Day 11

     September 12 Monday 


    We packed up and checked out of our beautiful apartment..  The hotel limo took us to the train station.  We were a little early but the train was on time.  It was a three hour ride from Prague (A) to Brno (B).  We had decided when planning this trip that an eight hour train ride to Budapest was too long. 

      We arrived in Brno about 1:30.  Our hotel, Bruno’s Grand Hotel, was almost across from the train station.  We had a nice suite – a sitting room and a large bedroom.


     Brrno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic with a population of over 370,000.  It is the capital city of Moravia and was established over 800 years ago. It prospered quickly due to its proximity to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.  One of the focal points is the St. Peter and Paul cathedral on top of the hill.  We started our trek up through the historic center and found a McDonald’s where we had lunch.  It was a very modern and well appointed dining room. 

    Our next stop was the former Franciscan St. Mary Magdalene Church. The church was constructed in 1651-54 and consecrated in 1673. It was restored after a fire in 1852.  It was very Baroque inside but rather plain yellow structure on the outside.








    We made a left turn in front of the church and came out in the vegetable market (Zelny trh).  It has been a market for farmers since the 13th century. Today, it offers mainly fruit, vegetables and flowers.  It appeared to be very busy.

    Next we went up a very steep walk towards the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.  My wife sent me on ahead to see how far it was  to the church before she started the climb.  The church was on top of the hill and there was no place to get a full photo. 


    Because of its prominent place on top of the hill, it can be seen from all over Brno. It was built as a Gothic Cathedral, an extension of a Romanesque church, around the late 13th century. It was converted into a Baroque style in the 18th century and reached its current neo-Gothic style at the turn of the 20th century. 

    Inside was very interesting architecture, combination of gothic, neo gothic and baroque.  At one point we and another lady were the only people in there.  There is an interesting story about why the cathedral’s bells strike noon at 11 A.M.  This can be traced back to a quick-thinking monk who somehow learned during the Thirty Years’ War that the Swedes were planning to take the town by noon.  If unsuccessful by then, they would move on.  Not wanting to take any chances against the Swedish army he rang the noon bells at 11 A.M. prompting the Swedes to pack up and leave and thus saving his beloved Brno.

    We went back down the hill to the vegetable market and took a street to the left and at the end of that street turned right and come out on Freedom Square. This is the heart of the city.  It really isn’t a square but more like a triangle.

      A block away was St. James church.


    The original church, built between 1201-22 was replaced by a late Gothic style  which was built in two phases.  The first phase was the chancel which was completed in 1473.   The triple nave was finished in 1502 and roofed by 1530.  In 1878, the church underwent a neo Gothic style revival.

    It was light and airy on the inside. The nave vaulting, although netted just like the vaulting of the chancel is flatter and simple in its design.  The ribs are not stone but plaster and stucco and have only a decorative function.  There are nine artificial marble altars around the exterior walls. Originally there had been seventeen of them.  The main altar is carved from several kinds of marble.  On top of the reredos is a statue of St. James. 

      Behind the altar, against the back wall of the apse, is an interesting statue of Raduit de Souches.  He had distinguished himself as a military commander of the town during the battles with the Sedes in 1645.  His sepulcher, construced in 1717,  is quite large and consists of a marble tomb which contains a “cartouche” (a large oval plaque) which lists all of his heroic deeds.  On top of the tomb is a kneeling statue of Souches with his coat of arms, war tropies and little angels (putti) in the background.    

    It was impossible to get a full photo of the front exterior.  The east end and the apse were located on the street behind.  We were able to get several good photos of the back from there.  We started walking back to the hotel, and stopped at a sidewalk café for a drink.   We found our way back to the hotel.  There were many beautiful building in this area.

    We wanted to get our reserved seats for the train the next day so we walked across the street to the train station to get our seat reservations.   We came back to the hotel and had another drink in their very attractive bar.  Later we went to the hotel dining room.  It was tastefully decorated, but only one other person in there.  She was across the room and heard us speaking English.  We talked back and forth for a few minutes and then invited her to join us which she did.  She was from California and worked for a travel agency.  We had a good time talking.  I had pork tenderloin and my wife had duck. It was amazing that no one else came into this restaurant the rest of the evening.

    Next Day

    Day 1 - Berlin

    Day 2 - Berlin

    Day 3 - Berlin

    Day 4 - Berlin

    Day 5 - Berlin - Potsdam

    Day 6 - Dresden

    Day 7 - Dresden

    Day 8 - Prague

    Day 9 - Prague - Kutna Hora

    Day 10 - Prague

    Day 11 - Brno

    Day 12 - Budapest

    Day 13 - Budapest

    Day 14 - Budapest

    Day 15 - Vienna

    Day 16 - Vienna

    Day 17 - Vienna - Melk Abbey

    Day 18 - Vienna

    Day 19 - Salzburg

    Day 20 - Salzburg

    Day 21 - Salzburg