In the footsteps of the famed
In the footsteps of the famed
The South Moravian region was the home or place of work of a number of successful personalities from various areas. Notable artists, men of science, politicians and many other personalities of outstanding quality and fame resided here; here they worked and lived out their everyday highs and lows. Their names are important for the memory of this beautiful land and for the people who live here right now. Let us bring to mind some personalities which we, as South Moravians, are proud of. Personalities whose statues have been erected as an expression of our gratitude; many streets, squares, universities, theatres have been named after them, exhibitions are dedicated to them, their books are being published and scientific meetings about them are held. So let us set out in the footsteps of our famous natives and ancestors and on this wandering let us try to bring back to life the stories and fates of those who had lived them out.
Jan Amos Komenský (COMENIUS) Philosopher, pedagogue, and theologian of world renown is one of the most significant natives of South Moravia. He was born on March 28, 1592, as the youngest of five children of Martin Komenský and his wife Anna. The question of his exact birthplace has still not been definitively answered. Some materials speak in favour of Uherský Brod, yet other suggest Nivnice. Komňa is the original location from which the Komenský family descended and from where it took its name. Another item on the list of South Moravian towns where he was actively involved is Strážnice. He moved here at the age of twelve already as an orphan because both his parents died in Uherský Brod in 1604 during a very short time span. Young Komenský (Comenius) lived with his aunt Zuzana Nohálová and in 1605, he is known to have attended the Unity of the Brethren school in Strážnice. From here he undertook his first journey to receive education of a European level. He returned to Moravia after the completion of his studies and he was ordained a priest in Žeravice in the Kyjov Region. Soon however his life was to become a fragile boat in stormy waters of the Thirty Years‘ War. At its outbreak, Jan Amos Komenský lived in Fulnek. His wife Magdalena Vizovská and their two small sons passed away very early on. Komenský took refuge in the estate of Charles the Elder of Žerotín in Brandýs nad Orlicí. However, the days that he would still spend in his native country were inexorably numbered. He left the country in 1628 and he was never to come back. In the footsteps of J. A. Komenský in South Moravia Museum of Jan Amos Komenský in Uherský Brod Memorial of Jan Amos Komenský in Žeravice Memorial of Jan Amos Komenský in Komňa Bartek‘s mill in Nivnice
Eliška Rejčka One of the most noteworthy figures in Bohemian and Moravian history, the Czech Queen Alžběta (Eliška) Rejčka is buried under the floor in the Basilica Minor in Staré Brno, under the spot marked with an “E” and the symbol of the royal crown. Eliška was born on the first day of September in 1288 to Przemysl II Velkopolsky (of Greater Poland) and the Swedish princess Luitgard Richeza, known in Polish as “Ryksa”. At that time seventeen-year-old Wenceslaus II had assumed the reign of the Czech Lands. When Wenceslaus II became a widower in 1297 he was offered the hand of the then nineyear-old Polish princess Eliška. To live with a man 17 years her senior was not easy at all for her, especially since three of Wenceslaus’s five children were almost the same age as her. Almost five years after their wedding King Wenceslaus II died at thirty-four. Six days before his death a daughter, Anežka, was born to the notquite seventeen-year-old Rejčka. Wenceslaus III, the son of Wenceslaus II, inherited the royal Czech crown from his father. However, after a mere year in power he was murdered in Olomouc. Rudolph of Habsburg soon gained power after him. The Bohemian nobility accepted him as king on the condition
that he wed the twenty-year-old Queen Dowager Eliška, who would then confer a claim of inheritance to the Polish crown. No sooner than nine months after the wedding Eliška found herself as a widow again – Rudolph died at the Siege of Horažďovice in a campaign against the Bohemian lords who refused to swear to him. The nobility elected Henry IV of Carinthia as king. A fateful love affair with a powerful man in the kingdom, Jindřich of Lipá, brought the Queen Dowager Eliška Rejčka to Moravia. When he was nominated Moravian hetman, she moved with him in 1320 to Brno. Queen Rejčka’s and Jindřich’s love affair lasted the next ten years. In Brno they arranged for a home which was even more beautiful than the court at Prague. In May 1323 she founded the Cistercian Convent of Aula Sanctae Mariae (The Hall of Saint Mary) at the Church of St. Mary in Staré Brno. Her old admirer, John of Luxemburg, contributed significantly to financing its construction. The construction of the convent lasted almost 50 years; Rejčka did not live to see its completion. Jindřich of Lipá died in 1329 and three years later (1332) Eliška left to the convent that she established, and lived another 6 years after the passing of her lover, companion, friend and protector. She left all of her property to the convent, including a set of rare illuminated manuscripts, of which three have been preserved and are stored in the Museum of Literature in Moravia - Muzeum Brněnska and the Moravian Museum. The convent was later transferred to the Order of Augustinian Hermits. One of the friars there was Johan Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics. Composer Leoš Janáček was also active there. In the footsteps of Eliška Rejčka in South Moravia The Augustinian Abbey and the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Brno) House of the Lords of Lipá, Brno, náměstí Svobody Square Muzeum Brněnska – Museum of Literature in Moravia
Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein The name of this notable, yet controversial figure of the 17th century events can be encountered at numerous locations throughout central and southern Moravia. At the age of five, František moved with his parents from Madrid to Mikulov. Franz von Dietrichstein, a key figure of the recatholicisation effort in Moravia, including its violent form, tended his family‘s estates in an exemplary way and he was even minting his own currency in Kroměříž. He unwittingly merits credit for the scenic character of the typical Mikulov skyline because he erected the chapel and the Calvary to the Tanzberk Hill, the present Svatý kopeček Hill. The construction was an expression of gratitude for overcoming the plague epidemic of 1622. A distinct monument reminding of the Dietrichstein family is their family tomb which today encloses the eastern side of the Mikulov Square. The local châteaux belonged to the Dietrichstein family until WWII. Mikulov became the factual capital of Moravia after Cardinal Dietrichstein, in the position of Olomouc bishop, moved his seat here. Brno, too, did not get a raw deal from the cardinal‘s fame. Between the years 1614 and 1620, the Moravian vicegerent built himself an Early Baroque palace, the present seat of the Moravian Land Museum. The respectable building hosted Friedrich von der Pfalz, “The Winter King,” the empress Maria Theresa in 1748, and before the battle of Austerlitz in October of 1805, also the Russian military commander Kutuzov. In the footsteps of Cardinal Franz von Ditrichstein in South Moravia Dietrichstein family tomb in Mikulov Mikulov Châteaux Svatý kopeček Hill in Mikulov Dietrichstein Palace in Zelný trh Square, Brno
Václav Antonín Kounic Outstanding politician and statesman, Václav Antonín Kounic came from a prominent family of Moravian aristocracy. He became famous as minister and diplomat in the services of Empress Maria Theresa. He held complicated diplomatic and political negotiations with Bavaria, Saxony and Prussia in defence of Maria Theresa’s legacy. In 1753 when he came back to Vienna from his last diplomatic mission in Paris, Count Kounic was appointed Chancellor. He was the maker of Austria’s foreign politics oriented to powerful France. Václav Antonín Prince of Kounice was also renowned as a patron and supporter of arts. He died on 27 June 1794 and his remains were laid to rest in the family vault under the Church of St. John the Baptist in Slavkov near Brno.
