Brno - Leoš Janáček

Brno, the elegant Moravian metropolis teeming with cultural life, is linked with the lives of many significant personalities including the great Czech composer Leoš Janáček. Follow the maestro’s footsteps and learn about his intricate life, discover the original, distinctive beauty of his works and find out more about the legacy that he left to Brno as well as the whole world.
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Sense of drama, good and evil, joy and sorrow, struggle and reconciliation. The work of Leoš Janáček is seething with love for life and all it gives and takes. In many respects, the maestro’s work reflects his own turbulent life which was fatefully connected with the city of Brno. When he was eleven, he was sent to the Augustinian St. Thomas Abbey in Old Brno as a choir boy. St. Thomas Abbey accepted poor and talented boys who could thus continue their musical education and participate in monastery performances as well as in concerts. After his studies in Prague, Leipzig and Vienna, Janáček’s professional life was tied to Brno for the rest of his days.


© Vít Mádr

In a couple of years, the poor choir boy became an important personality of Brno’s musical and social life – a choirmaster, conductor, teacher and founder of an organ school. Despite this success, it took him many years until he became renowned also as a composer. From the premiere of the opera Jenůfa in Brno’s National Theatre in 1904, it lasted 12 years until it was presented in Prague and two more years until it reached the opera house in Vienna. Until then, Janáček has almost lost faith in himself as a composer but the success of Jenůfa gave him a new meaning of life and encouraged him in his further efforts. The majority of his most famous works was thus created in the last decade of his life – after he gained recognition on the world stage. Janáček’s warm relationship to Brno – the city where he spent his youth, rose to success and, despite all hardships, enjoyed his well-deserved recognition – is probably best reflected in his Sinfonietta. Immerse yourself in its tones and set out on a journey that traces the footsteps of this genius of Slavic music, who is considered one of the most acclaimed composers of the 20th century.

Interesting thing

Janáček in multimedia
On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the birth of Leoš Janáček, a musical genius and one of today’s most frequently played composers, a multimedia application was created. It deals with his life and work in Brno and includes for example an interactive map and audio samples of Janáček’s works linked to particular places in the city. Feel free to download the application into your smartphone for free (www.gotobrno.cz/narozeniny-leos-janacek).

Day 1

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The starting point for your tour is the Mendlovo Square, dominated by the Gothic Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady with the adjacent Augustinian Old Brno Monastery. This is where Leoš Janáček spent his early youth as a choir boy and where he lived during his grammar school years. From Mendlovo Square you then continue uphill through Pekařská street. The next stop, right next to the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, is the Besední House where Janáček was a choirmaster. Today it is the residence of the philharmonic orchestra. Walk through the Komenského Square, dominated by the Red Church and the elegant university, and continue through Veveří and Kounicova street to the Janáčkovo Square. Visit the Leoš Janáček Memorial as well as Chleborád’s Villa, Janáček’s former organ school and later a conservatory, where the composer lived until his death. When you’re standing on Janáčkovo Square, don’t forget to take a look at the statue of Vixen Sharp-Ears. After lunch you can enjoy a walk through the historic centre of Old Brno, starting at the composer’s statue in front of the Janáček Theatre. The first stop is the monumental building of Mahen Theatre on Malinovského Square, which is where all of Janáček’s premieres since 1919 took place. Then you can spend the rest of the days by getting to know the city which had such an immense imprint on the composer’s soul.

Common Tips

If you are a devout fan of classical music and Leoš Janáček, we recommend you to plan your visit on the days of the International Festival Janáček Brno, which is not limited to the legacy of the great composer but also to other music works, theatre, film, exhibitions and visual art.

Transportation

Brno is connected with Prague by the D1 motorway as well as by railway. Apart from car, you can therefore use public transportation – several buses and trains operated by various companies leave for Brno every hour. There are also regular flights to Brno from certain European cities (London, Moscow, Eindhoven). 

Day 1

km
5
hrs
6
sights
6

Old Brno Monastery

Discover a place permeated by spiritual tradition. The history of the monastery reaches back to the 14th century when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth Richeza. It is also the place where Gregor Johann Mendel laid the foundations of genetics and Leoš Janáček made his first steps towards musical immortality.

