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Brno, Czechia (Czech Republic)

We visited Brno - the second largest Czech city, the largest city of Moravia. The city is an important cultural, scientific and tourist center. The old town of Brno is very interesting, it contains a lot of Gothic and Baroque monuments and buildings.

Parking in Brno

We arrived in Brno on the D1 highway, and then we headed the city at exit number 203. On Kounicova street, near the old town, there is a very good parking garage "Parkovací dům Rozmarýn" (P1; GPS: 49.199784, 16.605124). We wanted to park the car there, but it turned out that it was under renovation (no worries, everything is finished and the parking lot is available). So we drove literally 200m further to Mezírka street, where we found the Hotel Continental with an underground garage (P2, GPS: 49.200854, 16.604900). In the vicinity of the old city there is also another good underground parking lot — the "JD Parking Brno" — so you can also look there for places (P3, GPS: 49.199196, 16.609622).

Strolling the Old Town

After leaving the parking lot we head towards the old town along the Rašínová street. On the left we pass the church of Saint Thomas and a equestrian statue (A, GPS: 49.1975828, 16.6074867) of Jodok, the ruler of Moravia (also known as Jobst from Moravia, originating from the Luxemburg dynasty). Then we pass by the church of St. Jacob (B, GPS: 49.1964578, 16.6078192) with interesting interior architecture.

Náměstí Svobody - the Square of Liberty

We reach the first (and main in Brno) square: this is the Náměstí Svobody — Square of Liberty (C, GPS: 49.1949714, 16.6083072). There is a plague column from the seventeenth century, and the square itself is surrounded by interesting and decorative buildings, of which the most beautiful is the Dům pánů z Lipé, or House of Lords of Lipa, also known as the Schwanz Palace. It is a sixteenth-century Renaissance building built for Kryštof Schwanz of Retz, who was a wine merchant. The entire facade of the building is beautifully decorated. On the square there is also an astronomical clock (so-called "Brněnský orloj") of an interesting shape. An interesting fact is that every day at 11:00 the clock throws a glass ball, and the one who catches it can take it as a souvenir. The shape of the clock itself and a glass ball are symbols associated with the defense of the town during the Swedish Deluge (so far reached the armed arm of Sweden in the past!).

Towards the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

We go towards the famous Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul ("Katedrála svatého Petra a Pavla") located on the Petrov hill. On the way, on Dominikánská street, we pass another interesting place — it is so-called Dům pánů z Kunštátu, or House of Masters from Kunštát (D, GPS: 49.1932869, 16.6063931). This palace was once owned by Jan of Pernštejn, and then rebuilt in the Renaissance style at the end of the 16th century. Dominikánská street passes into Biskupska street and we reach the cathedral located on a small hill. The cathedral from the 13th century (E: GPS: 49.1912150, 16.6072244) is a stunning building with its soaring, Gothic shapes. Its present shape is also due to the reconstruction from the late nineteenth century, during which the towers of the church were completed. Its interiors (interestingly — Baroque), are also awesome.

Zelný trh - the Cabbage Market (or Vegetable Market)

After visiting the cathedral, we go to the next square — this time it's the square traditionally occupied by a large fruit and vegetable market, called in Czech "zelný trh" (F, GPS: 49.1922878, 16.6086461). In the square there is a monument of thanksgiving - Sloup Nejsvětější Trojice (the Holy Trinity Column) - a sculpture from the beginning of the 18th century, and in front of it we can see "Dietrichsteinský palác", or the Dietrichstein Palace, which now houses the Museum of the Moravian Region.

Stará radnice - the old Town Hall

We leave the Vegetable Market on Radnicka street, and after about 100 meters we encounter on the left the building of the old town hall ("Stará radnice" in Czech) (G, GPS: 49.1931433, 16.6087211). It is the oldest secular building in Brno. The beginnings of its construction date back to the 13th century. The building served as a town hall until 1935. Currently, it houses the cultural and information center, as well as the so-called "the Brno dragon", meaning a stuffed crocodile. Interesting is also the gothic decorative border of the entrance door located on the facade of the building, whose creator in a playful form allowed one of the turrets to lean towards the other one. As you can see in the Middle Ages some artists also did not obey the generally accepted rules.

The Špilberk Castle (Hrad Špilberk)

The culmination of our trip to Brno was the visiting the hill, where the Špilberk Castle is located. It is a 15 minutes walk to get to the castle from the old town.

It is assumed that the castle was built in the second half of the thirteenth century. A well-situated castle worked well as a fortress and was difficult to conquer. There was a royal residence in it, and later the residence of Moravian margraves. Later, the building became a military object and a defensive stronghold. For a time, there was a prison here, and then Špilberk, together with the city walls, became a defensive structure. In the mid-19th century, it again served as a prison. During World War II, the fortress was occupied by the Germans. Since 1960s there is a branch of the Brno municipal museum inside the castle. You can get acquainted with the history of the object and see the photographs of the former architecture of Brno. There are also other types of exhibitions, as well as dungeons and lookout tower.

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