JUDr. Václav Count Kounic JUDr. Václav Count Kounic belongs to the most important members of the Czech branch of the Kounic family. He was a Czech liberal politician who fought for better working conditions for the working class and for universal suffrage. His brother-in-law was Antonín Dvořák, great Czech music composer. After the death of his elder brother Albrecht he inherited the estates of Slavkov and Uherský Brod. On the occasion of his second wedding on 12 May 1908 he donated the Kounic Palace in Brno to Czech students. Income from this extensive building was used to build the Kounic students’ residence in BrnoŽabovřesky. In the footsteps of the Kounic family in South Moravia Chateau and Museum, Slavkov near Brno Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord – Classicist building from 1789, Slavkov near Brno Vault of the Kounic family, Slavkov near Brno Kounic student residence, Králova Street 45, Brno
Jobst of Moravia Jobst of Moravia, Moravian margrave from the Luxembourg dynasty and the nephew of the legendary Czech king Charles IV reached the topmost point of his career in the autumn of 1410 when he became the king of the Holy Roman Empire. However, he could enjoy his new title only for mere few weeks since he died in the early 1411. Owing to this unexpected stroke of fate, the City of Brno lost an opportunity of radically increasing its significance since it was very likely that Jobst would govern the Holy Roman Empire precisely from the Moravian metropolis. As a matter of fact, he made the Brno Ĺ pilberk castle his margrave seat already at the outset of his career. Jobst was a very capable and deft politician who ambitiously desired more power and property and who did not waver over whether to switch sides or change his mind if his objectives were at stake. He had to share the administration of Moravia with his youngest brother Prokop which was the cause of protracted conflicts that ended only with Prokopâ€˜s death in 1405. With the help of his cousin Sigismund of Luxembourg he acquired part of the present western Slovakia, including Bratislava. Jobst became also the margrave of Brandenburg, administrated the County of Luxembourg and the imperial Vogtei of Alsace. He was a competent manager and he reopened the Brno minting mill that produced his own coins
for the entire period of his rule, including a limited emission of ducats. As far as Brno itself is concerned, he helped lift the city‘s appearance (paving) by collecting ingenious tallages and by inviting the famous master builder from Gmünd – Peter Parler. Even today, Brno continues to live on the foundations laid by the Moravian Luxembourgs (urbanistic disposition of the city, the St. Peter and Paul‘s Cathedral (Petrov) and St. James‘ Church, the premises of the St. Thomas and Královo Pole monasteries, reconstruction of the Špilberk and Veveří castles). Jobst was quickly expanding his property and political power. In 1410, he stood as a candidate in the elections for the king of the Holy Roman Empire against Sigismund that he won in the second round. He could nonetheless relish the title of Roman king only briefly, between October 1, 1410, and January 18, 1411, when he deceased at the Brno Špilberk castle. Jobst of Luxembourg, margrave of Moravia and Brandenburg, was interred in the Church of St. Thomas on February 20, 1411. The statue by Jan Leonard Weber dating back to the 1840s in the frontispiece of the Governor‘s Palace in the Moravian Square depicts Jobst of Moravia in an idealized form. One of the principle streets in the Brno city centre carries Jobst‘s name. In the footsteps of Jobst of Moravia in South Moravia St. Thomas‘ Church in Brno Špilberk Castle Governor‘s Palace in Moravské náměstí Square (former Augustinian monastery) in Brno
Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches One of the most able commanders of the Thirty Years’ War, Raduit de Souches as a protestant first fought on the side of the Huguenots near his hometown La Rochelle. He then left France and joined the Swedish army. He disagreed with his seniors and eventually left the army and joined the Hapsburgs of Austria (1642). In March 1645 Emperor Ferdinand III appointed him commander of Brno. Under his command the garrison in Brno numbering only 1500 men (only one third of them were actual soldiers) indeed squared the circle when they successfully resisted the 28,000-man troops of General Torstenson (the siege lasted from 3 May to 23 August 1645). In the wake of this great success his carrier soared. He was appointed commander of Moravia and Brno and was allowed to purchase the Jevišovice na Znojemsku demesne (1649). In this region he then purchased the redoubt in Boskovštejn (1670) and in 1679 the Castle in Plaveč. In 1663 he was honoured with the title Count. Raduit did not rely only on the income from the estate as was the custom in his native France, but he started doing business. In the 1670’s he had a blast furnace and three hammer mills built in Jevišovce where soft iron and bombs for the army were manufactured. He made use of his business skill in Hluboké Mašůvky as well. For a long time the place had been famous for its curative springs. Raduit decided to build a watering place and he built an inn and a new church. To bring more visitors to the place he made the church a present of a rare statuette of Our Lady de Foi.
He spent the end of his life at his extensive estates in Moravia. Count Jean Louis Raduit de Souches lived to the age of nearly 74 years and passed away at his Chateau in Jevišovice on 12 August 1682. In accordance with his last will his remains were buried in Saint James’ Church in Brno. His tomb is adorned by a bronze statue of the kneeling marshal and on the tomb are carved Jean Louis de Souches’s most important military campaigns. Raduit’s body is buried in a copper coffin in the sepulchre under the church. Another memorial to the famous marshal can be seen at the Jevišovice Chateau – the coat-of-arms under the arcade in the courtyard. The stone tablet bears two coats-of-arms. The one on the right-hand side belongs to Raduit de Souches and the one on the left to his first wife Anna Elisabeth. Hluboké Mašůvky is the second place where the coat-of-arms of Raduit and his wife can be seen, this time the coat-of-arms of his second wife Anna Salome. A monument to the successful defender of Brno is his bust in the park on the Špilberk slopes – to the right of the main entrance route. In the footsteps of Raduit de Souches in South Moravia Saint James’ Church (Brno) House of the Lords of Lipá (Brno) Petrov, Brno – stone coat-of-arms in the wall near the entrance to the Bishop’s residence and stone memorial tablet in the form of a cartouche on the house Petrov No. 6 Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Hluboké Mašůvky) Jevišovice – chateau and museum (Jevišovice) Špilberk – castle and museum (Brno) Boskovštejn, chateau Plaveč, castle
Karel Lichtenstein In his times second only to the emperor in the Czech Lands after the Battle on the White Mountain, Karel Lichtenstein was a contradictory figure. On the one hand his name is associated with the execution of twenty-seven Czech lords as he put his signature on the verdict; he also saw to the exodus of the Pro-testant clerical elite, including Jan Amos Komenský. To some extent he was an opportunist. On the other hand his success in the area of politics, diplomacy and economy is highly visible. It was actually Karel who stood at the birth of the power of the Lichtenstein family; in their golden age they where the most powerful aristocratic family in the country. Even after the era of Prince Karel the members of the family, loyal to the Habsburgs, occupied leading positions in the Danube monarchy and, among others, as generals they became involved in waging warfare against Napoleon. A mark of their success is for instance the remarkable Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. For centuries the Liechtenstein family had created a landscape complex surrounding both chateaux. In 1996 the Lednice-Valtice landscape complex was entered in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. In Vranov near Brno the family vault of the Counts of Liechtenstein was built which the Liechtenstein family visit on a regular basis; since 1709 their coat-of-arms has been the sovereign emblem of their Principality in the Alps. They remain to be only visitors to the Czech Republic – in 1945 the Liechtenstein property in the Czech Lands was confiscated and the family emigrated. In the footsteps of the Lichtenstein family in South Moravia Lednice-Valtice area Burial vault of the Lichtenstein family, Vranov u Brna
