Brno Tourist Attractions
Brno is the Czech Republic's second largest city after Prague. Brno and the surrounding area have a long history but unfortunately much what travelers will see today are modern concrete buildings from the Communist era, and twentieth century industrial areas. Despite Brno's first impression, the city does have a number of historical sites and attractions. Historically, this area was settled as far back as the 5th Century, although archeological finds indicated evidence of habitation by Cro-Magnon Man.Some of the main attractions in Brno are the Spilberk Castle (Hrad Spilberk), which dates to the 13th Century, the Brno City Museum, and the Dietrichstein Palace (Dietrichsteinsky Palac).
Built by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno is touted as one of the most extraordinary examples of modern architecture from its time. Located in a residential area, it was constructed in 1930 for Fritz Tugendhat, for whom the building is named. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Tugendhat Villa incorporates some of the most modern technology and concepts from that time period and was the first masterpiece of modern architecture in the Czech Republic. The home features an open plan and uses materials that include onyx, chrome, travertine, ebony, and Macassar.The original Jewish family who owned Tugendhat Villa fled the country in 1938. During the Second World War the building suffered damage and was later used as a school and a hospital. It eventually became the property of the town of Brno who did some work to replair the building but it is still in need of repair.
The Spilberk Castle (Hrad Spilberk) in Brno dates to the 13th Century and was built by the Czech King Pøemysl Otakar II. Spliberk Castle has served many purposes over the years, including that of a royal castle, a military fortress, and a prison. Today the castle is home to the Brno City Museum, with permanent displays and temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibits focus on the architectural history of the castle, the castle as a prison when it was referred to as the "prison of the nations", and the history of Brno. Concerts, theatrical performances, and other cultural events are held in the Spilberk Castle courtyard during the summer months. There is also a lookout tower, which visitors can climb for fine views over Brno.
Designed by Jacopo Strada and unimpressive on the outside, Bucovice Palace hides its treasures well, for it is the interior of this palace where many surprises are in store for the visitor. The main highlight is the interior courtyard. This courtyard has 90 columns and 540 relief carvings carried out by Elia Canavale and Antonio Silva. The carved images include battle scenes, coats of arms, fantasy animals and creatures, along with masks and musical instruments.Also in the courtyard is an intricately carved fountain done in the mannerist style. It was designed by Giovanni Giacomo Tencalla and Pietro Materna carried out the work. Bucovice palace owners claim it is one of the most beautiful fountains in all of Europe, visitors can make their own assessment.The interior of the palace was decorated in the late 16th Century and is very well preserved. One particular room is painted with a scene of hares taking revenge on mankind and their dogs.The Renaissance garden in behind the palace is worth a visit as it is very well done with hedges in intricate designs and trees manicured in ornate designs.
Moravian Karst and Caves
If you are touring the Czech Republic in the summer and the weather is hot and you need a break, the coolness of the Moravian Karst and Caves is the perfect spot. The Karst area is 100 square kilometers and contains over 1000 known caves of which 4 are open to the public. Some caves have not been completely mapped out and qualified spelunkers continue to explore them.Located 25km / 15mi north of Brno, the caves are a popular attraction, so be sure to arrive early. There are three main tourist routes in the area: red, yellow, and green. Be sure to inquire at the tourist information booth as to which one suits your level of adventure. The four main caves are the Katerinska (Katerinska jeskyne), Balcarka (Balcarka jeskyne), Sloupsko-Sosuvske (Sloupsko-Sosuvske jeskyne), and Punkevni (Punkevni jeskyne)The caves contain interesting stalagmites and stalactites and are well lit with passage ways. A highlight of the area is a boat tour along an underground river. Also of note is the Macocha Abyss, a deep chasm redolent with luxuriant vegetation.
Dietrichstein Palace and Moravian Provincial Museum
The baroque Dietrichstein Palace (Dietrichstinsky Palac) was built in the early 17th Century for Cardinal Dietrichstein. It was designed by Italian architect Giovanni Giacomo Tencallo and is a typical example of baroque architecture in Brno. Today the Dietrichstein Palace, which was renovated in the 1980s, houses the Moravian Provincial Museum, which contains both permanent displays and changing exhibitions. The five permanent exhibits cover a wide range of topics and time periods, including "The Extinct Life in Moravia ", the Prehistory of Moravia", "Great Moravia", "Moravian Village in Middle Ages", "The World of Minerals", and the "Professor Karel Absolon Memorial". The museum offers a comprehensive overview of the region and is a good option for visitors staying in Brno or those planning on exploring Moravia.
Map of Brno Attractions