Brno, the bargin tourist's Czech choice Sep 15, 2013
Brno is the second city to Prague. It is an excellent choice for the canny budget traveler as not only is it a Ryanair destination, but it is also located within easy reach of Prague ( two hours), Vienna ( one hour forty five minutes ) and Bratislava ( one and a half hours ).
Bruno is predominantly a working city, but that is not to say that it does not have its own attractions. The cobbled town square which is lined with pleasant cafes, has some interesting buildings as well as a lovely modern fountain and arty bullet shaped clock.
Though not on the scale of Prague, there are several fine art nouveau buildings.
The fruit and vegetable market has been in the same location since the middle ages and you can visit the network of cellars beneath the square and learn about their use to store produce in the time before refrigeration.
The old town hall, which now houses the tourist information office has a distinctive entrance, with a crooked central spire. Legend has it that a disgruntled stonemason bent the spire in revenge for being swindled out of his originally agreed payment.
The crypt of the Capuchin Monastery is not for the faint hearted, housing as it does the naturally mummified remains of the monks as well as several prominent citizens.
Joseph Mendel, known as the father of modern genetics, carried out his ground breaking experiments at the abbey here. There is a museum to him there, but unfortunately neither his garden or greenhouse remain.
And finally, the most famous building in Brno is the UNESCO world heritage listed Villa Tugenhat, a fine example of 1930`s functional design which, with its clean, sharp form and use of light and space, was about 30 years ahead of its time. Tickets to visit the house are limited and tend to sell out about six weeks in advance, but you can just turn up access to the garden for 50 CK, roughly €2.
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