As the second largest Czech city and an important industrial centre in the 19th and 20th centuries, Brno has a lot to offer lovers of technical monuments.
Especially the city’s east side and both banks of the Svitava still host engineering companies with long traditions and grounds that are interesting sights in themselves – První brněnská strojírna, Zetor, Šmeral, Alstom, Siemens, and Královopolská strojírna to the north. Other spectacular industrial companies can still be seen even though their time has passed – we can recall the Kras complex of clothing factories, Zbrojovka in Židenice, and the more modern Lachema in Řečkovice.
What really turned Brno into a city was its textile industry. From the end of the 18th century, factories sprung up especially in the Brno suburbs of Horní and Dolní Cejl and later transformed into modern carding, spinning, weaving, and dyeing mills, the production of which was known throughout the world and gave Brno the nickname of the Moravian Manchester. Although the Brno textile tradition became history at the turn of the millennium, industry in the city has continued to develop in the modern spirit.
Let us here turn back to monuments to the famous period of the 19th and 20th centuries that have been left in the city over the past 200 years.
It is especially worth mentioning the dozens of scattered buildings of former textile mills; factory grounds; under- and above-ground canals, often older than the city itself; the complicated development of railway junctions; gasworks; power stations including the dam at the reservoir near the city; and the history of public transit, brewing, the soaring buildings at and around the exhibition centre, and many other places connected to industry, transit, and energy.
Author of the text: Jiří Kalina
More information: http://druhebrno.smerem.cz
Parts of tour
Technical Monuments – Textile suburb of Cejl
With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, this originally suburban settlement with the German name Zeile (row) became a factory outpost of Brno.
Technical Monuments – Esslerova přádelna (Essler Spinning Mill)
In the location of the original mill on an island in the Svitava in Obřany stands the gloomy building of the Essler Spinning Mill.
Technical Monuments – Vlněna and Mosilana
In the 1950s, all Brno textile mills were gradually nationalized and closed down or incorporated into one of two national enterprises, Vlněna or Mosilana.
Technical Monuments – Strojírna Wannieck (Wannieck machine factory)
Wannieck machine factory was founded and began making equipment for sugar refineries and then steam engines licensed by the Swiss company Sulzer.
Technical Monuments – First Brno power station
The power station with seven generators with an output of 81 kW was concealed a ways off on the edge of the industrial area of Dolní Cejl.
Technical Monuments – Second Brno power station
The city’s second steam power station was only in operation for 14 years and led Brno on its journey from steam power to the age of electricity.
Technical Monuments – Municipal slaughterhouse, starch factory, and Masná burza (Meat market)
This collection of historicist buildings from 1895–1909 comprising a slaughterhouse, meat market, and stable on the bank of the Svitava.
Technical Monuments – Brno railway stations
Those interested in Brno railways will also enjoy a visit to the forgotten Brno-jih station far from the city or the lookout over the shunting yard in Maloměřice.
Technical Monuments – Svitava bank line
A walk along the parallel bicycle path offers views of still operating and closed factories
Technical Monuments – Svitava Canal (Ponávka)
The Svitava Canal runs 3.6 km, of which almost 1 km runs through underground tunnels.
Technical Monuments – Brno bridges and footbridges
Over rivers, roads, valleys, and railway tracks in Brno run dozens of bridges for cars, trains, and pedestrians
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Explore Brno with a local guide
Trail with twelve stops follows the history, personages and places associated with the phenomenon of how Brno came to be dubbed ‘the Moravian Manchester’.Find out more
Brno isn’t only monuments, culture, and food. It’s a city with nature merely a stone’s throw away.Find out more