Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brno: Another Czech Gem

Brno, CZ, less than a two-hour drive North of Vienna, is perfect for a weekend excursion. We were pleasantly surprised at the many sights and the relatively lower prices in Brno (two coffees for less than 2 EUR vs. one coffee for 3 EUR in Vienna). They also have one of the best city guides we've seen anywhere.

While taking a walk, we were greeted by friendly actors, publicizing their upcoming production...

...cheerful paint colors and lots of windows...

...a white and gold porcelain chandelier dripping with crystals in a shop window: on a tower...

...a fancy light standard and sign before Brno's old city hall tower...

The town hall portal, carved by Anton Pilgrim, who also carved the ornate pulpit in Vienna's Stephansdom, sports a jaunty—or some might say crooked—center spire. The story is that the carver, knowing he would not be paid the agreed wage, intentionally bent it for spite.

The peaceful courtyard at the Capuchin Monastery, near the crypt with its naturally-preserved mummies.

Reminders of war exist all over Europe. The Air Cafe honors the participation of Czech pilots who flew for the British Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain. They are part of The Few, memorialized by Churchill's statement, "Never before was so much owed by so many to so few."

A statue of a young Mozart commemorates the 11-year old's Christmas Day performance in Brno in 1767.

And a painted window celebrates an idyllic winter village scene:

The oriels of Klein's Palace were the first in Bohemia made of cast iron. Finished in 1848, with flush toilets and underground stables, this was an ultra-modern building for its time.

Next door stands the wonderfully decorated House of Lords of Lipa, built in the end of the 16th Century.

Dusk in Brno:

A cool beauty shop mirror caught my eye:

As did this large fruit mural over the sidewalk:

Door detail at The Church of the Assumption. This is an amazingly beautiful church but, unfortunately, photos were not allowed.

Nearby is the Johann Gregor Mendel museum, the priest whose study of bees and peas made him the father of modern genetics. Photos were not allowed in the museum, either, so here's what is left of Father Mendel's greenhouse foundation.

Other famous residents of Brno include Kurt Gödel, philosopher, mathematician and physicist, and Adolf Loos, architect, who was one of the leaders of the Vienna Secessionist Movement.

I like the whimsical flowers on this gate...

...and the great design of this gazebo overlooking the city... well as this star-carved door:


  1. What delights are here! Your beautiful, painterly photos and enlightening commentary have enabled me to see and learn about some places I've always longed to visit. Un grand merci from the south of France to you, Martha.

  2. Thank you, Minnie, for your generous words. You've made my day! Please stay in touch.

    All the best,