Modrá at Velehrad

Modrá at Velehrad

An open-air museum built based on archaeological excavations, watching freshwater fish in their natural environment, and sampling local products. All of these await you in the town of Modrá in East Moravia!

This replica of an early medieval fortified settlement is alive with everyday life, educational performances, programmes, metal smelting experiments, ceramic and agricultural production, as well as ongoing archaeological excavations. Come and discover the ancient past, the present, as well as the natural landscapes of Central Europe.   

A return to the past

The Modrá Archaeological Open-Air Museum is situated in the former settlement of the Great Moravian Empire, in the direct vicinity of the Velehrad pilgrimage site near the Moravian city of Uherské Hradiště. It depicts what a Slavic fortified settlement may have looked like during the era of the state system of Great Moravia, over one thousand years ago. The open-air museum is made up of buildings whose sunken floors can be found in actual archaeological structures. The above-ground parts of the structures are approximated reconstructions based on real archaeological finds.

Not only do you have the opportunity to see how Slavs lived, but you can also try ancient trades, taste specialities, and admire original agricultural crops, shrubs, and trees. And children can marvel at the animals that live on the grounds: pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, and a donkey. During the course of the year, the open-air museum also features various festivals, performances, expositions, markets, and gatherings. The replica of a Great Moravian church even hosts wedding ceremonies!

Živá voda (Living Water)—discover the landscape beneath the surface of the pond

At Modrá in Slovácko, you can stroll through a glass tunnel that will take you beneath the surface of a pond. It is Europe's largest freshwater tunnel in the wild. On one end, you will see life in a large pond pool, and at the other, you can view life in a fishpond with catfish, sturgeon, carp, tench, and zander. You can then observe through the glass wall the wildlife of Central European wetlands, where you will encounter European pond turtles, frogs, and newts.

Swimming in nature

The natural swimming area, a so-called "biotope," is located in the Živá voda complex. The biotope is an artificially-created natural swimming area, in which the pool is filled with water from a well just once, and is then refilled only when necessary. The purity of the water is taken care of by the special plants that grow in separate pools, where a natural filtration process takes place among the plants' roots, after which the clean water flows back into the swimming reservoir. There is no need to add chemicals or disinfecting solutions to the water, thanks to the biological functions of the plants. This makes the biotope perfect for people who suffer from allergies as well.

Are you familiar with Slavic traditions?

Slovácko—a historical region in East Bohemia—is famous across the Czech Republic for its viniculture as well its enduring tradition of home-made fruit spirits. At the Centrum slováckých tradic (Centre for Slavic Traditions) in Modrá, you will not only learn about the process of distilling fruit and the history of winemaking, but you can also taste products typical of this corner of Moravia.

Other places to go

The Archaeological Open-Air Museum and Živá voda are located just a short distance from the Catholic pilgrimage site, Velehrad. The pride of Velehrad is the baroque basilica with its adjacent buildings from the former Cistercian monastery. Each year, in the first week of July, the Dny lidí dobré vůle (Days of People of Good Will) take place here, which is a nation-wide festival that honours Cyril and Methodius, the two brothers from Thessaloniki that disseminated Christianity here over a thousand years ago, bringing with them the first Slavic alphabet and translations of sections of the Holy Bible.