Local traditions and culture in Brno

  • Fireworks above Petrov
    Fireworks above Petrov
    by Veroali
  • Starbrno local beer
    Starbrno local beer
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  • Music band
    Music band
    by Veroali

Most Viewed Local Customs in Brno

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    Finding an Apartment - bezrealitky.cz

    by LeeRobertAdams Written Jun 17, 2011

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    The Brno rental market exists in a state of constant flux, enhanced by the high turnover of students to-ing and fro-ing around the city.

    First port of call - www.bezrealitky.cz - a website devoted to helping potential tenants hook up with potential landlords & ladies, cutting out the shiny suited, commission pocketing middlemen.

    It's in Czech, but not too hard to figure out with the help of Google Translate, and enables you to specify the amount of rooms you want, price range, etc.

    Helpfully, all the properties that match your chosen criteria are tagged on Google Maps for you, so you don't have to waste your time checking out places in unsuitable locations.

    Photos are usually provided, along with price per month, amount of rooms, and floorspace in square meters. Common things to look out for are - does the apartment have a lift if it's on a high floor? Does it have a terrace or balcony? Does the price include utilities?

    If emailing to inquire about a place you like the look of, it might be worth getting a Czech friend to help you draft a template in Czech - sometimes landlords will shy away from replying if they don't speak English very well.

    Viewings can be a pleasurable adventure, as many places for rent can be pretty unusual or eccentric - flats where you enter through the bathroom; tiny loft apartments with secret doors to larger, Edward Scissorhands-like attic spaces; floating floors with shin high beams to step across.

    With time and perseverance you should be able to find an apartment that suits your taste, your budget and your ideal location. Landlords are usually flexible to a certain extent, but will normally expect a month's rent as deposit, and for you to sign a year's contract. This is in itself flexible, and you can extricate yourself from most contracts with a month's notice.

    www.bezrealitky.cz
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    The "Eastern European" Thing

    by LeeRobertAdams Updated Jun 12, 2011

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    The Czechs sometimes get a bit touchy about their country's status in the modern world, and one sure fire way to make a Czech look like a cat sniffing it's own fart is to refer to them as "Eastern European".

    They may point out that Vienna is further East than both Prague and Brno, and geographically speaking, the Czech Republic is about as central European as it's possible to get.

    Some younger modern Czechs, particularly those who have spent time abroad, can seem embarrassed by the non-progressive thinking of their older generations (or less-educated friends), may agree that while Central geographically, mentally the country is still Eastern European.

    It's still dodgy ground, though. If the old definition of East and West (ie. which side of the Iron Curtain you were on) could be measured in time, Prague is perhaps 15 years further East than London, rapidly closing the gap on Vienna, while Brno is maybe five to ten years Eastward of Prague.

    Generally, they despise being called Eastern European, because to them it lumps them in with countries like Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and to some extent Poland, all of which the Czechs consider themselves far superior to.

    And if you want to avoid looking like a complete buffoon, never call the country "Czechoslovakia" - that was almost twenty years ago, and it's amazing how many times people still use that anachronism.

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    Making Basil Fawlty Seem Helpful & Polite...

    by LeeRobertAdams Updated Sep 6, 2010

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    If you have never visited the Czech Republic before, there is something you should be prepared for...rudeness!

    It's an often discussed topic, and there are a number of theories to explain the phenomenon of blunt, blank faced, belligerent, sarcastic, huffing and puffing, tutting and eye-rolling, hostile, lazy and sheer bloody-minded rudeness foreigners frequently encounter in this country.

    I've spoken to Czech colleagues about it, and it's reassuring to know that they suffer from the same kind of thing, and are quite embarassed or angry about it.

    From the waitress who wants to finish sending her text message before belittling herself to take your order, to the middle-aged jobsworth on the till at Tesco's who rations out the shopping bags as if they're her own personal property, the backward-thinking mentality when it comes to 'Customer Service' is almost universal in this town.

