Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and lies in the south eastern region of Moravia. After leaving the hustle of Prague, Brno was extremely quiet. Kind of a nice change actually. I think Brno would be a nice place to live. Like most of the Czech Republic, it has a long history, as well as a bit of a checkered past, particularly Spilberk castle. Though not the first time it was used as such, the Nazis used Spilberk as a prison after they annexed Brno in 1939.
Naturally, Brno is jam packed with churches. The most impressive is the Saints Peter and Paul cathedral (I have no idea which is Peter and which is Paul). Built originally in the 13th century, it was remodelled a couple of times since then leading up to the current ‘neo-gothic’ style which was completed at the beginning of the 20th century. The trek up the tower is worth a look though the spiral staircase is not for the feint of heart or the short of breath.
You remember the introduction to genetics you did in school? Talked about that monk who came up will all sorts of new pea varieties. Well, the Augustinian abbey in Brno is where Johann Gregor Mendel did all those experiments. Naturally, all his work wasn’t recognized until well after his death but the base of the original greenhouse is still there. The museum is interesting as well though it does deal mostly with the man rather than the work.
When leaving Brno, be careful which train you hop on. I just jumped on the next train that was heading back to Prague only to find out that the CS trains are mandatory reserved seats. Which meant that the round trip ticket I had already paid for was worthless and I had to spend another 200 Kr for the seat despite the car I was in being almost empty. It didn’t really break the bank and truth be told, it was a really nice train.