Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and Capuchin crypt (Kostel Nalezení sv. Kříže a Kapucínská hrobka)
Church and monastery from the early Baroque period
Library still uses the original Baroque furniture
Tombs with remains mummified by contact with air
The buildings convey the simple spirit of the Capuchin style
The Capuchin friars came to Brno in 1604 at the invitation of Franz von Dietrichstein, the Bishop of Olomouc. For their first monastery, they chose a place on the eastern periphery of Brno, at the time called Před Měnínskou branou (in front of the Měnín Gate). At the end of the Thirty Years’ War, they lost their monastery during the Swedish army’s siege when the town’s military commander, Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches, ordered all the buildings beyond the city walls to be razed to the ground. The friars found asylum first at Stará radnice (the Old Town Hall) and later in a townhouse next to Biskupský dvůr (the Bishop’s Courtyard). For their second monastery, they chose a place at Uhelný trh (the Coal Market), today’s Kapucínské náměstí (Capuchin Square).
Construction took eight years and was complicated by financial and technical issues. The Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross was ceremoniously consecrated on 7 May 1656. A mere six years later, the poorly constructed walls and unstable foundations made it necessary to bring down its brick vaulted ceiling. It was replaced for nearly a century with a flat wooden ceiling. In the 18th century, the whole premises underwent major structural changes. In 1753, the Chapel of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen was added to the church and a new vaulted ceiling replaced the wooden one. The monastery was extended by a wing named after Baron Trenck. In 1764, a library was completed in this part of the monastery. The library’s original Baroque furniture has been preserved and its collection holds eight thousand items. The ceiling is decorated by a fresco by the painter Josef Stern.
The crypt under the church served as a burial site for friars, noblemen, and benefactors of the Order. The tomb contains human remains that have been mummified by the air. It is open to the public.