Czech Dreams 2024
Slavkov u Brna - Austerlitz
The town of Slavkov u Brna, made famous by the Battle of the Three Emperors held on 2nd December 1805 and known internationally under the name of Austerlitz, lies on the right-hand bank of the River Litava, in a basin at the foot of the Chřiby Hills. The oldest written mention of the town can be found in a document of King Wenceslas I dating from 1237. In 1416, King Wenceslas IV gave the town its seal and coat-of-arms, which is the oldest heraldic privilege in the Czech lands.
The dominant feature of the town is the baroque château, which was designed at the end of the 17th century by the Italian architect, Domenico Martinelli of Lucca, for the Moravian House of Kounic. The château interiors are richly decorated with stuccowork and frescos and a number of statues. The most beautiful rooms which visitors can see at the château include the Hall of the Ancestors, the Rubens Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Another exceptional interior area in the château is the central oval hall, now known as the Historical Hall. It is historical due to the fact that it was the venue for the signing of the truce between France and Austria on 6th December 1805. The Slavkov - Austerlitz Château has been entered in the Register of National Cultural Monuments and visitors can choose from two tour routes through the interior, tours of the underground areas or a virtual battle. The château park with a total area of 16 hectares is one of the most significant historical gardens in Moravia. The abundant statues are the work of the significant Italian sculptor, Giovanni Giuliani. Sports lovers can play golf in the lower section of the gardens where there is a six-hole course and a Golf Academy.
Further buildings, which can be seen when walking through the town, form an integral part of the history of Slavkov. The northern side of the square is enclosed by the classicist Church of the Resurrection of the Lord by Ferdinand Hetzendorf of Hohenburg built in 1786 - 1789. This involves a technically demanding structure built in swampy terrain on oak piles. The renaissance town hall dating from 1592 still includes the former town magistrate’s jail with in its walls. The renaissance portal of the walled entrance is visible from Husova Street. The baroque Chapel of Saint John the Baptist dating from 1743 and the building of the former hospital are incorporated in the urbanistic unit of the cemetery. The family tomb of the House of Kounic is located under this chapel. The most significant member of this aristocratic house, Václav Antonín Kounic, is buried there. One of the oldest buildings in Slavkov is the Manor House, the core of which dates from the 16th century. A number of period portals and reveals have been preserved on the ground floor and in the cellar.
The Jewish synagogue, which received its current appearance during renovation work in 1858, is evidence of the existence of a large Jewish community in our town. The exhibition at the old Jewish school is dedicated to the Jewish settlement in the town of Slavkov u Brna. The Chapel of Saint Urban towers above the town on the Urban Hill at a height of 362 m above sea level. It was damaged during the Napoleonic Wars and received its current appearance in 1858. The town fortifications, which have been preserved in several places and are direct evidence of the fortifications from the 14th and 15th centuries, are a valuable monument.
Slavkov, a town with six thousand inhabitants, offers visitors numerous opportunities for cultural, social and sports activities. Cultural and social events and concerts of classical and popular music are held in the château. Those interested in active relaxation can visit the outdoor swimming pool with its beach volleyball courts, the stadium which offers tennis, volleyball and football-tennis courts, the football ground and the athletics track. Visitors can use the services of the sports shooting range in the historical areas of the casemate at the Slavkov Château. The eighteen-hole golf course is not only for lovers of the green sport, but also for the wider public.