Silvio Pellico This Italian poet, playwright, novelist and journalist (1789– 1854) was imprisoned in Brno in Špilberk Castle. He was put there for being convicted of being active in the secret patriotic revolutionary society of the Carbonari, who struggled for the liberation of Italy from foreign domination. After the Napoleonic Wars, Italy remained a fragmented country, in which power was divided between France and Austria. Essentially Austrian prince Metternich guided the fate of Italy. Pellico, the well-known literary figure, was arrested in October 1820 and immediately afterwards was sentenced to death for his participation in a conspiracy against Austria. At the last minute his sentence was commuted by imperial decree to 15 years of hard time in Špilberk Prison. Prisoners there experienced cruel times; their legs were bound in chains and they endured cold and hunger. On the basis of an imperial pardon Pellico was released after eight years of great suffering in Špilberk Prison. He described his experiences in the Austrian jail in his book My Prisons. The prison time spent by the Carbonari in Brno’s Špilberk is commemorated by a commemorative plaque dating to 1922 on the castle walls close to the entrance to the casemates, and by a memorial to the Italian martyrs built on the base of Špilberk in 1925 by the committee of the Brno Dante Alighieri Society. Špilberk is thus a popular pilgrimage spot for Italian tourists who visit Brno. A street in Staré Brno is named after Pellico, the most famous Carbonari prisoner. In the footsteps of Silvio Pellico in South Moravia The Brno City Museum, Špilberk Castle – commemorative plaque, memorial, and the Silvio Pellico Commemorative Cell Pellicova Street, Brno
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the most important character in modern Czech history, the first Czechoslovak president, Czech philosopher, teacher, politician, scientist, writer and journalist, has his roots in South Moravia. Masaryk was born in Hodonín on March 7, 1850. His mother Terezie Kropáčková came from a German-speaking family, and his father Jozef Masárik from a Slovak-speaking one. Masaryk’s father was a coachman on the imperial estates in the Hodonín region and thus the family often moved. Thus, Tomáš Masaryk’s childhood was connected to the Moravian Slovak towns of Čejkovice, Hodonín, Mutěnice and Klobouky u Brna. He came to Čejkovice in 1856 as a six-year-old boy; he went to school and spent six years of his life there. In 1933 a commemorative plaque was installed on the house in which the Masaryks lived. Inside the house there is a permanent exhibit-ion about Masaryk’s life. After studying for two years at the Piarist School in Hustopeče the fifteen-year-old Tomáš Masaryk started the second year of study at the German Grammar School in Brno. A plaque commemorating the fact that he attended the school in
Hustopeče from 1861 to 1863 was unveiled on the school’s façade in 1994. His parents are buried in the Hustopeče cemetery. His brother Ludvík Masaryk owned a printing press in Hustopeče between 1880 and 1889 and published the Auspitzer Wochenblatt. The young Masaryk financed his studies in Brno to a large extent by himself. The spectacular building of the Brno German Grammar School on Komenského náměstí Square is today the home of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts. As a student Masaryk lived in three places in Brno. At first he lived at 12 Velká Nová Street (today Lidická Street), then at 153 Neufröhlichergasse Street (today Česká Street) and during the last year of his studies in Brno the then nineteen-year-old student Masaryk rented a room at 28 Franz-Josef-Strasse Street (today Milady Horákové Street). In 1869 Masaryk left Brno for Vienna. Masaryk entered political and social life during the Austrian monarchy. During World War I he organized the anti-Austrian revolt leading to the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak Republic. In 1878 Masaryk married American Charlotte Garrigue. T.G. Masaryk visited Brno several times as president of Czechoslovakia. His visit to the Moravian capital city and the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture at the Brno Exhibition Center in 1928 was important. During the era of his presidency he was a frequent guest in Moravia, particularly in Židlochovice. He visited the local palace, which became the official presidential residence in Moravia, a total of six times. Masaryk resigned due to old age in 1935. In the footsteps of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in South Moravia The Masaryk Museum, Hodonín, Zámecké náměstí Square Židlochovice, palace, presidential residence Hustopeče, Vocational High School, formerly the Piarist School, Masarykovo náměstí Square T. G. Masaryk House, Čejkovice The Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science at Masaryk University – Brno Botanical Garden Commemorative plaque, Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Komenského náměstí Square 6/04. He studied at grammar school here. The Masaryk Tower of Independence – museum and look-out tower, Hořice Town Museum and Gallery. Hustopeče Residences in Brno: - 12 Velká Nová Street (1865, today 4 Lidická Street), - 153 Neufröhlichergasse (in the school year 1866/1867, today 14 Česká Street), - Commemorative plaque, former Franz-Josef-Strasse Street, (school year 1868/1869, today 28 Milady Horákové Street) 15
Napoleon Bonaparte One of the most important military commanders of world history, the French emperor Napoleon I, left many imprints during his military campaigns across Moravia. Not only memorials at the battlefields, folklore inspired by the battle of Austerlitz, or the tradition of recreating the battle scenes, but also the wide range of French surnames made Czech which the soldiers who did not return home with their famous commander and settled in Moravia left behind. Two of Napoleon’s military campaigns were very important for Moravia – the first in 1805 which culminated in the famous Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, and the second in 1809 which was the aftermath of another victorious battle of the French army at Wagram. In November 1805 Napoleon set foot in Moravia when he was chasing the Austrian troops and the Russian army under the command of General Kutuzov. After the victorious battle in Hollabrunn in Lower Austria, Napoleon arrived in Znojmo where he took lodgings in Ugart’s Palace in Upper Square (Hotel Napoleon of today). Two days later he came to Brno and took up his quarters in the Governor’s Palace. The victorious battle of Napoleon’s “Great army” took place on 2 December in the fields between Brno and the small town of Slavkov (Austerlitz). In 1809, after the outbreak of another French-Austrian war, Emperor Napoleon occupied the city once again. In the Lužánky Park a great celebration of his birthday was held. After the following peace Napolean commanded that part of the Špilberk fortifications be pulled down. These bastions have been rebuilt.
