A unique Functionalist villa dominates the slope of Brno’s Černé Pole. Designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, it is one of the fundamental works of modern architecture and is renowned worldwide. Van der Rohe designed the villa for the Tugendhats, a Jewish couple. The villa’s interior is rich in exotic materials, such as the famous onyx wall from Morocco, Italian travertine, or rare ebony veneers from Southeast Asia. It boasts a number of technical inventions uncommon of that era such as central heating, electric windows, and a photocell at the entrance. Villa Tugendhat is a pearl of Functionalist architecture. It rightfully belongs on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You don’t want to miss it.
The second UNESCO monument in South Moravia is the Lednice-Valtice area. It is no coincidence that it has been nicknamed the Garden of Europe. It is a large park with lots of trees, flowers, and small romantic buildings left here by the famous Liechtenstein family. The axis of the area consists of a baroque chateau in Valtice and a neo-Gothic chateau in Lednice.
The latter is one of the most visited places in the country. This fairytale castle is surrounded by a French garden with a greenhouse and a large landscape park. There you can find a number of architectural wonders, such as the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of the Three Graces, the Minaret, and the artificial ruins of John’s Castle. Each of these buildings can be the destination of a separate trip or you can go on a long journey through the area and see them all one-by-one.
Below the streets of the historic towns you will find large underground spaces, which were created by connecting the original cellars of townhouses. These served as a storehouse for their owners and even as a shelter during the war. One such underground labyrinth is hidden under Zelný Trh in Brno. It is almost three kilometers long and includes an alchemical laboratory, a wine cellar, a historic tavern, a replica of a city pillory, and a cage of fools. The largest underground in South Moravia is under Znojmo. It is almost 27 km long and in some places it even has 4 floors. Several sightseeing routes await you. Adrenaline fans can try a challenging journey through small manholes, narrow corridors, water, and mud. Go underground and enjoy the atmosphere of South Moravia from a slightly different perspective.
In South Moravia you will find a large number of chapels, churches, and magnificent cathedrals such as Brno’s Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Brno also has the Gothic Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is part of the originally Cistercian and later Augustinian monastery. Thanks to the Augustinians’ efforts in the field of education, the adjacent abbey was a center for both spiritual and scientific life. The founder of genetics Gregor Johann Mendel and the composer Leoš Janáček also worked here.
Another church in Brno that is worth mentioning is the Church of St. James on Jakubské náměstí, under which the former burial ground and cellars of the old ossuary were discovered in 2011. It is the second-largest in Europe in terms of the number of bodily remains. Today, the Constance at St. James is a place of reverence and at the same time a popular tourist attraction.
Open-air museums, folklore architecture
Explore how people used to live and work. Discover ancient mills, churches, craft workshops, cottages, and farms. Enjoy the beauty of traditional cuisine. You’ll find one of the most famous Moravian open-air museums in Strážnice. Here you can compare how life in the mountainous areas of Slovácko and the fertile part of Pomoraví differed.
However, the Strážnice open-air museum is not the only such museum in South Moravia. You can also visit the small open-air museum at Salaš Travičná. Take an instructive walk into history in one of the South Moravian open-air museums and enjoy moments of peace and harmony.