Sunday, 18 March 2012

In the Footsteps of Napoleon

Yesterday, we went on a day trip arranged by the Brno Expat Centre to visit Austerlitz (know as Slavkov locally) and other places relating to the great battle of 1805. We set off on a beautiful sunny morning on a minibus from Brno and just half an hour later arrived at our first port of call: The Cairn of Peace Memorial. There is an exhibit there with items from the period and also a multi-media presentation in English to give an idea of what went on leading up to, during and after the battle. Sad to think that so many Austrian, French and Russian soldiers lost their lives here and now lie beneath the fields.

Memorial built 1910

Art Nouveau sculpture representing widows of the dead at the
entrance to the chapel inside the memorial.

Somewhat macabre - remains of soldiers found in the
 surrounding fields are brought to rest here.

We then travelled on to the Stará Pošta (Old Post Office) where Napoleon slept the night before the battle of Austerlitz and thought out his strategy. There is a small museum here and a nice restaurant serving traditional fayre.

Stará Pošta courtyard

Next stop was the Slavkov Chateau. This is a beautiful baroque castle with ornate stucco work and frescoes. The chateau does not open to the public until April, but they opened it especially for our tour. Sadly, no photos are allowed inside and we couldn't access the gardens due to works being carried out, but here are some shots of the exterior:

Main entrance to Slavkov-Austerlitz Chateau.

We then had an hour or so to wander around Slavkov. There isn't much to do there and everything closes on a Saturday after midday, but we had a pivo and sat in the sun before going on to our last stop of the day Žuráň Hill, which Napoleon made his field command post and where he watched the battle unfold.

Battle plan.

It was then time to head back to Brno for a well deserved drink. Ideally, I should have had a Napolean Brandy, but had to make do with a Martell. A nice end to a nice day.


  1. Sounds like an educational day out & so pleased that, despite only being mid-March, you had such good weather for the trip. Austerlitz/Slavkov u Brna is now certainly on our list of places to visit in the Czech Republic.

  2. It was a very nice day. Nothing ueber exciting, but just pleasant and the lovely weather made it even better. The monument and castle are definitely worth visiting.