If we want to go around the most important sites of this old war history at the Austerlitz battlefield we can start at the Mohyla míru (Cairn of Peace) on the Prace knoll. Here in the centre of what was once a battlefield is where the battle was definitely resolved. More than a hundred years after the battle an Art Nouveau monument was erected in commemoration of all the victims; it now houses a new multimedia exhibition which offers the visitors a lot of information and a remarkable experience, to say nothing of the stunning panorama of the battlefield as seen from this place. In the distance we can catch a glimpse of the Žuráň knoll from where Napoleon commanded his troops and the Santon hillock which was the base of the French artillery. If we take the old imperial road from Brno to Olomouc coming from Žuráň and Santon we come to the Stará pozořická pošta (Old Pozořice Post Office). This is where Napoleon met with his marshals before the battle; during the battle it housed the headquarters of the Russian General Bagration. All around the post office fierce fighting was going on and after his victory this was the place where Napoleon held talks with the Austrian parliamentarian Count Liechtenstein. We can end our wandering over the battlefield in Slavkov – abroad known as Austerlitz – after which the battle has been named and where armistice was signed in the monumental chateau. In the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte in South Moravia Cairn of Peace, Prace – memorial to the victims of the battle and multimedia exhibition of the “Battle of the Three Emperors. Slavkov / Austerlitz 1805” (Prace) Slavkov/Austerlitz near Brno – Chateau and demonstration of the battle (Slavkov near Brno) Stará pošta (Old Post Office) near Pozořice Diorama of the battle (Tvarožná) Summer house of the Mitrovský family in Brno (Brno) Znojmo, Ugart’s Paláce in Upper Square (Hotel Napoleon of today) Plaque, Brno, Governor’s Palace, Moravské náměstí Square 1/02
Sir Winston Churchill A British politician of world renown, Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor to Moravia. That is to say if we are speaking of the early 20th century. He visited Castle Veveří three times as a guest of his friend Baron Moritz Arnold de Forest. Baron Arnold, landlord of the Veveří-Rosice estate, spent most of his life in Britain and this explains the close relationship he had with the then minister for trade of the British Empire. Churchill visited Castle Veveří for the first time in August 1906; for the second time he came in September 1907 when he was said to have hunted hares and pheasants; and finally in September 1908 during his honeymoon with his wife Clementine. He called at the Chateau in Rosice which was also de Forest’s property. In 2005 a commemorative tablet was placed in the entrance behind the inner castle gate in memory of Churchill’s stay at Castle Veveří; the author is Otmar Oliva. In the footsteps of Winston Churchill in South Moravia Castle Veveří Chateau in Rosice
Karel Absolon Professor Karel Absolon ranks among the most renowned representatives of Czech science. Native of Boskovice, he was active at Charles University and the Moravian Land Museum. The original scientific interest of the young scientist rested in research of cave insect. Entomological collections of cave fauna soon stirred up his curiosity concerning exploration of caves. Up until 1908, he explored and documented the majority of caves in the northern part of Moravian Karst and Rudice Ponors. Together with his friends he descended to Macocha Abyss, the biggest Czech gorge, and he managed to enter new vast spaces in the already known caves. The Macocha Abyss was made publicly accessible thanks to his efforts. Of even greater significance were his archaeological explorations of the Palaeolithic. He considered the settlement of mammoth hunters near Dolní Věstonice, where he performed archaeological research between 1924 and 1938, as the large “Palaeolithic Pompeii”. The Venus of Dolní Věstonice was discovered in 1925. From 1925 to 1930, he supervised the research of a settlement of reindeer and horse hunters in Cave Pekárna. At the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno (1928), he presented artefacts from the dawn of human history to the public; at this point he first came up with the idea of establishing the Anthropos Pavilion which was then accessible to public in the Brno Exhibition Grounds until 1945. In the wake of WWII, it was erected in the Brno Pisárky quarter park. In the footsteps of Karel Absolon in South Moravia Punkva Caves – Ostrov u Macochy Dietrichstein Palace in Brno Anthropos Pavilion – Brno, Pisárky quarter Honorary circle in the Brno Central Cemetery Memorial plaque, Residence building, Boskovice, Hradní Street
Johann Gregor Mendel One and a half centuries ago Mendel, abbot at the Augustinian monastery in the Old Brno quarter, arrived at his fundamental discoveries by crossing plants, i.e. the principles of heredity which became the basis of the modern theory of genetics. Today the results of Mendel’s research activities are applied in medicine and in other scientific branches. Johann Gregor Mendel was born in Hynčice in 1822; his native house has been preserved to the present times and houses a small museum. The exhibition displays his childhood and his life history. The city Brno is exceptionally proud of “its” Mendel. The name Mendel is a great name all over the world. The great interest of visitors, who come to the Czech Republic, says much about his fame. They usually come to see the Brno monastery where Mendel worked and where his museum is housed. In 1843 Mendel joined the Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas in the Old Brno quarter and was given the name Gregor. He studied at the University of Vienna and after graduating worked as supply teacher of natural history and physics in Brno at the First German Grammar School in Jánská Street. In 1854 a greenhouse was built in the garden of the Abbey and
from then on Mendel carried out his experiments crossing pea plants. These experiments went on for 10 years; in 1865, basing on his results Mendel delivered his vital study “Experiments with Plant Hybrids” at the meeting of the Society of Natural Scientists in Brno. In this study he formulated three principles which later became known as Mendel’s laws of heredity. Mendel was also an avid and highly respected bee-keeper; the monastery garden features a beehive from 1871. Mendel also showed keen interest in meteorology; two thirds of his work was devoted to this discipline. On the premises of the monastery Mendel carried out meteorological observations; for instance, he was among the first to describe a windstorm which had hit Brno in 1870. In 1868 Mendel was elected Abbot of the Augustinian Monastery in the Old Brno quarter. In 1883 he was taken seriously ill and he died on 6 January 1884. He is buried in the tomb of the Augustinians at the Central Cemetery in Brno. At his funeral composer Leoš Janáček conducted the Requiem in the church. In the footsteps of Johann Gregor Mendel in South Moravia Mendel Museum, Masaryk University (Brno) Mendelianum (Brno) Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno – bust at the University (between buildings A and B) Augustinian Abbacy with the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (Brno) Commemorative plaque, Brno, Jánská Street 22/1 Znojmo –house No. 42 in Jezuitská Street
Prokop Diviš The monument by Bohuslav Fuchs with a model of the first lightening rod in Europe at the Parish Church of St. Margaret in Přímětice commemorates the Moravian intellectual and designer Prokop Diviš (real name Václav Divíšek), who lived from 1698 to 1765. He was the parish priest in Přímětice from 1736, where in his free time he conducted experiments primarily with static electricity. In 1754 he also constructed the first lightening rod in Europe, although at the same time Benjamin Franklin came to the same scientific conclusions independently of Diviš. Besides researching atmospheric energy Diviš also formed the roots of electrotherapy. Music was a great interest of the parish priest as well. In his time Prokop Diviš amazed all of Central Europe with the construction of an ingenious and original multiharmonic musical instrument known as the Denis d‘Or (Golden Dionysus). A bust of this top European inventor can be seen on Divišovo náměstí in the center of Znojmo. It was created by the famous sculptor and medal maker from Znojmo J.F. Fischer, a student of Otakar Španiel. In 1898 the organization Znojemská Beseda hung a plaque commemorating Diviš at the Přímětice parish church. In 1906 a model of Diviš’s device was erected in the courtyard of Znojmo Castle, where it stood for several decades. In 1936 members of the organization Národní jednota constructed a model lightening rod in front of the Přímětice parish church. In the footsteps of Prokop Diviš in South Moravia The Prokop Diviš Monument (Znojmo-Přímětice) Memorial bust, Znojmo, Divišovo náměstí Square The Municipal Museum and Prokop Diviš House (Žamberk) Commemorative plaque in the former Jesuit Grammar School, Znojmo, Jezuitské náměstí Square
Jan Evangelista Purkyně The most famous Czech natural scientist of the 19th century and founder of experimental physiology spent the greater part of his youth in South Moravia. J. E. Purkyně first attended school in the town of his birth Libochovice but thanks to his musical talent at the age of 11 years he became a chorister at the gymnasium in Mikulov which belonged to the Catholic Piarist order. After graduating from the gymnasium at the age of 17 years he joined the Piarist order. The order offered him a good opportunity to become a teacher and be fully engaged in scientific activities. The Piarists taught mathematics, philosophy and experimental physics; they also went in for natural sciences, music, painting and foreign languages. The Piarist gymnasium in Mikulov was the first school of its kind north of the Alps. After a one-year novitiate which Purkyně spent in Stará Voda near the Silesian border he was sent as teacher to the school in Strážnice. Here he worked in 1805–1806 as a clericalist of the order; his regular name was Silverius. In his honour the gymnasium in Strážnice is named after him. In the footsteps of J. E. Purkyně in South Moravia Mikulov, gymnasium Strážnice, gymnasium
