Thursday, March 10, 2011

On War, Peace and Cement

Not far from Brno, the Carin of Peace, the world's first peace monument, overlooks the Austerlitz battlefield where Napoleon had his greatest victory. This Art Nouveau memorial commemorates the 15,000 soldiers who died in the 1805 "Battle of the Three Emperors"—French, Austrian and Russian.

The battlefield:

One side of the monument holds a small chapel...

This statue at the door almost makes me cry...

...and this one is really beautiful. The carved details on the girl's dress are amazing.

An unusual ceiling in the chapel:

The man and shield representing Austria:

Not far from the battlefield and peace monument, it's hard to not see this enormous canon and three soldiers (three Emperors?). Our curiosity drew us off the road we were on to get a closer look at this humorous integration of local industry and history. At first we assumed it might be a museum, then as we got closer, we thought it was perhaps a water park, and finally discovered it is a cement mixing plant. To get a sense of its size, that's a large shipping container in the foreground. If you Google Zapa Beton images you'll see other examples of their creative, colorful plants and trains.


  1. Napoleon brought so much destruction and so many deaths to places all over Europe. I have no good feelings left for "heroes" like him.

  2. Hi, Merisi,
    Perhaps I should have said "major" instead of "greatest" victory. I should be clear that I am not a fan of war and can only hope that, as a species, we will soon be wise enough, intelligent enough and compassionate enough to find another way to solve our differences, universally defining the entire concept of war as the ludicrous waste it is.