tugendhat, the functionalistic gem by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Villa is registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. For the first time in history, the architect used a steel bearing structure on pillars with a cross ground plan in a private home. The Villa was extraordinary at its time (end of the 1920s) thanks to several unusual conveniences: a system similar to modern air-conditioning, hot-air heating, a photo cell by the entrance, electric window opening, and the beautiful onyx wall. Another gem of modern architecture is Villa Stiassni, representing the luxury and charm of the interwar period. After WWII, it served as a hotel for prominent state visits. Some functionalistic gems of Brno are still living today, such as the ERA Café, where you can enjoy a great cup of coffee with a cake.
Villa Tugendhat - The legendary functionalistic gem
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul - When a small trick saved the city from the SwedesThe neo-Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul with the typical double steeple soars majestically above the city centre. It offers a beautiful view of the city and you can see the cathedral, the crypt and the treasury there. It is famous for a small trick that took place in 1645. Legend says that after three and a half months of besieging the city, the Swedes said that if they could not defeat the city until the bell chimes at noon, they would leave. Therefore, the defenders chimed the bell an hour earlier. The local St. Jacob’s Church has a 92-meter-high steeple and the second largest ossuary in Europe where the remnants of more than 50 thousand people rest.
Cabbage Market and a Modern Astronomical Clock - A labyrinth and a clock with falling ballsThe Cabbage Market is an open-air market in Brno. The need to store food in the Middle Ages led to the digging of cellars under the houses there. The Labyrinth of mysterious passages and cellars several metres under the ground has been preserved till this day. You can see a pillory there, as well as a cage for crazy people and an alchemist’s laboratory. And don’t forget to adjust your watch according to the phallic clock of Brno. It shows time in a mysterious way but at least it releases a collector’s ball every day at 11.
Špilberk Castle - The former roughest jail in EuropeŠpilberk Castle was built by Czech King Ottokar II of Bohemia in the mid-13th century. The originally Gothic castle was transformed into a massive Baroque fort in the mid-17th century that resisted many sieges. From the 18th century, Špilberk was used as a civil jail with extensive dark casemates and a torture chamber, a popular destination for tourists today. It is where Italian poet Silvio Pellico served his sentence, as well as Baron Trenck and the bandit Babinský. Today, Špilberk is a place of culture that hosts exhibitions, music festivals and summer theatrical events.
10-Z Shelter - An atomic bomb shelter for the elite10-Z is the code name of the most secret atomic shelter for the elite of Brno and the region. It was built during the Nazi regime as a shelter against American and Soviet bombing of Brno, but it was not finished until 1959. The capacity is 500 people, which it can protect for three days. The temperature in the shelter is a constant 14°C, and therefore you will enjoy the 60-minute tour wearing a soldier’s coat. At the end of the tour, you can enjoy one of the typical socialistic snacks in the stylish dairy bar, such as Russian egg!
Cafés and Bars - Brno tastes good at any timeBrno is a city of students, coffee and unusual bar concepts. There is something unique on every corner. The retro café trucks offer a different coffee flavour every day – violet, bubble gum or banana. The cosy cafés offer fair roasted mixtures or a coffee decorated with cotton candy. When the sun sets, you will experience the pulse of Brno: exotic and traditional drinks, excellent burgers, beer on tap and music. To relax, visit the Brno dam with beaches and sport facilities. Take a boat to Veveří Castle, one of the oldest and largest castle compounds in Moravia. You should definitely visit Brno: everyone can find something they like there!
Tips for Trips around BrnoThe Cairn of Peace near Slavkov commemorates the famous battle of three emperors near Slavkov in 1805. The Moravian Karst will enchant you with the world of stalactite caves, a legendary abyss and an underground river. The Lednice-Valtice Landscape Area is the largest landscaped area in Europe and it is registered on the UNESCO list. The historic atmosphere of Mikulov in combination with wine and white rocks will charm you.