Thomas Alva Edison The Moravian historic sight reminding us of the legendary inventor, entrepreneur, and pioneer in the use of electric power is unique. In 1882, Edison in fact electrified the new Brno theatre. Brno has thus become the first European city with a fully electrified theatre building. Prior to 1882, when the famous Viennese duo of architects Fellner & Helmer were preparing the design of the new theatre, the memories of the recent fire in the Viennese Ringtheater caused by a gas lamp were still on everybody‘s mind. When the decision between the not yet well-tried electricity and town gas was to be met, the choice thus fell on electric power. Brno town councillors commissioned Edison‘s Parisian firm with the installation of electrical lighting in the theatre. Due to their insufficient experience, the firm turned to Edison. To connect the recently constructed small-scale steam power station in Vlhká Street to the theatre located at the distance of 350 m, Edison designed a prototype of an underground cable. The installation of 800 light bulbs was performed by Edison‘s assistant Francis Jehl. One of the original light bulbs is today exhibited in a show case below the main theatre staircase. In 1911, former Edison‘s employee Emil Kolben, the Czech founder of the Kolben-Daněk company, invited the famous inventor to Prague. While driving his own automobile from Vienna, Edison stopped in Brno on September 13 to look at the theatre wiring and he was allegedly very satisfied with it. In the footsteps of Thomas Alva Edison in South Moravia Mahen Theatre in Brno An upcoming statue in front of the department store Centrum in Brno
Ernst Mach Native of Chrlice near Brno Ernst Mach ranks among the most important personalities of science of the second half of the 19th century, particularly in the area of experimental physics. A physical unit is called a mach (Mach’s number) and is familiar to every inquisitive schoolchild interested in aircraft and spaceships. Ernst Mach was born in 1838 in Chrlice, Brno, in the then Archbishop’s Chateau (his maternal grandfather was administrator of the archbishop‘s assets). Mach’s father was 22 years old when, as professor of a gymnasium in Prague, he met the 13-year-old sister of his student Emerich Lanhaus from Chrlice in Moravia. He waited and 10 years later he married Josefa. The eldest of their three children, Ernst Walfried Joseph Wenzel Mach, was born on 18 February 1838. Two years after Ernst’s birth the family moved to Lower Austria. However the boy attended the Piarist Gymnasium in Kroměříž. Later he graduated from the University of Vienna where he studied physics and mathematics. In 1867–95 he became professor of physics at Charles University in Prague. In the 28 years of his activities in the Czech lands he created virtually his whole physical work. In 1938 a bronze memorial tablet was unveiled on Mach’s native house – the Archbishops’ Chateau in Chrlice; during World War 2 it disappeared and in 1988 was replaced by a new one. In the footsteps of Ernst Mach in South Moravia Memorial tablet on the chateau in Brno-Chrlice
Josef Jiří Kamel (J. G. Camel) A Jesuit missionary and botanist, Kamel was born in Brno in 1661 to the family of a shearing foreman Andres Kamel in a small house not far from the then Jewish Gate which used to stand near the main railway station of today. At the age of 17 Josef entered the Jesuit missionary school in Vienna and then he attended the gymnasium in Brno. After graduation at the age of 21 years Kamel joined the order of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order. From his adolescent years he was interested in botany which brought him to the College’s dispensary. Although the old Jesuit College was pulled down in 1904 it is not difficult to discover where Kamel, the Jesuit, lived; the street in Brno is called Jezuitská Street where you will also find the Jesuit Church of Our Lady. In 1578 the Jesuits acquired a convent from the Herburg nuns and within 15 years they began to build a new college. In the 17th century they gradually built an expansive complex of buildings of which only the gate in Mozart Street has been preserved to the present times. Kamel was ordained a priest in 1682 and apart from other things he worked as a pharmacist and orderly in infirmaries in Brno, Jindřichův Hradec and Český Krumlov. After five years he was sent as a missionary to the Philippine Islands which at that time were colonised by Spain. He opened the first pharmacy in the Philippines and founded a large botanical garden with European and local healing herbs. Jiří Josef Kamel died in Manila on 2 May 1706 of an acute feverish intestinal disease.
Kamel’s contribution to botany and science is his systematic work which he pursued during his mission on the island of Luzon in the Philippines collecting and describing plants that could be used for pharmacology purposes. Kamel passed the results of his investigations on to the Royal British Society. His drawings are much valued particularly as scientific documents as not as mere pictures. In his times they were ahead of any scientific description of that time. Kamel also made an attempt at systematic classification of plants. Thanks to his work the scientific circles in Europe got to know the fauna and flora of the Philippines. No wonder that the prominent Swedish nature scientist Carl Linné named one of the most beautiful plants of the Far East after Kamel. He named the shrub which also used to be called the “Japanese rose” as Camellia japonica. In the footsteps of Jiří Kamel in South Moravia Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Dvořákova Street, Brno
Viktor Kaplan He was born on November 27, 1876 in the small Austrian town of M端rzzuschlag. After graduating from the Vienna University of Technology and after a short time working in a combustion engine factory he joined the German Technical University in Brno in 1903 as a designer. At that time he was already extremely interested in water turbines and the economic utilization of watercourses. The Industrial Revolution required ever more energy, and therefore attempts to utilize low-head watercourses, on which common Francis turbines could not be used, were made. In the small turbine laboratory that he built at the German Technical University in Brno, Professor Kaplan created a completely new type of turbine over time. At first by lowering the number of blades and by narrowing them he lowered friction loss, and later he constructed blades that could be rotated while the turbine was running and adjust to changed flow conditions. This allowed even strongly variable watercourses to be economically utilized. Professor Kaplan patented his main inventions (the radial diaphragm, adjustable runner blades, the arrangement of the
runner-free space between the diaphragm and rotor and the cell-less creation of rotor blades) between 1912 and 1914. World War I and patent conflicts postponed the use of Kaplan’s inventions until 1918 when the Brno engineering works and foundry of Ignác Storek manufactured the first Kaplan turbine for a textile mill in Velm, Lower Austria. Soon afterwards licensing contracts for the manufacture of Kaplan turbines were made with a number of companies joined together under the international Kaplanturbinenkonzern. The strains of work and a long-lasting struggle to have his inventions recognized culminated in Professor Kaplan being afflicted with a long-term nervous disorder at the beginning of 1922. Several hydroelectric plants were equipped with new Kaplan turbines, e.g. in Loučná, Rapotín, Kroměříž, and Gorizia in Italy and Lilla Edet in Sweden. In 1926 the Prague Technical University honored Kaplan’s work by granting him an honorary doctorate in the technical sciences. In 1931 Professor Kaplan requested to be relieved of his duties at the university and moved to a small estate in Rochuspoint in Salzkammergut, Upper Austria, where he built his own workshop and a small electric plant. On August 23, 1934 shortly after being awarded an honorary doctorate in the technical sciences by the Brno Technical University, Professor Dr. Kaplan died there as well. The Technical Museum in Brno boasts the extensive writings of Professor Viktor Kaplan and his assistant ing. Jarsoslav Slavík. Seventeen archival boxes contain the original patents granted for Professor Kaplan’s inventions in individual countries, as well as material created as a result of Kaplan’s scientific work and documentation from the patenting process. In the footsteps of Viktor Kaplan in South Moravia Commemorative plaque on the 50th anniversary of the Kaplan turbine, Brno. Šmeralovy závody Factory, 65c/03 Křenová Street Technical Museum Brno Memorial with a bronze bust by Sylva Lacinová from 1959, Údolní 53, Brno – a park on the corner of Úvoz Street
W. A. Mozart South Moravia was lucky that one of the greatest music composers of all times, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited Brno. For that matter the statue of the brilliant musician in front of the Reduta Theatre in Zelný trh (Vegetable market) in Brno is a new tourist attraction of the town. Kurt Gebauer’s statue commemorates the event of 30 December 1767 when the then 11-year-old Mozart, the “prodigy child”, gave a concert in this very theatre in Brno together with his elder sister Maria Anna. By the way his diversion to Moravia was purely coincidental. Originally the Mozart’s were to perform at the wedding of the Empress Maria Theresa’s daughter but immediately before the wedding Vienna was hit by an epidemic of smallpox to which the young bride succumbed immediately afterwards. For fear of becoming infected the Mozart’s set out northwards to Brno, the home of the brother of their patron Count Schrattenbach from Salzburg. Then they moved on to Olomouc where the sickly little Mozart underwent medical treatment for nearly two months. Even here the brilliant boy was not idle; he composed most of his 6th symphony in F Major. On Christmas Eve the Mozart’s were back in Brno and this time they stayed for two weeks. The family was again accommodated in the palace of Count Schrattenbach in Kobližná Street. Today this building houses the Jiří Mahen Library. A plaque on the building commemorates the Mozart family’s stay in Brno. In the footsteps of W. A. Mozart in South Moravia Reduta Theatre, Zelný trh, Brno Statue of W. A. Mozart, Zelný trh (Vegetable Market), Brno Commemorative plaque, Schrattenbach Palace, Kobližná Street 4/1, Brno (a Mozart “Kugeln” is placed in the entrance to the building)
