THE MONASTERY THAT WROTE THE HISTORY OF BRNO

The Old Brno Abbey Museum (MUSO) is the result of a collaboration between the Mendel Museum of Masaryk University and the Old Brno Abbey. The museum’s permanent exhibition offers a tour of authentic monastery premises with a rich, almost 700-year history.

A brief excursion into the history of the abbey

Breathe in the spirituality of the place that saw the history of Brno unfold, and walk the same hallways where Cistercian nuns prayed, Pavel Křížkovský and Leoš Janáček composed, Gregor Johann Mendel did his research, and František Tomáš Bratránek wrote his books.

1323

Elizabeth Richeza

A Czech and Polish queen who withdrew to Brno after the death of her second husband. She founded the Cistercian convent in 1323, and the nuns lived here for nearly 500 years. In 1782 the convent was abolished by the decree of Emperor Joseph II. Elizabeth Richeza is entombed in the Basilica of the Assumption; her tomb is marked by a tile with the letter E.

1783

The Augustinians

In 1783 the Augustinians took refuge in the Old Brno monastery.
Their original monastery, which had been founded by Jan Jindřich of Luxembourg, was appropriated by the Moravian Vicegerency, and the monks moved to Old Brno together with their library and the painting of Our Lady of St Thomas.

1950

Hard times

The monastery had survived many difficult periods of history and the ravages of war, including both world wars. It was abolished by the Communists in 1950. In the following decades the buildings of the monastery served other institutions.

2018

MUSO

Today, the Old Brno Abbey is again in the stewardship of the Augustinians. They decided to reveal their collection of artefacts, thus establishing a new museum. The Old Brno Abbey Museum (MUSO) was opened on 1 February 2018.

Our exhibitions

Key points of interest in the museum are the Mendel Refectory, the galleries of sacred and profane art, liturgical items and vestments used by the Augustinians themselves for centuries. The only exhibits that are not from the collections of the Brno Augustinians are precious archaeological objects that harken to the long history of Old Brno.

The Mendel refectory

The Augustinians’ dining hall, which is now called the Mendel Refectory, was built in the eighteenth century. It harbours a unique mosaic floor and an Art-Nouveau stucco ceiling. The hall is dominated by a relief depicting the Basilica of the Assumption with pilgrims and St Augustine.

Bazilika Nanebevzetí Panny Marie

Elizabeth Richeza and the cistercian nuns

Elizabeth Richeza, the Cistercians, and their fate will introduce you to the history of the Old Brno Abbey. Archaeological discoveries will show you if Old Brno is really as old as it sounds.

Ludwiga Blum, Jeruzalem

The gallery of profane art

The secular works of Jan de Herdt, Lucas van Valckenborch, or Franz Geffels decorate the walls of the Gothic sleeping quarters of the Cistercian nuns. The largest painting of Jerusalem in the world, by the Brno artist Ludwig Blum, will catch your attention as soon as you enter.

Sv. Bernard, reliéf, Muzeum starobrněnského opatství, Brno

The gallery of sacred art

The chapter house – the Augustinians’ assembly hall – was transformed into a gallery of religiously themed works. Paintings from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries are complemented by a unique carved door with the likeness of Bernard of Clairvaux, a prominent member of the Cistercian Order.

The Augustinians in Brno

Were the Augustinians founded by St Augustine? Where did they acquire their Black Madonna? Is the abbey still functional? These and other questions will be answered in the final section of the exhibition, which is dedicated to the history of the Brno Augustinians. You can examine books from the abbey’s library or an extensive collection of liturgical vessels.

Opatská mitra, Muzeum starobrněnského opatství, Brno

Abbatial insignia

To close off the exhibition, you can inspect monka’ habits and richly ornamented liturgical vestments, including the symbols of an abbot – the miter, crozier, and pectoral cross. You will also have a unique view into the aisle of the Basilica of the Assumption.

Opening hours

Open daily except for Mondays

April – October

Tuesday – Sunday

10.00 – 18.00

November – March

Tuesday – Sunday

10.00 – 17.00

Admission fees

Free admission every last Wednesday of the month
(does not include guided tour circuits)

Basic:

CZK 80

  • Adults

Reduced:

CZK 60

  • Children and adolescents from 6 to 18 years of age
  • Students
  • ISIC, IYTC, ITIC card holders
  • Seniors
  • Members of the Friends of Fine Arts Club

MUSO+ MM:

CZK 100

  • The exhibitions of both the Old Brno Abbey Museum and the Mendel Museum
  • Adults

MUSO + MM:

CZK 60

  • The exhibitions of both the Old Brno Abbey Museum and the Mendel Museum
  • Children and adolescents from 6 to 18 years of age
  • Students
  • ISIC, IYTC, ITIC card holders
  • Seniors
  • Members of the Friends of Fine Arts Club

Family MUSO + MM:

CZK 260

  • The exhibitions of both the Old Brno Abbey Museum and the Mendel Museum
  • 2 adults + 3 children

Free:

CZK 0

  • Children up to the age of 6
  • Teachers accompanying groups of pupils/students
  • Disability card holders with one accompanying person
  • Employees of Czech public museums and galleries
  • Members of the Czech, Slovak Gallery Councils and the Slovak Museum Union
  • ICOM, AMG card holders
  • NPÚ Employee card holders
  • Press pass holders
  • Top Trip Destinations of South Moravia card holders

Guided tour
in Czech:

CZK 100

  • Consolidated supplementary fee for the whole group

Guided tour
in a foreign language:

CZK 250

  • Consolidated supplementary fee for the whole group
  • Languages: English, German

Tours outside of opening hours:

CZK 200

  • Consolidated supplementary fee for the whole group outside of the standard opening hours of the museum

Visit, call us, contact us

We are very grateful to our benefactors

Close the dialog

The Old Brno Abbey Museum

Exhibition authors:
Ondřej Dostál, Zdenka Broušková

Texts:
Robert Mečkovský, Tomáš Valeš, Andrea Husseinová, Ondřej Dostál, Zdenka Broušková

Translations:
Adam Prentis

Photographs:
David Konečný, Jana Závodská, Moravská zemská knihovna v Brně

Exhibits:
Opatství Staré Brno Řádu sv. Augustina, Muzeum města Brna

Installation:
Sundrive, s. r. o., MIVIS-CZ, s. r. o.

In cooperation with:
Masarykova univerzita v Brně, Opatství Staré Brno Řádu sv. Augustina

Managed by:
Mendelovo muzeum Masarykovy univerzity v Brně

Under the auspices of:
Jiří Dušek, senátor Senátu PČR
Bohumil Šimek, hejtman Jihomoravského kraje
Petr Vokřál, primátor statutárního města Brna
Mikuláš Bek, rektor Masarykovy univerzity
Alejandro Moral, OSA, generální převor Řádu sv. Augustina
Angelo Lemme, převor starobrněnského opatství
Vojtěch Cikrle, biskup brněnský

Partners:
Senát Parlamentu ČR
Jihomoravský kraj
Statutární město Brno
Semo, a. s.
S: LUKAS, s. r. o.
Sun Drive, s. r. o.