Address

Mendlovo nám. 1, 603 00 Brno
GPS: 49.191995, 16.594513

The Besední House in Brno

From its foundation in the 19th century, the Besední House was the cultural and social centre of the Moravian metropolis and it has maintained its significance until today. It was the residence of the first Czech theatre and of the most important Czech theatre groups and it was here that Janáček led the music school “Beseda brněnská” as a choirmaster. The concerts that took place there turned the Besední House into the musical centre of all Moravia.
 

Address

Komenského náměstí 534/8, 602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.196248, 16.604157

Leoš Janáček Memorial in Brno

It used to be a humble house where Leoš Janáček lived from 1910 to his death. In this building Janáček created his greatest works. From this very house he walked to the near organ school in Chleborád’s Villa and it was here that he experienced all the emotional turns of his life as well as satisfaction over the success of his work.

Address

Smetanova 14, 602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.201569, 16.602319

Opening Hours

Entry fees

Standard fee: 70 Kč

Children fee: 35 Kč

Family fee: 175 Kč

Senior fee: 35 Kč

Student fee: 35 Kč

Chleborád’s Villa in Brno

The building is strongly inspired by Ancient Roman architecture. It was the home of his organ school from 1910 and after nine years of successful operation it was promoted to a state conservatory.
 

Address

Smetanova 14, 602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.201569, 16.602319

Opening Hours

Entry fees

Standard fee: 70 Kč

Children fee: 35 Kč

Family fee: 175 Kč

Senior fee: 35 Kč

Student fee: 35 Kč

Janáček Theatre in Brno

From the early 20th century, the Czech inhabitants of Brno strove for a representative Czech theatre scene and they were not successful until 1965. That year the theatre was honoured to be named after a great artist whose life and work is linked with Brno. This was the birth of the Janáček Theatre.
 

Address

Rooseveltova 31/7, 602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.198235, 16.611043

Mahen Theatre in Brno

The Mahen Theatre witnessed the premieres of the greatest works of Leoš Janáček and it was the first theatre on the European continent to be lit by electric light bulbs.

Address

Národní divadlo Brno, p.o., Dvořákova 11, 657 70 Brno
GPS: 49.1959064, 16.6136903

Music Club Fléda

Head out to the famous Fléda club for an indie, techno, hip hop or classical music concert in Brno. Musical productions are complemented by film projections, plays and many other activities. The club got its name from the popular Brüner Fledermause cabaret, which was established here in 1911, i.e. at a time when Brno was more of a German than a Czech city.

Address

Štefánikova 24, 602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.2097544568589, 16.603517751098593

Panská Lícha Restaurant

Do you want to experience something unusual? The stylish restaurant and family hotel Panská Lícha will prepare an unforgettable experience for you with its unusual connection with the adjacent riding centre. You can see the riding school and surrounding runs from the restaurant and from the terrace or actually ride a horse there.

Address

Panská Lícha 631/6 614 00 Brno
GPS: 49.2465277778, 16.6356277778

Prominent Restaurant

The elegant Prominent Restaurant prepares first-class Bohemian and Moravian dishes right in front of the guests’ eyes – a truly unusual sight which really is worth taking in. 

Address

Křížkovského 20, 603 00 Brno
GPS: 49.1842199530004, 16.580759966563

Orea Resort Santon

Relaxation in the pleasant surroundings of the hotel Santon as well as flavoursome dishes at the restaurant Panorama await you at the Brno reservoir. The restaurant offers a spacious summer terrace with views of the reservoir. In addition to regional dishes and Czech specialities we also have so-called wellness foods; why not try our grilled goat’s cheese or baked vegetable cakes?

Address

Orea Resort Santon ***
Přístavní 38
635 00 Brno
GPS: 49.2307916667, 16.5183111111

Royal Ricc

Hotel Royal Ricc whose Baroque building remembers the times of Austria-Hungary is located in the centre of the Moravian capital. A cosy hotel restaurant is located in these pleasant surroundings, the offer of which includes dishes from Czech, Italian and French cuisine. The restaurant has won several awards including the Czech Specials certificate.

Address

Royal Ricc ****
Starobrněnská 10
602 00 Brno
GPS: 49.1925776578934, 16.6072243452072