Brno: The only town with his own time

in Pinmapple4 months ago

A city with two names and no one knows which one is the right one. Do they say Brno like they used to? Or Brno like later? Czech Republic's second largest city after Prague doesn't ask about it. Anyone who visits the always underestimated little sister of the capital Prague quickly notices that the city is more than just a gateway to Southeast Europe. The monotonous and very similar high-rise buildings do not create love at first sight. And after a shot time you will se - the only town worldwide with his own time... Up to the hillUp to the hill

Less famous than Prague

But anyone who immerses themselves in Brno will be amazed at how diverse, pretty and interesting the city is. Of course, the sights in Brno are less famous than in the brilliant Czech city of Prague. The capital's little brother is occasionally laughed at. And one actually doubts the wisdom of the people of Brno a little when the famous Brno dragon turns out to be a crocodile and a turret in front of the Old Town Hall was deliberately designed crooked.

Saint PeterSaint Peter

In Brno there are no Charles Bridge or magnificent buildings like the Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces in the cosmopolitan city of Vienna. But Brno is really Czech. Prague's Old Town is wonderful, but you won't be able to enjoy typical Czech cuisine at down-to-earth prices anywhere in the center. The bars and cafes are full of tourists, while in Brno the locals are also enjoying the evening in the center.

The view to the cityThe view to the city

A walk-by city

A big advantage in Brno is that you can easily walk to all the sights - with minimal exceptions. The car remains in the parking space far away from the city ring road. If Brno is missing something in contrast to its big brother Prague, it is the river in the city center, where some buildings are reflected in the water and you can end the evening comfortably. But the view over the roofs is even more beautiful.

The old townThe old town

One option to experience the view from above in Brno is from the Cathedral of St. Peter & Paul. There is no real viewing platform at the cathedral. But whoever climbs the mountain will find the entire city at his feet. Don't be alarmed: the clocks are different here and the church bells ring at 11 a.m. for lunch - an hour earlier than usual. The reason is an old legend.

Brno by nightBrno by night

During the battle against Sweden, word spread that the enemies outside the city planned to break off their siege at midday if victory was not within reach by then. The clever people of Brno acted quickly and simply rang the lunch bell an hour earlier. The Swedes filed in and packed their things. However, the cathedral on Petrov Hill was nevertheless damaged both during the siege by the Swedes and later in the Thirty Years' War.

Cheating the Swedes

Sit down for a whileSit down for a while

Fortunately, it's not difficult, because no one could imagine the skyline of Brno without the typical silhouette provided by the two towers of the cathedral. Two slender, 81 m high towers are the work of the Austrian architect August Kirstein. They were built in 1904 and 1905 and blessed by Bishop Huyn. Since then they have been an inseparable part of the city.

The OperaThe Opera

Until the middle of the 19th century, the cathedral only had one tower on the south side. This tower was built over the late Gothic anteroom from 1500 and was called “The Drunken Tower” because of its low height. During the reconstruction in the Gothic style, this tower was lowered so as not to compete with the other two towers.

Under the weight of the worldUnder the weight of the world

This reconstruction took place in two phases: The interior spaces (the presbytery and the altar) were reconstructed at the end of the 19th century. The second phase focused on the outdoor area. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a competition for the contract to complete the cathedral. 42 projects were evaluated, and August Kirstein's project was selected as the best project.

Two towers

Street scene with a dogStreet scene with a dog

He built two towers between the front of the nave and the presbytery. He also managed to make the presbytery visually shorter - compared to the nave, it seemed too long. During the renovation in the Gothic style, the west front was rebuilt and the facades were changed - the plaster was removed and they were filled and decorated with masonry.

The church from downstairsThe church from downstairs

If you climb all 124 steps, you will have a wonderful view of the city of Brno and its surroundings. From the balcony you can see the train station and the southern part of the city, and in good visibility you can even see the hills of Pálava. The passage to the other tower leads under the iron roof of the cathedral. From the north tower you can see the center city with Spielberg Castle and many other churches of Brno.

