Friday, 1 May 2015

Kroměříž


One of the members of the Archaeological Group I have organized three tours for over the years is a Baroque nut. I know to always include some Baroque architecture to keep him happy and so it was inevitable that I would take the group to Kroměříž one day.

Kroměříž is a small Moravian city half way between Brno and Olomouc and it is renowned for its Baroque architecture, so renowned that UNESCO has made it giving it World Heritage Site listing because The Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a princely residence and its associated landscape of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ensemble, and in particular the pleasure garden, played a significant role in the development of Baroque garden and palace design in central Europe.


The best way to take in the sites is to follow the UNESCO Way. This signposted route takes you past some (but not all of the city sites). It starts at the gate to the Palace Garden, a large landscaped park with some more formal features. The next major stop is the Archbishop's Baroque Palace itself. There are several tours of the Palace complex to choose from, of the Archbishop's sumptuous state and private rooms, the Archbishop's picture gallery with paintings by Titian, Cranach,, Durer, Van Dyke and other masters, or the Palace Tower to gain a birdseye view of the city. From the Palace the Way winds through the city streets past two major churches of St John and St Maurice, before ending at what is for me the highlight of Kroměříž - The Flower Garden. This Baroque pleasure garden is a unique example of garden design and architecture of this period (1665). Take your time here to wander through the flowerbeds, through the statue-lined arcade and then climb up on to the viewing platform on the arcade's roof.

If all this sightseeing has given you a thirst, walk to the Large Square where  the Cerny Orel hotel and pub has its very own microbrewery. I tried to buy some beer to take home, but the bottle leaked all over the car boot, so now I just enjoy a glass or three when I am there.

Here's a video of some of the Baroque delights of Kroměříž:


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