Otakar Kubín-Coubine Otakar Kubín (Othon Coubine in French) was born 22 October 1883 to the family of Jan Kubín, bookseller in Boskovice. At the age of 15 years Otakar enrolled at the teacher’s college in Brno but because already at that time his life was painting he prevailed upon his parents to let him study sculpture in Hořice. In 1900 Otakar Kubín enrolled at the Academy in Prague. After graduation Kubín earned his first salary drawing documentation during speleological explorations of Karel Absolon to the Moravian Carst. In 1912 he left for France and stayed there for 40 years and became a French painter. At first he lived in Paris and then moved to Provence. For the French people he discovered the charm of the landscape in Provence and in the 1920’s and 1930’s his paintings of Provence brought him fame. After World War I, Pablo Picasso came to visit Kubín in Provence and supported his neoclassical artistic belief. In 1951 Kubín moved back to Czechoslovakia with his second wife. They usually stayed in Prague only during winter and in summer they stayed in Kubín’s home town Boskovice; the town had adapted a flat for their famous native in a residence near the chateau. In October 1964 the couple left Czechoslovakia for France and never came back again. Kubín died in Marseille and was buried in the small town of Apt, the native town of his second wife Berthe. In the footsteps of Otakar Kubín in South Moravia Monument with bust in the place where his native house used to stand, in the small park in Kpt. Jaroš Street in Boskovice Plaque on the building called Residence where he stayed. Hradní Street, Boskovice Otakar Kubín’s Gallery, Masaryk Square 1/3, Boskovice
Alfons Mucha Famous Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative designer of world-wide importance, was born on 24 July 1869 in the town of Ivančice to the family of a court usher Ondřej Mucha. He came into the world in the rear wing of the courthouse in Ivančice where a monument was built in his honour. Ondřej Mucha had six children. Alfons’s artistic talent for drawing had been evident since his early childhood. In 1872 he entered the Slovanské Gymnasium in Brno and because he had an extraordinary flair not only for arts but also for singing he earned some money on the side as a choirboy in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on Petrov Hill. In 1877 Alfons Mucha returned to Ivančice because his father had found him a job as a municipal clerk. The following year Alfons applied to the Academy of Visual Arts in Prague but was unable to gain admission. He worked with an amateur theatre painting theatrical scenery and posters and designing invitation cards. In the autumn of 1879 Alfons Mucha left for Vienna where he got a job as assistant in a firm making stage sets where he worked as painter of theatrical scenery. When in 1881 a fire destroyed the Ringtheater, the most important customer of his employer, Mucha, as the youngest employee, was laid off. He moved back to Moravia to the town of Mikulov where he earned his living, among others, by
doing freelance portrait painting. Alfons Mucha’s talent drew the attention of Count Khuen-Belasi who commissioned him to decorate the Emmahof Castle in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou and the Castle Gandegg in the Tyrol. The Count was so impressed by Mucha’s painting that he decided to sponsor his formal training at the Academy in Munich and at the Julian and Colarossi Academies in Paris. A radical turning point in his life came about in 1894 with a more or less chance demand of the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt for a poster. Mucha did well and was offered an exclusive contract for a period of six years; among others he also designed the actress’s dresses and hair styles. Mucha’s decorative style was so popular that it even bore his name. The French called it “Le styl Mucha” and for them it was a synonym for Art Nouveau. Alfons Mucha became an artist of world renown as painter, graphic artist, painter of posters, author of jewellery and decorative objects. In 1904 he left for USA where he joined the Slavonic patriotic movement. At that time his idea was born to paint the Slavic Epic, his final great work of art which he began after he returned to the Czech Lands in 1910 and finished it in 1928. The Slavic Epic is a series of 20 monumental canvasses depicting the history of the Czech and other Slavic peoples. Since 1963 the Slav Epic has been on display at the Chateau in Moravský Krumlov. It is also worth mentioning that Mucha designed banknotes and postage stamps for the independent Republic of Czechoslovakia. Alfons Mucha died on 14 July 1939 in Prague. In the footsteps of Alfons Mucha in South Moravia Slav Epic – Moravský Krumlov, chateau Alfons Mucha Memorial – Ivančice In 1935 a commemorative plaque was installed on the building of today’s Hotel Tanzberg in Mikulov which the Nazis destroyed. The author of the substitute commemorative plaque is Nikos Armutidis Slavonic Gymnasium, today’s Gymnasium in the Třída Kpt. Jaroše Street – Brno Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on Petrov Hill – Brno Museum of the Brno district, Museum in Ivančice
Bohumil Hrabal The most famous writer of modern 20th century Czechoslovak literature is a native of Židenice quarter in Brno (1914). A memorial plaque was installed on his native house in an inconspicuous street in Židenice, where he spent the first three years of his life. He was born to an unmarried mother Marie Kiliánová. His godfather at baptism, lemonade merchant František Hrabal, adopted him two years later. Apart from his life at the Brno periphery, young Hrabal also experienced totally different environment: the contemporary intellectual elite gathering in the Obřany quarter villa of his uncle Bohuslav Kilián, whose impact on Hrabal‘s later works was essential. The Hrabal family then moved to Polná and later to Nymburk where František (appearing in Hrabal‘s novels as Francin) became an accountant in the local brewery. Bohumil Hrabal was however still to spend a certain period of time in Židenice. In September of 1925, he started to attend the first grade of the Czech grammar school in Brno (the present Grammar School in Kapitána Jaroše Street). He failed the very first school year and he had to repeat the first grade under his parents‘ supervision at the state technical secondary school in Nymburk. As an adult, Bohumil Hrabal almost never visited Brno. He died in Prague after a fall from a fifth-floor window in the Bulovka hospital on February 3, 1997. In the footsteps of Bohumil Hrabal in South Moravia Memorial plaque: Balbínova 47/01 Memorial: Balbínova 53/01, park at the end of the street
Robert Musil Austrian writer and innovator of the modern European novel, Musil spent part of his boyhood in Brno. When he was eleven years old his father Alfred won a professorial post at the Technical University in Brno where the family moved. They lived in Jaselská Street where a plaque on the house commemorates that he lived here. He spent more than ten years of his childhood and adolescence in Brno and he visited his parents in their flat until they passed away in 1924. On his father’s side his roots were Moravian; Robert’s great-grandfather was a small peasant in Rychtářov near Vyškov. In Brno young Musil attended the gymnasium in Eliščina třída Street (Husova Street of today) and later the Technical University. In the German-language-speaking environment Robert Musil is considered to be one of the most important writers-thinkers of the first half of the 20th century. His monumental novel “The Man without Qualities” (in Czech 1980, 1998) remained unfinished, nonetheless in it Musil managed to map to perfection the crisis of modern European culture. Robert Musil died in poverty during his Swiss exile in the middle of World War 2. In the footsteps of Robert Musil in South Moravia Plaque: Jaselská Street 10 (former Augustiánská Street) other addresses in Brno: Tivoli Street 29, now Jiráskova Street 29 (1891–1894), Údolní Street 28 (1894–1897)
Leoš Janáček Leoš Janáček was a world-renowned composer whose life was connected to Brno. His music is valued above all for its unusual melody, based on regional Moravian folk music, from the Slovácko and Lašsko regions in particular, and speech tunelets. Janáček is known worldwide mainly thanks to his operas, his orchestral-vocal piece the Glagolithic Mass, Sinfonietta, the symphonic poem Taras Bulba and chamber pieces mainly for string quartets. It is not a coincidence that the Brno opera house bears his name. Leoš Janáček, one of the most original phenomena in modern Czech and world music, was born in Hukvaldy in northeastern Moravia on July 3, 1854. His poor parents sent little Leoš to school at the Augustinian Monastery in Brno in 1865. In 1869 he started at the Teaching Institute, which was located in the building where the Faculty of Architecture is today on Poříčí Street. Janáček became Pavel Křížkovský’s assistant choir director at the Starobrněnská Basilica. Křížkovský recommended Janáček study at the Prague Organ School. He received further musical education in Leipzig and Vienna.
