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If Everything Is Fine, Welcome!


A week or two ago, before it started raining, I made an outing to the Mohyla Míru. The "Cairn of Peace," or tumulus as some of the signs have it translated, is a monument to victims of war, particularly those who died at the Battle of Austerlitz (also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors) in 1805 when Napoleon defeated forces commanded by the Russian and Austrian emperors. The cross at the top is decorated with bronze and copper.

At the beginning of the battle, in the early morning of 2 December 1805, Austrian Emperor Franz and Russian Tsar Alexander were stationed at the top of Pratecký Hill, where the Cairn stands today. By 11 a.m., the position had been taken by French forces. By early afternoon, it was apparently obvious that Napoleon's forces would win, and by the end of the battle there may have been as many as 2,000 dead.

The monument to Peace was proposed by priest Alois Slovák, and Fanta architects (the same Fanta who designed Prague's main train station) designed it. It was completed in 1912. Delicate curves and plantlike tendrils dominate the filigree decorations of the structure, but the underlying building is massive and seems to rise like an outcropping from the hilltop. The surrounding trees dwarf it in the picture (for scale, you can just make out the family in front of the lower doors).

A chapel is nestled beneath the cairn and decorated with gilded leafy borders. Above the doors, stone sentries of French, Russian, German, and Czech soldiers keep watch, and ironwork braziers that feature more tendril motifs are dotted around cairn's baase.

It's a good day trip from Brno and easily accessible by city transport (if you're up for a few kilometers walk). The monument is managed by the Brno Regional Museum, and directions can be found at their page. More of my photos are posted at flickr. Judging by the signs posted at the parking lot, it seems that you should keep an eye on your valuables if you come by car.



Previously at NvB: Zvláštní Austerlitz 2005, my response to the re-enactment of the battle on the 200th anniversary.

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