Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mikulov, Czech Republic

Mikulov is a small town in the South Moravian region, on the Austrian border, about 60 miles from Vienna. It is located at the edge of a hilly area and there is a large lake nearby. This area is the warmest part of the ČR which makes it so good for growing grapes. The Mikulov region is known for its white wines which account for about 80% of the local vineyards. The soil has a high lime content and the warm climate gives the wine a good flavor.

In the autumn, lots of people go to Mikulov to visit local wine cellars. The traditional wine festival (+200 years) is called the Pálava Vine Harvest and takes place over the second weekend in September. I so need to put this on my calendar.  And the surrounding hills look like a nice spot for some hiking.

Even if the wine season hasn't started yet, this was a really nice day trip. It takes about 1.5 hours to get there by bus but it is really worth it. The town is small with a population of about 7,600.

On the main square you’ll find a fountain with a statue of Pomona.
There’s also the Baroque Holy Trinity Statue (Plague Column) that was commissioned by Prince Walter Xavier of Dietrichstein in 1723 – 1724.
At the bottom part of the square is St. Anne’s Church.

The Mikulov Chateau of the Dietrichstein family is the most famous sight to see. It was built on a steep rocky hill with no level ground.

Jews settled in Mikulov back in 1421 when they were expelled from Vienna, and the neighboring province of Lower Austria, by the Duke of Austria, Albert II of Germany. In the 16th century Mikulov became a cultural center of Moravian Jewry when the town became the seat of the regional rabbi of Moravia.

In 1938, Mikulov had 472, mostly German speaking, Jewish inhabitants. Only 110 managed to emigrate in time. Of the 362 that remained, only 35 survived the Holocaust.

In a small square there is a WWII monument dedicated to the Russian Red Army that liberated the town from the Germans.

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