Brno Day Festivities Transport The City Back To The Swedish Siege of 1645
The traditional historical city celebration commemorates Brno’s historic successful defence against the Swedish Army. Credit: Michal Ruzicka / TIC BRNO.
Brno, Aug 7 (BD) – From 11-13 August, the annual Brno Day celebrations will take the city back to 1645, when Brno was besieged by Swedish troops. The traditional historical city celebration commemorates the successful defence from the people of Brno against the Swedes, and includes a historical parade, period music, a craft fair, and a reconstruction of the battle, with an accompanying program for the whole family. The event is co-organized by TIC BRNO with the 1645 Society, the Brno Bishopric and the Museum of the City of Brno.
“This long-established and popular event commemorates one of the most important moments in the history of Brno, which is why I will always be happy to support it,” said Mayor of Brno Markéta Vaňková. “Every year we have a rich program that is free for visitors. This year Špilberk Castle was even more involved, where on Saturday and Sunday you will find a mediaeval fair with period concerts and theatres for young and old.”
On Friday, 11 August, the Labyrinth under Zelny Trh will host a performance of ‘the Black Ball for General Torstenson’. Here, participants will witness a mysterious ceremony during which a magical black ball is created, which, according to legend, was the only one that could kill the Swedish commander General Torstenson. Visitors can also meet Torstenson and the commander of the Brno troops, Raduit de Souches, in the new Fire Horse and Dragon exhibition in the Cellar under the New Town Hall, learning more not only about this battle, but also about other legends associated with Brno. TIC BRNO is offering a 30% discount on the entrance fee on Saturday 12 August, if you say the name of the Swedish general three times correctly at the cash register.
On Saturday, 12 August, some parts of the city will return to the time of the Thirty Years’ War. In the morning, over 200 soldiers will march from Denisové Sady to St. James’ Church to pay tribute to the memory of Raduit de Souches. After that, the troops will move back to their military camp on Kraví hora, where visitors will experience the authentic atmosphere of the camp life of the time, as well as regular demonstrations of the training of typical units of the time, such as musketeers, arquebusiers, pikemen and artillerymen.
The highlight of the Saturday afternoon is the battle demonstration on Kraví hora, which recreates the most important moments from the siege of Brno. “This year, it will be conceived unconventionally, as a sequence of specific historically documented battle scenes and events, narrated by a fictitious witness of the events, the orphan Janek Kroupa, who experienced the siege firsthand,” said Ondřej Anton from the 1645 Society.
“The equestrian show of the Tvrz company will certainly be attractive to the spectators, supplemented this year by the participation of current riders from the Horse Department of the Czech Police, which will create an interesting contrast and comparison of equestrian art separated by almost 400 years.” There will also be a period fashion show and concerts of mediaeval music, he added, and the transition to the present will be seen in early evening rock concerts inspired by the mediaeval music of Tempus and Clamortis.
Špilberk Castle will also be involved in the celebrations, hosting a period fair, traditional cuisine, mediaeval music, historical crafts, costumed tours of the castle, theatrical performances, dancers, swordsmen, and exciting knights’ duels. Children can take part in creative workshops, dance lessons, or let their imagination run wild in Jiří Šebesta’s Wonderful World game room. The day will close with a concert by Societas Incognitorum and the Pacora Trio and a dynamic fire show performed by the Pa-li-tchi group.
The festival program also follows a spiritual line, honouring the legacy of Father Martin Středa, who was a great support for the besieged city. “On Friday, while making paper bells in the Diocesan Museum, we will remember why the noon bell rings at eleven in Brno,” said Martina Jandlová, press spokesperson of the Brno Diocese. “Three guided tours of the Jesuit Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary are planned for Saturday. On Sunday, 13 August 13, Bishop Pavel Konzbul of Brno will be in Petrov Cathedral to celebrate the pontifical service for the City of Brno. After that, children and others will be able to experience how a sculpture is created in creative workshops with Patrik Vlček.”