Czech Republic trip Day 6 – 25 Nov 2012 – Jamorerice Nad Rokytnou, Brno, Spilberk Fortress Castle, Marillion, St Ludmilla Church Prague.
The town of Jaromerice Nad Rokytnou is famous for having a long name, small town center, and large chateau. The chateau, like many castles and and other buildings, was closed in November (and Dec-Mar for the winter). Which saved me a bit of time. Still, the gardens and building were quite imposing, grand, and somewhat incongruous when compared to the very small town around it. Why? There’s probably more accommodation in the chateau than in the whole town. Something to ponder until I find a McDonald’s for breakfast or lunch…
On to the awkward-to-pronounce Brno (there might be a market for t-shirts that say missing u in Brno), the second largest city in the Czech Republic, and home to the UNESCO listed Tugendhat Villa, a modern home with central heating and a BBQ area. Why it’s UNESCO listed I don’t know, so I went to visit Spilberk, a very large castle overlooking Brno, with a history of being a fortress and prison during the Habsburg Empire and WWII. Now it has exhibitions, art gallery, and an interesting walk through around the castle perimeter through a tunnel where prison cells were located. The walk through the underground was more interesting than the exhibitions.
Then back to Prague to see Marillion in concert. Learnt about Czech driving during a conversation with Czech mate (haha, had to throw something corny in – he was only a mate for the duration of the conversation) went like this:
Me: How long to Prague (from Brno)?
Czechmate: 2 hours … but I drive fast.
Me: How fast?
Czechmate: 150 kph.
It took me a bit longer – 2 hrs 10 mins. But I stopped for 20 mins to get food and petrol. Czech motorways are a bit odd. The slow lane has small speed bumps, constantly. Maybe it’s to keep drivers awake but they rattle your teeth unless you drive with your mouth open (which just looks silly). Motorway petrol stations include the usual cafe, grocery shop, and also dentists to put your teeth back in.
Concert was good enough but not worth a plane trip. Anyway, the bar had been set pretty high by Muse earlier in the week.
492 – the small town with a big name – Jaromerice Nad Rokytnou – the road away from the Chateau.
494 – the chateau gardens and grounds.
521 – the chateau and church.
532 – chateau grounds.
533 – chateau and church.
548 – Brno – the yellow, red, and green apartment buildings are Panelaks (I think) – a colloquial Czech word for that style of apartment building. About a third of Czechs live in them (not just the three I took a photo of – there are more).
555 – path up to Spilberk.
559 – view of Gothic cathedral in Brno from Spilberk (looks the same as the one in Prague, so I didn’t visit it).
564 – Brno cathedral.
568 – Spilberk fortress (and it is a fortress – big walls, large, on top of a hill).
576 – historic pharmacy in Spilberk.
596 – there was a history of fireworks exhibition, how odd. Vaguely interesting. There’s an annual fireworks convention or competition in Brno.
650 – my hotel room haha. No this was not one of the prison cells.
653 – hotel dining room – they have ways of making you eat your vegetables.
670 – art gallery in Spilberk.
696 – underground prison cell in Spilberk.
709 – walking through the Spilberk dungeons.
739 – Marillion concert.
850 – gothic church in Prague near accommodation…
921 – … and Christmas market after hours.
927 – typical Prague street.