Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kroměříž, Czech Republic

Kroměříž is a beautiful little town in Moravia.  It's only 30 km (~19 miles) from Zlín.  By bus, it takes about 1¼ hours to get there from Brno.  With that, Nat and I took off for a day's adventure.

The town was founded in 1260 by the Bishop of Olomouc.  Kroměříž has had some hard times over the years.  In 1643 and 1645 it was ransacked by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War.  Today, the population is around 30,000.

The most famous site in Kroměříž is the Archbishop's Château.  It had to be rebuilt after the Thirty Years' War.  It is quite impressive.  The chateau was used for some scenes in the films Amadeus and Immortal Beloved.  I can understand why Tomáš and Annie chose this place for their wedding.

Apollo and Mars
This is also home to a great collection of 15th to 18th century Central European paintings.  One of the most famous pieces is "Apollo and Mars" by Tiziano Vecelli.  During the guided tour there is a strict no photography rule in place.

Me and my shoe covers

Aside from the no photography bit, in order to take the guided tour everyone had to wear shoe covers.  OK, this seems logical to me.  Except that the guide didn't have to wear them.  What I could not wrap my head around was that I had to cover my shoes but then someone was allowed to bring their dog on the tour.  Mind you, not a seeing eye dog, just a big dog on a leash.  Loczech in action.

The chateau garden sits on 64 hectares (158 acres).  The Baroque style garden is open to the public all year round.  It's a great place to go for a nice long walk.  There is even a small wild life corner with peacocks, canaries, and baboons.

On the other side of town is the Flower Garden which was once called "The Orchard of Delights".  The garden was built by Italian architects.

The colonnade contains statues of Greek gods.  It's possible to walk along the top as well to get a nice view of the gardens.  I'm sure it looks great in spring.

In 1998, the Archbishop's Chateau and the Flower Garden were added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Velké náměstí is the Large Square in the center of town.  It's about 1 hectare (~2.5 acres).

The Town Hall was built from 1550 to 1611.  The clock on the tower is from the 17th century with the upper face showing hours and the lower face showing minutes.

The town's Plague Column was built from 1715 to 1716.

The Church of St. John the Baptist was consecrated in 1768.  It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful 18th century churches in Moravia.  Unfortunately, the door was locked so I guess another visit is in order to properly check it out.

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