General interest, Brno
If you've got an afternoon to kill, the Minigolf Stadion on Kounicova is eighteen holes of endearingly low-fi, concrete themed fun. At 40czk for an adult it's a bargain time-frittering activity, and is also situated in a nice shady courtyard, which gives a bit of welcome respite from the heat in the summer.
By your fifth attempt of trying to get your ball to do the loop-the-loop you'll be fully immersed and won't be paying attention to the naff look of the course. They'll also sell you an ice lolly or a cold soft drink from their cabin. The neighbouring Kometa sports bar offers a decent beer garden for an aftermatch totting up of the scorecards with a cold one.
Brno's annual firework competition attracts companies from around Europe to perform their art in various spectacular locations around the city. The displays attract thousands of visitors, all eagerly awaiting the moment and 10.30pm when the first firework shoots into the sky over the Cathedral, the Castle or the Brno Dam.
It usually runs from the end of May through the first weeks of June, but check out their website for exact dates.
The fireworks are set to music, which can be tuned into on radio station Kiss Hady 88.3FM if you happen to be watching the show from a location not directly under the speakers. The city comes alive on the evenings of the displays, and public transport is packed. It's also worth heading to the venue early if you want to get a good spot.
Want to find something to do in the evenings? Kult is a monthly freebie magazine which has listings for cinema, theatre, live music, clubs, and other things of interest. It's in Czech, but with a little perseverance and perhaps a little help from Uncle Google, you should be able to find something that takes your fancy.
Distributed through many cafes and bars in the city, perhaps the easiest place to pick up a copy is Dum panu z Lipe, the fancy building on Namesti Svobody, spottable by the huge Student Agency banners hanging outside.
If you like model rails and trains and roads etc. you shouldn't miss this 165 sqm miniature world! They can even simulate night and there is also a cableway and bikers and road accident (biker run over) and people having picnic, well, I can spend hours there and still be amazed.
A so called "Festival of fun" - celebrations are held annualy in the end of May/begining of June. Fireworks, street theatres, historical vehicles, and much more. Especially the fireworks are quite famous as there is an international participation and the show is really impressive. Crowds of people everywhere, of course...
Modern architecture, a house built by L. Mies van der Rohe in 1928-30 years.
If you would like to visit the villa please do it till the end of October 2006, after that the villa will be closed for reconstruction work for approx. 3 years.
The Mitrovsky Summer House was built in the classical style, and was originally surrounded by a garden, an orangerie and a greenhouse. The house was built by Antonín Mitrovsky and subsequently changed hands often, until it ended up in the ownership of the city. During restoration work in 1962-1965 the original wall paintings were also restored. Today the Summer House is used for exhibition purposes.
If you are a motor racing fan, a trip to Brno wouldn't be complete without a trip out to the "new" TG Masaryk Automotodrom to the west of the city.
Even better would be a trip to Bosonohy to where you can still see the pit buildings from the earlier and more famous road-racing circuit.
You can take a drive along its entire length as it sped off parallel to the new motorway towards Popuvky, then the 90 degree right turn up the hill towards Bystrc and then right again through the forest before returning to Bosonohy. A long course and a true road circuit.
If you like good beers it is a must to visit the brewery of one of the best one's: Starobrno Pivovar!
It offers guided doors (only at weekdays) and has also a pertaining restaurant.
More about the brewery (including a photo of the outdoor dining area) you'll find at my restaurant tips (here).
This is one of the many nameless and still really beautiful entrance-gates I saw, when strolling through Brno / Brünn.
Maybe it was a monastery once, at a time when monasteries were also not necessarily only religious communities, but simply houses where the noblemen sent their brothers and sisters, who were left over unmarried.
And they all came equipped with some money and maybe works of art, paintings etc. - like a dowry.
This is why some of the monasteries have so many works of art today.
It is always nice to walk through a town and detect small architectoral gems like this one, that you may not find in any of your guide-books, but it still looks really great and unique.
When you click on my picture, you should not miss Poseidon, sitting on top and watching the scenery from above.
It is always nice to see that some of the rich merchants invested their money into works of art, to be seen for everyone since more than 100 years now.
Right under the 2 sphynxes and the sign "Salve" you may see these great door-knockers, showing most probably a dolphin or a whale.
Fancy Door-knockers and door-handles in Czechia - once that you have started to search for them, you cannot stop, as there are so many beautiful ones left over.
It is really great to see, that they have survived and are still working fine, although out of use today.
In Starobrnenska Nr.7 you will see one of the most interesting buildings in Brno / Brünn.
It is the building with the big faces of ladies watching the people passing by.
On my picture you may see a detail of the door of this building, that is used mainly as a restaurant today - see also my restaurant-tip !
Salve means hello in Latin
In the new townhall of Brno / Brünn you should take a closer look at the 2 big entrance-gates, beautifully decorated with great sculptures and paintings.
There are 2 eagls instead of the double-eagle of K&K Austria, and to be honest, I have no idea, what is the sense behind of this.
These sculptures certainly date back to the austrian empire.
In some of the streets in the very centre of Brno / Brünn you may still see these great and beautiful Jugendstil / Art nouveau-street-lights dating back to the time, when Brno / Brünn was still part of the Austrian empire .
It certainly was not always the fact that these old things survived because people were fond of them , but mostly they were simply not replaced by modern ones, as long as they worked well and there was not enough money in Czechia to modernize everything.