    No joke - it actually becomes a talking point when you receive friendly, decent service once in a while!

    It's a weird trait of the Czechs, who once you get behind the stony, unsmiling facade are one of the most generous people I've met.

    There's no real way of dealing with it, other than to take it and get on with your day - there's no point trying to admonish someone for rudeness, or trying to explain that YOU are trying to spend YOUR money in THEIR establishment, thereby paying THEIR wages or contributing to THEIR profits.

    They simply don't see it that way. They'd sooner watch you walk out the door after waiting fifteen minutes in an empty restaurant than cut their conversation short to come see what you want.

    Even after living here for eighteen months, some altercations can leave me infuriated or sometimes quite shaken up! Last time was when I got told off in the supermarket for not putting a divider on the conveyor belt between my shopping and the person in front...

    Just laugh it off is the best advice I can give - sometimes the rudeness can reach farcical levels, so enjoy!

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    Shopping malls

    by lehmus Updated Jul 28, 2009

    What's wrong with you people? Spending weekends with your families at shopping and amusement centers! Grab the kids and go for a walk in woods! They are growing fat and stupid!
    Unfortunately, more hideous malls are being built around and in Brno. If you can, keep away.

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    Ignis Brunensis

    by Veroali Written May 24, 2009

    This is already eleventh year of Ignis Brunensis in Brno. It is a competition of fireworks among countries, mostly Portugal, Spain, Austria... Czech republic, of course. For more than a week there are fireworks, begin above the cathedral Petrov, then in the Brno lake and the last one above the castle Spilberk. This competition is accompanied by great cultural programs, carnival, performances in theaters and many other activities.
    It starts every year in the end of May.

    Fireworks above Petrov Fireworks above Petrov
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    Folklore

    by Veroali Updated Nov 25, 2008

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    In Brno, and all Moravia, music is strongly kept as a custom. Many concerts of folklore music or just for dancing and enjoying take place very often in every village. People wears special clothes- folk costumes, which are inherited in families.

    Music band
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    Francouzsky Cisar Napoleon I

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    Napoleon I was living in the augustinian monastery for a few days in 1805 and this plate in front of the monastery still reminds of that visit.
    The inscription is b.t.w. only in french and czech - it might be impossible to read it on my picture in the small pics of VT....

    ...so I copied the text for everyone, beeing interested to read it :

    L'empereur Napoleon I
    séjourna dans cette maison
    du 20 au 28 novembre 1805
    du 7 au 12 décembre 1805
    et du 16 au 18 septembre 1809
    Il y ayait établi
    le quartier general
    de la grande
    armée

    when reading that text, I get the feeling it was not really a vacation that took him to Brno / Brünn, but rather his special kind of business...

    the augustinian monastery & Napoleon
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    great art nouveau gems

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    When walking through Brno / Brünn you will see a lot fo great Art Nouveau buildings dating back to the time before WW I, when Brno was still part of the Austrian empire.
    The area of Brünn was at that time populated mainly by Austrians (60% of the population were german-speaking in 1914)
    my father was born there in 1918 and moved to Vienna when he was 4 years old .
    In 1980 I returned with him and we were searching for the old house.

    great Art Nouveau buildings in Brno / Br��nn
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    Another great dragon in Brno / Brünn

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    You may walk inside the new townhall of Brno / Brünn and in the large inner-court you may see 4 of these really giant dragons at the 4 corners of the court.
    Their only purpose is to spit out the rain-water and to add of course to the beauty of the archtecture.
    You may walk into that court freely and without restrictions and will find also some great paintings and sculptures.
    Quite a lot fo people obviously walk through that court also , when they want to go quickly from Husova to the centre of town.

    oooooooo oooooooooo ooooooooooooo oooooooooooooo oooooooooooo
    It is a pity the small picture looks a bit strange, but when you click on my pic it looks a lot better !

    another dragon in new townhall of Brno / Br��nn

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    SHAME on you, master Pilgram !!

