Tour Details

  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Guiding: Guided
  • Type: Art & Culture
  • Rated:

Description

Magical Prague, famous for Art Nouveau buildings and artists, has an extremely interesting history which is well worth taking time to discover.

This tour can be tailored to suit a small group of up to 10.

Departures on request.

It can be easily combined with other cities e.g Vienna, Prague or Budapest. Please enquire. 

In the Czech Republic, away from the big towns is Moravia. Famous for wine country and the small village of Dolni Vestonice, one of the most important sites in the world for early art. 27,000 years ago in the Old Stone Age, this was a camp for the mammoth hunters. Thousands of objects have been excavated – including the first ceramic depiction of the human form – The Dolni Vestonice Venus. The last stop before heading home is the UNESCO listed Vila Tugendhat, Mies van der Rohe’s modernist masterpiece. See things the average tourist misses.

Magical Prague, famous for Art Nouveau buildings and artists, has an extremely interesting history which is well worth taking time to discover.

The tour is fully guided by Zoe, an English historian and writer, who lives in the Czech Republic part of the year.

Basic itinerary

Day 1:  It is easy to arrive in Brno by train from Vienna or Prague. Guide meets party in Brno transfer to Mikulov, relax and wander

Hotel Templ in Mikulov, which is in two adapted historic buildings in the old Jewish Ghetto         2  nights

Day 2:      Morning trip to Dolni Vestonice, afternoon free for painting, visiting castle, art gallery, Jewish cemetery
Day 3:  Morning free in Mikulov,  afternoon transfer to Znojmo by train (takes 53 mins) chance to explore Znojmo

Pension Grant Lux in Znojmo, which is owned by a Brit and his Czech wife.     2 nights

Day 4: Morning visit the rotunda of St Catherine (rare 12th century paintings), afternoon free to explore – churches, underground passages (great fun), go on a boat ride in the neighbouring National Park, wine tasting,

Day 5: Morning transfer to Brno, 3 pm visit Villa Tugendhat

Stay in a modern hotel close to the bus and train stations and the historic city centre   2 nights   http://www.vvhotel.cz/en/

Day 6:  Day free to enjoy Brno – choice of lots of churches, a castle and  various museums and galleries including:
the Gypsy Museum, (- the history and culture of the Roma worldwide,the Archaeology Museum (including prehistoric art and early Slavic art both exquisite), and The Moravian Gallery (five different art galleries) – shopping.
Day 7:   Morning departure .

Notes on Zoe’s tour

Mikulov is a small beautiful town on the border with Austria. It sits at one end of the Palava hills. At the other end, about twenty minutes drive away, is the small village of Dolni Vestonice, one of the most important sites in the world for early art. 27,000 years ago in the Old Stone Age, this was a camp for the mammoth hunters. Thousands of objects have been excavated – including the first ceramic depiction of the human form – The Dolni Vestonice Venus. The Venus is kept in a museum vault, but we will be able to see other works of art from that period – incredible ceramic depictions of animals and humans as well as beautiful ivory carvings. Also in the museum is the evidence that the mammoth hunters were weaving fabrics, the oldest evidence of its kind, a grave with three skeletons and the foundations of a hut.

Mikulov is overlooked by a castle in which is the regional museum (includes a gallery about winemaking) and a modern art gallery. Up to the Second World War Mikulov had one of the most important Jewish communities in the Czech Republic. We will be staying in the former Jewish quarter. The Old Synagogue has been restored and should reopen in Spring 2014. The Jewish cemetery is very atmospheric. Overlooking the town is the Holy Hill, which has a pilgrimage trail to the chapel at the top, from where you get lovely views of the town and can explore a nature reserve with chalk-loving plants. You can also walk along the Palava hills, on which there are three ruined castles. 

Znojmo is the wine capital of the Czech Republic and we hope to have a wine-tasting session there. It is an important city, with the historic centre standing on a cliff overlooking the wooded valleys of Podji National Park. We will visit an 11th century Rotunda. Only 10 visitors an hour are admitted because of the fragility of the wall paintings that decorate the church. There is plenty to do in Znojmo, including some great opportunities to paint. Being on the Austrian border the inhabitants created a labyrinth of tunnels under their streets, where in peacetime they stored their wine and into which they disappeared at time of war. There are lots of legends about the tunnels and you can hear them if you take a guided tour of some of the 30kms of tunnels. There are a number of interesting churches and buildings, including the tower of the town hall which appears to be straight out of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. You can also explore the National Park either on foot or bicycle. 

Brno is the second largest city of the Czech Republic. We will be taking a tour of the UNESCO listed Vila Tugendhat, Mies van der Rohe’s modernist masterpiece. You will find other fine examples of modern architecture throughout the city, (there are a number of architectural trails you can follow) or visit the house of the architect Dušan Jurkovič. The building from 1906 is an outstanding example of modernist architecture inspired by British and Viennese design with elements of folk art. The house belongs to the Moravian Gallery which also has three major art galleries in Brno, displaying modern and contemporary Czech art, applied art and design and Gothic to the 19th Century Art. The Moravian Museum similarly is spread over several sites – the Archaeological Museum has more Old Stone age artworks from Dolni Vestonice and other sites, as well as stunning 9th century jewellery made during the golden age of of the Great Moravian Empire. Another museum which is well worth a visit is the European Roma Museum, which tells the story of the gypsies. Of course by this time you may be all cultured out, in which case Brno is a great place to shop and sit in cafes eating and drinking!

Tour includes a tour of Vila Tugendhat, entrance to Dolni Vestonice museum, entrance to the Rotunda at Znojmo, breakfasts every day, a meal (lunch or dinner) Monday – Friday, transport between the towns and to and from Dolni Vestonice.

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