For the third year now, the Moravian capital Brno is hosting an international event that brings together representatives of various nationalities, cultures and faiths. The festival titled Meeting Brno features discussions, exhibitions, concerts, walks, screenings and much more, in an effort to prove that the city whose multicultural history was severed by the horrors and aftermaths of WWII is embracing its past and looking forward into the future.
Around 250 people took part in a 32-kilometre Pilgrimage of Reconciliation
from the town of Pohořelice to Brno on Saturday to commemorate the victims
of the post-war expulsion of Brno’s German-speaking population. The route
followed the one that the expellees must have taken but symbolically went
in the opposite direction, organisers said.
The pilgrimage, which began at the site of a May 1945 holding camp for German speakers in Pohořelice, was part of a festival entitled Meeting Brno. The first such commemoration took place in 2006.
Within this year’s Meeting Brno festival people will be invited to vote
on which woman from Czech history would most deserve to have a statue
erected in her memory in the Brno metropolis.
The festival organizers want to draw attention to the fact that the vast majority of statues in town honour male politicians, scientists or writers. On the list of female candidates are Queen Eliška Rejčka, who founded a hospital in Brno, Franciscan nun Maria Restituta, who was executed by the Nazis or one of the most popular Czech female composers Vítězslava Kaprálová.
Meeting Brno takes place every year in late May and offers a platform for people of different views, cultures and religions to meet and address various isues. The festival include public readings, theater and music performances, visual arts and discussion forums.
Some of the massive paintings from Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic series will
go on display in Brno from May 26. Nine of the largest works in the
20-piece series will be on show at the festival Re:publika 1918-2018
alongside dozens of posters by the Art Nouveau artist, the mayor of Brno,
Petr Vokřál, said on Wednesday.
Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová, a councillor from Prague, which owns the Slav Epic, said the city had had to overcome objections from restorers, who didn’t want it to be transported anywhere. However, the famous paintings attracted two-thirds of a million visitors in Tokyo and should also draw tourists to Brno, she said.
The official residence of Czech prime ministers, the Kramář Villa overlooks the Vltava from a wonderful vantage point between Prague Castle and Letná Plain. It was built in the 1910s by Karel Kramář, who himself served as the first prime minister of Czechoslovakia following its foundation a century ago this year. However, the politician had already been extremely well-known prior to 1918, guide Irena Saidlová told me at the Kramář Villa.
There is a place in Moravia where you can see real mummies. They are not as old as those in Egypt, but old enough to generate genuine scientific interest among anthropologists at Masaryk University in Brno. Vít Pohanka made the trip to eastern Czechia and found out that quite soon one of the mummies might be brought back to (virtual) life.
Jan Šesták was a music-obsessed mega-fan of Radio Luxembourg, tuning in every evening, despite the risks, in communist Czechoslovakia. Tony Prince was a top DJ on the Europe-wide station, which regularly reached tens of millions of listeners. This is the story of how the two met when Prince performed in Šesták’s native Brno on a 1970 tour, starting a friendship that continues to this day. It is also a story about the power of radio.
"Less is more" is an aphorism often associated with the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He might be better known as the last director of the Bauhaus, the famous school of modern architecture in Germany in the interwar period. But before emigrating to the United States, Mies left an indelible mark in the heart of Moravia: the Villa Tugendhat in Brno.