Leoš Janáček married his sixteen-year-old student Zdeňka Schulzová. At first the young married couple lived on Měšťanská Street (now Křížová Street) in Staré Brno; after their daughter Olga was born on August 15, 1882 they lived at 2 Klášterní (now Mendlovo) náměstí. Janáček’s first great work was created here. Janáček’s son Vladimír (1888-1890) was born and died here. The composer completed his piece “Jenůfa” when his beloved daughter Olga died in 1903. In his most prolific years as a composer (1910 to 1928) Janáček lived in a garden house at what was at one time an organ school. Today an exposition devoted to the composer’s legacy is located here as well. It includes Janáček’s study and piano; in another part of the house there is a modern exposition that gives basic textual and visual information about the life of the composer and evokes his most famous works. It is also possible to listen to music and to watch documentary films. Leoš Janáček, one of the most famous composers in the world, died in the Ostrava Hospital on August 12, 1928 of pneumonia. He is buried in the Central Cemetery in Brno. In the footsteps of Leoš Janáček in South Moravia The Leoš Janáček Monument (Brno) The Fojtství Museum and the Primary School (Kozlovice) Commemorative plaque, Brno, The Starobrněnský (Old Brno) Monastery, Mendlovo náměstí Square 1/7 (Janáček grew up here from 1865) Commemorative plaque, Brno, The Teachers’ Education Institute. He taught here from 1878-1904, Poříčí 5/01 Leoš Janáček Birthplace (Hukvaldy) Memorial, Štramberk
Hugo Haas and Pavel Haas Hugo Haas, the famous Czech actor and director, was born on 18 February 1901 in Brno into the family of a shoe trader Zikmund Haas. In the strongly germanised Brno the Jewish trader professed to be Czech and both of his sons, Pavel and Hugo, attended Czech schools. The elder Pavel studied composition at the conservatoire with Leoš Janáček and the younger Hugo wanted to be a singer. They lived near the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Biskupská Street. After graduating from the conservatoire Hugo won engagement in the National Theatre in Brno. In 1925 he joined the company of players of the National Theatre in Prague. During the First Republic (period between the world wars) he became famous particularly for his film roles. In 1939 he received a notice and had to leave the theatre for racial reasons and in April he fled to USA with his wife Bibi. Hugo Haas made it in America, not only as an actor in Hollywood, but also as a screen writer, director and producer. He died on 1 December 1968 in Vienna and at his own request his urn was placed next to his mother in the Jewish Cemetery in Brno. His brother Pavel, outstanding music composer, stayed in the occupied protectorate. At the end of 1941 he was deported to Terezín and from there to Auschwitz where he died in the gas chamber in 1944. On 29 April 1997 a memorial tablet was unveiled to the Haas brothers on the house in Biskupská Street No. 8 where both artists had lived with their parents. In the footsteps of Hugo and Pavel Haas Grave at the Jewish Cemetery in Brno Memorial tablet, Biskupská Street 8, Brno
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach Great German-writing Moravian writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach was born on 13 September 1830 at Zdislavice Castle near Kroměříž. She came from an old Moravian family of Dubský. At the age of eighteen she married her cousin Moritz von Ebner Eschenbach, physicist and chemist, who served in the Austrian army. The couple spent the years 1851–1863 in Louka near Znojmo where the Engineering Academy where Moritz was professor was transferred. They often went to the Lešná Chateau not far from Valašské Meziříčí where Marie visited her niece and also to the Dubský family residence in the Lysice Chateau. Today the Chateau houses a permanent exhibition devoted to this exceptional writer who is still very popular in Austria. The exhibition has been installed in two rooms in the settlement built in front of the chateau. The first room is a memorial to the writer; the second room holds an exhibition reawakening the theatre at the Lysice Chateau where plays were staged until 1902 when it burnt down with all the costumes and wings. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach had a great passion for the theatre; however it was her prose that brought her fame. In 1898 she was awarded the Cross of Honour by Emperor Francis Joseph for her literary activities. In 1890 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach died on 12 March 1916 and is buried in the family vault of the Dubsky counts at Zdislavice Castle. In the footsteps of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach in South Moravia Lysice – permanent exhibition Zdislavice near Zdounky – classicist burial vault of the Dubský family Louka near Znojmo – monastery Lešná near Valašské Meziříčí, Chateau
Magdalena Kožená Magdalena Kožená was born to a mathematician father and a biologist mother in Brno. She went to an art elementary school and sang in the Kantiléna children‘s choir. She originally wanted to study piano at the Brno Conservatoire, but fate struck when she injured her hand during physical education before the entrance examinations. She then passed the examination for the singing department. In the end she graduated from the Brno Conservatoire in singing as well as piano in 1991. She continued her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava from 1991 to 1995. Her first international success came at the 6th International Mozart Competition in 1995 in Salzburg, where she won in the singing category and was declared the first absolute winner of this prestigious competition. At home her success went without much notice, and therefore she went on to the Viennese Volksoper. Since then she has been attracting attention from the greatest opera houses in Europe and the entire world. This world-class mezzo-soprano always makes it back to her hometown to see her mother and friends, whenever time allows it. Kožená has two sons, Jonáš and Miloš, with her husband, acclaimed British conductor Simon Rattle. They live in Berlin. She does not hide her fondness for Renaissance and Baroque authors, visual arts and poetry however, and has been promoting Czech and Moravian music abroad. In the footsteps of Magdalena Kožená Conservatoire, Brno Besední dům (the Neo-Renaissance concert hall) in Brno
Milan Kundera Probably the best known contemporary Czech prose writer abroad, who is also a playwright, translator, and essayist, is a native of Brno. He was born on April Fool‘s Day in 1929 in the family of a musicologist and the first Vice-Chancellor of Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Ludvík Kundera. He graduated from the Grammar School in Kapitána Jaroše Street in Brno. After the GCSE examination in 1948, he enrolled at the department of literary science and aesthetics of Faculty of Arts at Charles University. After two semesters, he changed his mind and decided to study at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). After his graduation, he started teaching world literature at FAMU – first as an assistant, starting from 1958 as a lecturer, and as an associate professor from 1964. Besides, he was devoted to studying music, composition, and piano playing until he was 25. His lectures at FAMU abruptly ended in 1970 when he was dismissed as politically undesirable and he left to France in 1975. After the publication of his novel Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979), which labels the president Gustáv Husák as “president of forgetting”, he became deprived of Czechoslovak citizenship. He thus remained in France where he was later granted new citizenship. He taught at the University in Rennes and from 1980 in the position of a full professor at École des Hautes Études in Paris. He carefully avoids the media so that the only certain information at our disposal is that he lives in Paris with his wife Věra, a former Brno TV announcer. He travelled to his home town after 1989 but, typically for him, incognito. In the footsteps of Milan Kundera in South Moravia Grammar School in Kpt. Jaroše Street, Brno
