Thursday, September 29, 2022

Dolní Kounice, Czech Republic

Yesterday was Czech Statehood Day so we had a public holiday in the middle of the week.  

To celebrate, Kája and I joined a few of his friends from work on a day trip to Dolní Kounice which is a small town in South Moravia, of about 2.500 people, around 25 km (16 miles) south of Brno.  

Dolní Kounice lies in the Bobrava Highlands in the valley of the Jihlava River. 

The oldest convent in Moravia was founded here in 1181.  The village was named Dolní Kounice since the 15th century.  In 1571 it became a town but for some reason lost the title in 1964.  In 1998 it became a town again.

Above the town lies the Pilgrimage Chapel of Saint Anthony.  The original chapel was built in 1654 but the current Baroque chapel replaced it in 1757.  

The way up to the chapel is lined by the Stations of the Cross.  

There's a great view of the city and the entire valley from on top of the hill.

The castle was originally Gothic when it was built in 1330.  During reconstruction in the 16th and 17th centuries it was completed in the Renaissance style.  

The castle is a protected landmark but the owners put it up for sale last month for 500.000.000 Kč ($23.4 million).

The Rosa Coeli "Heavenly Rose" monastery is the town's most well-known historical monument.  It was a female Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1181.  

During the Hussite Wars is was burned  but eventually orderly life returned which lasted until 1527.  There was a fire in 1703 which put an end to renovation efforts.

The Church of St. Barbara, "Barborka" to the locals, sits on the site of a former Gothic site dating back to around 1560.  It was renovated in the Renaissance style in 1688.  From 1862 to 1879 the church was used for Catholic services.  In 1921, the Hussite Church leased it for 15 years.  In the 1990s, the church was renovated and now is home to Orthodox services.

The Neo-Renaissance Catholic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was consecrated in 1879, having replaced an older church that was destroyed ba a flood in 1862.  The tower is 41,6 metres (136.5) feet tall.

The synagogue was completed in 1655 and it is one of the oldest synagogues in Moravia.  The Nazis closed it in 1940 and it was restored in 1994.

The Jewish cemetery was founded in 1680.  There are around 1300 tombstones and it is a protected cultural monument.

Since the end of WWII, the town hall is located in a house dating back to 1657.  Today it also doubles as the tourist information centre.

The Hotel Vinum Coeli dates back to 1597.  It became an inn back in 1717.  Today, it's a hotel and restaurant, complete with a bowling alley and a gym.

This building has a plaque stating that Jaroslav Skryja once lived here.  

The plaque says that he was a patriotic teacher executed by the Nazis during the period of non-freedom.

In addition to being a teacher, he was also the mayor of Dolní Kounice.  During the Nazi occupation, he joined the resistance.  He was arrested on 13 December 1939 wile teaching.  He was transferred from prison to prison until he was tried in Berlin on 9 July 1942, the day of Reinhard Heydrich's funeral.  He was executed on 27.10.1942 and his family was sent a bill for 2.065,45 Reichsmarks for the execution which included witness fess, transportation costs, posting notices of the execution, last wishes and a reward to the executioner.  I'm not sure but I think that would be around $500 in today's money.

The town's kulturní dům, was completed in 1981.  It's used for cultural and social events.  

Apparently Dolní Kounice is also famous for its red wine.  We didn't try any yesterday but maybe next time.  After exploring the town, we headed over to Ivančice for lunch at the RAF Museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment