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One of Brno’s landmarks is Villa Tugendhat. Located in the residential area in Brno, Villa Tugendhat was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. The house itself is spectacular as it has a truly different architecture and concept from those built in the same period, Villa Tugendhat being in fact one of the first examples of modern architecture in Europe. The house has an interesting story, is a unique masterpiece in terms of the structure, and the family who owned this house also has a story to discover thus making this place a must visit in Brno, Czech Republic.
To understand how special this villa is, keep in mind that you have to book online a tour! Otherwise you most likely won’t be able to see it when in Brno.
We were lucky enough to be able to visit this house. At 12 PM our tour started – it is approximately one hour tour, maybe 1h30. One important thing: the tours are in Czech, but you receive materials in English to help you understand in real time what you are seeing. You can also ask your guide for information.
I also have to add that we had a young lady as a guide, and she was really helpful – she answered questions in English, she explained the installation system to us and so on.
Villa Tugendhat is free-standing three-story located on a sloped terrain and facing the south-west. You cannot go inside as you please – only with a guide. The main entrance takes you directly to the top floor – and then you’ll in fact descend and reach the lower floors.
This impressive house is painted in white and is very spacious. The rooms are really large – especially the living room – and the windows are indeed oversized. The hot air heating and cooling system, the electrically operated windows and the photocell at the entrance make this villa special. But more importantly, the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, wanted to create a building with clear and simple shapes, in harmony with nature and the sun.
click on each photo for a larger view!
The house used for the first time in the history of architecture a steel load-bearing structure (for a private house). For the Villa Tugendhat were used high quality and rare materials – such as onyx from Morocco, Italian travertine and woody plants from south-eastern Asia.
Greta Tugendhat and Fritz Tugendhat, the house owners, both came from German Jewish families of industrialists and businessmen. Their house was designed and built between 1928-1929, but the family had to leave it at some point (political reasons – war etc.). The villa was recently renovated, so it is welcoming visitors!
As I mentioned, you’ll enter from the street directly to the third floor – called the “Bedroom floor”. You’ll have the chance to enjoy a beautiful view – the garden and some iconic buildings in Brno (the castle, the famous Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul) from the terrace and bedrooms. You’ll see the parents’ bedrooms,
and those of the children and nanny. You’ll then descend to the main living room – where you’ll see how the space can be open and serve various purposes. You’ll be able to admire a built-in bookcase veneered in Makassar ebony, see a bridge table and a piano, the onyx wall and the electrically operated windows.
You’ll get then to the scullery and the kitchen and at the first floor you’ll see and find out more about the interesting ventilation engine room, window electric drive engine room, moth chamber, dark room, storm water reservoir and many more for you to discover.
I could tell you more about this masterpiece of the Modern Movement in architecture, but I would rather let you discover the details on site.
I can only tell you that even if the tour was in Czech, we liked it and the villa. And yes, I can add that I would like to have such a big house with spacious rooms and a huge garden, an amazing view and many plants and flowers to brighten my day!