Brno is the largest city of Moravia (and the second largest in the Czech Republic after Prague) with about 380,000 inhabitants.
It has its own Neolithic Venuses (in the quarter of Maloměřice) and, besides these Venuses, the city has other things that are worth mentioning.
The Venuses of Brno-Maloměřice
The Moravian Painted Ceramics (or Pottrery) Culture
The Venuses described below were discovered during works on Brno-Maloměřice railway station. The site where they were found is now a part of a marshalling yard.
Brno and the Venus of Willendorf
It has been found out that the material which the Venus of Willendorf was made of almost certainly came from Stránská skála ( see references, Binsteiner, Alexander, 2014 ), which is a limestone hill with a cliff, situated in the eastern part of the city of Brno, and an important Palaeolithic archaeological site. So, it is quite possible that she was created in (what is now) Brno and then transported to Willendorf.
The Shaman of Brno and a rare a male figurine
An exceptional archaeological discovery was made at the crossroad of Francouzská and Přadlácká Streets, only a little more than one kilometre north-east of the city centre. It was a ritual burial of a man with grave goods resembling grave goods of recent shamans. That is why the buried man is often dubbed as the “Shaman of Brno”. Among the grave goods there was a unique male figurine, made of mammoth ivory. The figurine consists of several parts. There are drilled holes in the head and trunk of the figurine. It is the oldest known puppet (marionette) in the world. According to radiocarbon dating it is about 26,700 years old.
Brno and the origin of genetics
It was in Brno where genetics was born. Johann Gregor Mendel lived and carried out his experiments with peas there. Brno is home to Mendel museums in Mendlovo náměstí (Mendel Square) and in Biskupský dvůr.
In Brno, there are two Mendel museums. One is in the place where he lived and carried out his scientific work ( Mendelovo muzeum webpages are here) in Mendlovo náměstí (Mendel Square). The other one is called ‘Mendelianum, The Attractive World of Genetics’ ( Mendelianum, in Czech; some information available in English, the webpages are here) and is situated Biskupský dvůr (in Zelný trh Square)
Mendel was born in 1822 in Hynčice, now part of the village of Vražné (see here), about 100 km north-east of Brno.
Interestingly, close to J.G. Mendel’s birthplace (about 20 kilometres), there is the town of Příbor, the birthplace of Sigmund Freud (born in 1856) (see here). Both birthplaces are between Přerov (with the Venus of Předmostí) and Ostrava (with the Venus of Petřkovice).
Ernst Mach – the velocity of sound and Einstein’s inspiration
Mach’s name is well-known from Mach number, the number which relates the velocity of an object with the velocity of sound, i.e. supersonic objects move with Mach number greater than 1.
Ernst Mach was an important source of inspiration for Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. In principle, Mach proposed that inertial properties of a body depend on the distribution of matter in the whole universe. Einstein took the notion and changed it into the verified concept that “properties of space and time are determined by the distribution of matter and energy in the universe”. (see references: Ullman, Vojtěch, 1986)
Ernst Mach was born in Brno-Chrlice, in the southern outskirts of the city of Brno in 1838.
Kurt Gödel is another outstanding scientist born in Brno (in 1906). According to John David Barrow, an English cosmologist, physicist and mathematican, Kurt Gödel was "one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century and the most important logician since Aristotle" ( ref. Barrow, John D., 2011).
Camellia flowers and Brno
The Camellia flower was named after Georg Joseph Kamel (also known as Jiří Josef Kamel), who was born in Brno in 1661.
At this point, I cannot help mentioning that Brno is also the birthplace of my humble self.