Cairn of Peace
The Cairn of Peace is a unique memorial that brings a peaceful message. It is not devoted neither to heroic victors nor to courageous defeated ones, it was built to honour all victims of the memorable Battle of Austerlitz (2nd December 1805). The project was initiated by priest A. Slovák. His vision was to transform the previous battlefield into a pious place that represents hope and memento of wars. (On national holidays, commemoration days and during July and August the Cairn of Peace is festively illuminated).
The Cairn of Peace is a dominant feature and natural centre of a protected historical monument area, the “Battlefield of Austerlitz”. Each year at the beginning of December a pious act in the honour of the fallen soldiers takes place in the area surrounding the monument which is the climax of the commemorative events of the anniversary of the battle.
“The Battle of the Three Emperors. Slavkov / Austerlitz 1805” multimedia exposition can be seen in the newly renovated museum besides the Cairn of Peace. This exposition is conceived in a very unusual enriching way that brings unforgettable experience. It depicts the war campaign of 1805 that culminated in the Battle of Austerlitz not only as a historical moment but also as an alive historical phenomena. It shows the French victory and political and military glory of the then France but also the seamy side of it. Visitors have a choice of commentary in five languages (Czech, French, German, Russian and English). The first part “Before the Battle” describes the era from the French revolution to the eve of the Battle of Austerlitz. The second part “The Battle” enables visitors to emotionally re-live the battle again. The third part “About the Battle” presents the actual course of the battle through a computer animation. The dominating elements of the final part “After the Battle” are the spatial and audio reconstruction of the famous painting that depicts the meeting of the emperors Napoleon and Francis after the battle at Spálený mlýn (Burnt-down mill) and the video projection in which the exhibition culminates. Besides all the exhibits there are also monitors and a touch-screen with a database of texts, illustrations, animations and film scenes. Visitors can therefore choose from many pieces of information that they are interested in.
In June 2010, so to say precisely a hundred of years since the memorial construction had been launched in 1910, a new pavilion of the Museum was opened with a new part of the standing exposition called The Austerlitz Phenomenon. It shows the “second life of the battle”, describing the Battle of Austerlitz from the various viewpoints of contemporaries, chroniclers, soldiers and diplomats, historians, writers, painters and movie-makers. The unique story of the Cairn of Peace Memorial itself, two hundred years of the battle tradition, the tradition of commemoration ceremonies and battle scene reconstructions have their own place in the exposition.