Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mendel Museum and Monastery - Feb 27, 2010

Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-84), known as the "Father of Genetics", served as the abbot at the monastery called Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Augustinian monastery, which stands beautifully about 5 mins from our apartment.  The courtyard next to it used to have a glass house, which Mendel used to grow his plants for his experiments. In 2002, the museum dedicated to Mendel's work was founded.  Although the significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century, you can learn how devoted he was to his research and experiments throughtout his life.
The church section of the monastery is the most beautiful Gothic building in Brno.  It was constructed as the Marian church in the second quarter of the 14th century for Cistercian nuns and was replaced in 1784 by Augustinian monks.  However, the church itself remained rather untouched.  The outer wall has an array of naked bricks and stones used as decorative elements, and it is just gorgeous with rusted green

Unfortunately the church was closed yesterday, but we would definitely like to go back to have a tour inside.  According to the guidebook, it has a complex floor plan influenced by the cathedral in Marburg.  The triple-nave basilica has two transepts, with the chancel and the first transept forming a trefoil apse. At the intersection of the axes of central nave and the first transept, there is a tile with the letter "E", where Eliška Rejčka, the noble founder of the church is buried.

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