It is a huge video cameraIt is a huge video camera

A gothic chapel

On the way up you can take a short break in the cathedral treasury. It was opened in 2005 and some valuable things from the parish from the 16th to 19th centuries are exhibited here, especially some liturgical things such as chalices, monstrances and relics, vestments and other interesting things.

Opera by daylightOpera by daylight

The late Gothic chapel was built in the second quarter of the 15th century on the south side of the presbytery and has a Gothic ribbed vault. The chapel was originally dedicated to the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary”. The current name “Chapel of the Annunciation” has only been used since 1795.

The oltar with stucco relief was made in 1795 by the famous Brno sculptor Ondrej Schweígl. It shows the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary (the girl from Nazareth) that she will become the mother of God. Their “YES” was the decisive act in the history of salvation.

Like everywhere: Brno struggles with the crisisLike everywhere: Brno struggles with the crisis

The early baroque tabernacle made of ebony with gold decorations was donated by the Viennese bishop Filip Bedfích Breiner in 1652. The tabernacle was initially placed on the altar in the presbytery. Only later, when the church was elevated to a cathedral, was the tabernacle replaced by the side chapel. The organ was manufactured in 1891 by the Rieger company from Krnov.

The chapel is accessible both from the cathedral and via the separate entrance outside. It also serves as an entrance to visit the tower and the treasury.

One of the very old buildingsOne of the very old buildings

The bells of the cathedral

Bells were originally developed from flat metal plates and came in a variety of shapes. The modern cup shape dates back to the 13th century and is the result of a long search for a harmonious sound.

At the foot of St. Peter a spring is running downAt the foot of St. Peter a spring is running down

There are five bells in the cathedral's towers. The oldest and. hangs in the south tower the biggest bell. It was made by Jan Knaujj from Opava and dates from 1649. It was recast twice - the first time in 1669 by the bell founder Pavel Reimer from Olomouc and then after 1852 by Adalbert Höller from Brno.

Students everywhereStudents everywhere

This bell is called “the bishop's bell” weighs 20 tons and on its outside there are reliefs of the Madonna and Child and Saints Peter and Paul. You can hear their chimes before and after mass with the bishop. There are four smaller bells in the north tower. The two older ones date from 1658.

Signs of the industrial timesSigns of the industrial times

There is an endless amount of history here, where the street image is now shaped by students. German traders built huge palaces in the middle of the city, which are still in excellent condition today. Greek sculptures stand outside with pomp and pathos.

St. Peter is so huge, you can’t capture it in one pieceSt. Peter is so huge, you can't capture it in one piece

The tram creeps along in between, right next to it there are deck chairs in which locals and tourists lie and enjoy beer and wine. Traces of the great histrory of Brno as an industrial town are everywhere inbetween. Factorys. Stock markets. Operas. 

Remains of the historyRemains of the history

A birth of the Habsburgs

The founding of the diocese of Brno dates back to the reign of Maria Theresa and Joseph ll. enforced ecclesiastical reforms, which profoundly influenced the organizational structure throughout the Habsburg monarchy in the 1870s. At the direct instigation of Empress Maria Theresa and with a bull from Pope Pius Vl. The diocese of Olomouc (Olomouc) was elevated to an archdiocese in 1777 and a new diocese with its seat in Brno was founded in the southwest of Moravia on December 5, 1777.

Somethins is still german: ”Sonnentor” is a german wordSomethins is still german: "Sonnentor" is a german word

Matthias Franz Graf von Chorinsky, Baron von Ledske, was appointed the first Bishop of Brno. The current and historically thirteenth diocesan bishop of Brno is Mons. Vojtëch Cikrle (born 1946). It was still from Pope John Paul ll. was appointed in February 1990, when a major upheaval was announced in Brno, at the end of which communism had to give way. Pope Bededict XVI was the first pope to visit Brno. In September 2009, he celebrated a mass with 120,000 pilgrims at a nearby airport - something that the faithful Czechs are still proud of today.

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What a great tour! I love Brno! I would not compare it with Prague though as they are so different. Brno is in a very specific region of Czech Republic and people there are so different than people in Prague 😊

Thank you for taking me on a tour.. haven't been in Brno in the last 5 years, so it's nice to see it again (at least through your photos 😊)