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    The old townhall dates back to 1311 and the tower was added in 1489.
    The gothic decorations on the tower were made by master Pilgram, and when you click on my picture, you may see that the spire in the midlle looks a bit like master Pilgram drank too much...

    There is a certain rumor that he made it that way, simply because he was not propperly payed by the city of Brno / Brünn.
    That was at least a funny way of protest and the protest is still working and everybody knows about the greedy officials of that time.

    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    B.t.w.:Master Pilgrim was born in Brno / Brünn and also the architect of the interior of St.Stephens-cathedral / Stefansdom in Vienna.
    And when you take a look at the pulpit in Stephansdom, you may see a small sculpture of a face looking out of a window - it is master Pilgram himself and it is called "Der Fenstergucker"

    Shame on you, master Pilgram !!
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    The catacombes of the capucines / Kapuzinergruft

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    The catacombes of the capucines are devided into several rooms of different sizes, and most of them are closed by a glass-wall or an iron-fence, so you may see everything without beeing able to touch anything or take a really close look.
    Only the coffin of Freiherr von der Trenck is an exception.
    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    Click on my picture and you may see a group of monks in their traditional costumes, and the 2nd from the right is even smiling a bit
    :-)

    The catacombes of the Capucines in Brno / Br��nn
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    the catacombes of the capucines /Kapuzinergruft

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    In many places in Europe you may find catacombes under the Capucine-churches and mostly you will see a strange way to show the dead bodies.
    The Capuchine-church in Brno / Brünn is in the very centre of town and for a small entrance-fee you may go there and see it for yourself.

    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    On my picture : Franz Freiherr von der Trenck who lived 1711-1749
    In Czechia he is called Frantisek Svobodny pan Trenck .
    His corps is shown in the very first hall and you may walk around his cofin that has a glass-top and you may look inside...
    The head of him was stolen a long time ago and replaced by another head

    Franz Freiherr von der Trenck in Brno
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    Franz Freiherr von der Trenck

    by globetrott Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    Franz Freiherr von der Trenck ( 1711 - 1749 ) was a daredivil and the commander of a troup of soldiers, called "Panduren" he took part in several wars, mostly sucessful and always he was fighting in the first row of his men.
    Finally he was taken into prison in Brno / Brünn, where he died after having taken a poison.
    He gave most of his posessions to the capucine monastery and that is the reason, why you may still see him in the catacombes of the church.
    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    All those of you beeing able to understand german, may click on the link below for the long story of adventures of Freiherr von der Trenck.
    And it also shows a drawing of the uniform of the "Panduren", who looked rather like turks and not like troops of empress Maria Theresia...

    Franz Freiherr von der Trenck
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    A wooden wheel & another legend

    by globetrott Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    The wheel that you may see fixed next to the crocodile is part of another legend :
    A carpenter from Lednice / Eisgrub did bet, that he would be able to make such a wheel within only one day, including the cutting down of the tree, making the wheel and rolling it from Lednice to Brno all by himself - a distance of about 40 km.
    He succeded to do so in may 14th ,1636 and the wheel is shown since that time in the old townhall.
    Afterwards plenty of people had the feeling, he must have had help by the devil...
    From this perspective you may also see that the crocodile has a total length of about 6 meters
    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    in 1994 2 young men tried to do the same, but ended soon in the next inn...

    the wheel & the crocodile of Brno / Br��nn
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    Sic transit Gloria mundi

    by globetrott Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    "Sic transit Gloria Mundi" - this is where all the glory on earth will lead to one day - this is the inscription in the back of this hall.

    what a nice way of telling the people, that after the death everybody will be the same, no matter whether they were rich or poor on earth...

    ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
    All of the coffins in this room of the Capucine catacombs have a cover made of glass, and you may still see the dried bodies of people who died more than 200 years ago.
    It is the special kind of ventilation in the catacombes that makes the bodies and faces dry out but not fall apart even after hundreds of years...

    the catacombs of the Capucines in Brno
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Brno Local Customs

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