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe To all intents and purposes the personality of the famous German architect and designer is not exactly linked with South Moravia. Nevertheless he created a masterpiece of modern architecture of world importance. We are naturally speaking of the monument entered in the UNESCO World Cultural list, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, Černopolní Street No. 45. Mies built the famous villa in Brno in 1928 – 30 for Fritz and Greta Tugendhat who came from families of prominent Jewish textile industrialists in Moravia and Brno. The Tugendhat couple wanted a house of “clear-cut and simple shapes”. Mies accomplished this task splendidly; he used luxurious materials and very modern technology. The villa with slim steel columns, air-conditioning, captivating wall made of rare onyx and large panes of the windows mechanically sliding down into the floor, is an absolutely perfect technological and aesthetic creation. In December 1930 the family moved into the villa but they enjoyed it only until May 1938 when they fled from the Nazis; first to Switzerland and then to Venezuela. After World War 2 the villa was used as a dance studio and rehabilitation centre. In 1981–1985 the building was restored and remodelled for the city’s ceremonial purposes. Since 1994 the villa has been open to the public. In the footsteps of Miese van der Rohe in South Moravia Villa Tugendhat, Černopolní 45, Brno
Bohuslav Fuchs Prominent architect, city planner, teacher and designer Bohuslav Fuchs was the leading representative of Czech functionalism, the so-called architectonic school of Brno. His avant-garde buildings helped to transform Brno into a modern city and his thoughts and artistic value rank him among the everlasting works of Czech modernist architecture. Born in Všechovice pod Hostýnem Fuchs settled in Brno in 1923 when he accepted an offer to work at the Building Office of the Brno municipality. In 1925 Fuchs took the office of head of the department of the Building Office where he remained until 1929. During this period he designed his most important structures: Café Zeman, baths in Zábrdovice, Masaryk students’ hall of residence in Cihlářská Street, Moravská banka Bank in náměstí Svobody Square (in cooperation with Arnošt Wiesner), Eliška Machová hall of residence in the neighbourhood of the Vesna school, Pavilion of the city of Brno for the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture at the Brno exhibition grounds and above all his master design comparable with the work of architects of world renown, the Hotel Avion in Česká Street. Towards the close of the so-called “first republic” (period between the two world wars) he designed the buildings of the regional military headquarters in Kounicova Street and the railway post office. Professor Bohuslav Fuchs is buried in a place of honour at the Central Cemetery in Brno. On the occasion of his centenary (1995) his monument was unveiled in a small park on the corner of Neumannova and Lipova streets in the Pisárky quarter of Brno. In the footsteps of Bohuslav Fuchs in South Moravia Hotel Avion in Česká Street, Brno Zemanova kavárna (Café Zeman), Brno Municipal Baths in Zábrdovice, Brno Masaryk students’ hall of residence in Cihlářská Street, Brno Moravská banka Bank in náměstí Svobody Square, Brno
Dušan Samo Jurkovič A Slovak architect, furniture designer and ethnographer. Dušan Samo Jurkovič was a distinctive representative of Art Nouveau architecture. He created a very distinctive “national style” that was markedly influenced by folk architecture. We can trace Jurkovič’s roots in working with folk forms back to his family life; his father was a well-known Slovak patriot, and his mother was an expert on folk art. After studying in Vienna and gaining work experience in the Slovak city of Martin and in Vsetín, he started working as an independent architect in Brno in 1896. The stimulus for his move to Brno was an offer to design the furniture of the Vesna Girls’ School’s dormitory. He created several architectural works in Brno. Of greatest significance is his villa in Žabovřesky that was designed in 1905 and built the following year, and is a unique example of the synthesis of folk art and contemporary stimuli from the Viennese Modern and British design. Jurkovič’s villa is one of the most important architectural monuments from the turn of the 20th century in Brno. The Moravian Gallery in Brno has acquired Jurkovič’s villa. By 2010 they want to repair it, dedicate it to Dušan Jurkovič and
his creative works, and open it up to visitors. Those interested may follow the progress of work on the building online (http:// www.moravska-galerie.cz/cs/projekty/on-line-rekonstrukce/ on-line-rekonstrukce/). This work, and the buildings designed by Jurkovič in Pustevny, Luhačovice and at the palace in Nové Město nad Metují, form the main body of his preserved works in the Czech Republic. The Biedermeier principles of Viennese Modern architecture can be detected in the apartment building of Bohumil Škarda (1908), who was the owner of the glass factory that supplied the glass for the mosaics in Jurkovič’s villa. In the footsteps of Dušan Jurkovič in South Moravia The Jurkovič Villa, Brno, 2 Jana Nečase Street (currently not regularly open to the public) B. Škarda Apartment Building, 1908, Dvořákova Street, Brno
Adolf Loos Born in Brno in 1870 to the family of a stonemason and sculptor, Adolf Loos is a highly regarded architect and one of the most clamant campaigners for economy and functionality in architecture. In today’s Kounicova Street No. 6 at the place where Loos’s native house once stood a memorial tablet was erected in 1970. The Hotel Continental now stands on the site. Little Adolf attended elementary school in Brno. At the age of 10 years he entered the higher gymnasium in Brno, later the gymnasium in Jihlava. It seems that constant changes were part of his youth: at 13 years of age he moved to the gymnasium in Melk, in Austria; at 17 years of age he was a student in Liberec but he passed his examination for the school-leaving certificate at the age of 19 years again in Brno, at the German School of Applied Arts. He is a classic of modernist architecture and author of a number of projects and buildings in the Czech lands built between 1890 and 1933. The landmark of Loos’s architecture is the family house built for František Müller in Prague which is an excellent document of Loos’s original conception of spatial design known as Raumplan. His most important structures in Moravia were built for the Bauer family of sugar-makers. In 1914 on the premises of the sugar refinery in Hrušovany near Brno he built a villa for the director of the company and then probably also the new building of the main factory. Later he was involved in redecorating the interior of Bauerův zámeček (Bauer’s manor house) which today stands within the premises of the Brno exhibition centre. In the footsteps of Adolf Loos in South Moravia Remodelling of the house in Jiráskova Street in Brno, 1910 Villa and factory building on the premises of the sugar refinery in Hrušovany near Brno, 1914 and 1916–1922 Design of a house for Hermann Konstandt in Olomouc, after 1914 (was not built) Remodelling of the manor house of Viktor Bauer in Brno (ca 1925),
Issued by Centrála cestovního ruchu – Jižní Morava, z. s. p. o. (South-Moravian Tourist Authority) Radnická 2, 602 00 Brno www.ccrjm.cz Text Pavel Galík Graphics Ladislav Němeček Translation BM Business Consultants, s.r.o. Facsimile from archives and collections provided by Brno City Archive (AMB) (7, 8, 12, 16, 19, 22, 24, 34) Benedictine Abbey in Rajhrad (4) C.E.M.A. – Central European Music Agency (40) Mendelianum, Moravian Museum Brno (20) Moravian Library Brno (14, 23, 44) Museum of Boskovice Region in Boskovice (31) Museum of J.A. Komenský in Uherský Brod (3) Brno City Museum (10, 13, 25, 38, 42, 43) Moravian Museum Brno – Department of the history of music (30, 36) Regional Museum in Žďár nad Sázavou (6, photo Zdeněk Málek) Technical Museum Brno (28) Museum of Brno Region in Ivančice (32) Profimedia. CZ (18, 35, 41) Museum of Applied Arts in Prague (46) www.celysvet.cz (26) Lysice Chateau (39) Slavkov (Austerlitz) Chateau (7) Production Propag servis Brno, s.r.o. Advertum, s.r.o. Print Printing house EXPODATA-DIDOT, spol. s r.o. Year of issue 2009