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Personalities

Dagmar Havlová

Dagmar Havlová

* 3/23/1953 Brno

Czech theatrical and film actress, wife of the former President Vaclav Havel since 1997. She played in the Jiří Wolker theatre, Vinohrady theatre. She has starred in 50 films and received a number of awards. She has devoted herself to charity intensely and established the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel foundation VIZE 97.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

* 3/28/1886 Cáchy - † 8/18/1969 Chicago

The German architect lived in the USA from 1938. Among his most interesting building structures are the German pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona from 1929 and the Brno Tugendhat Villa from 1930.

František z Ditrichštejna

František z Ditrichštejna

* 8/23/1570 Madrid - † 9/20/1636 Brno

One of the most famous Czech politicians of the 17th century, he was the Bishop of Olomouc from 1599. In Moravia, he was the main character in the anti-reformation movement and re-catholicisation. He was the main advisor to Habsburg monarchs. He established several monasteries and supported science and art.

Jára Cimrman

According to some scholars, a long forgotten and then rediscovered Czech genius from the turn of the 20th century. He excelled in many fields. He was a great playwright, philosopher, amateur gynaecologist, skier, close friend and teacher of Albert Einstein, inventor, daltonist and close friend of T.A. Edison. According to other people, he never actually existed and was the invention of the theatre bearing his name.

Ernst Gideon von Laudon

Ernst Gideon von Laudon

* 2/3/1716 Tootzen - † 7/15/1790 Nový Jičín

One of the greatest leaders of the 18th century. He became famous in the Prussian wars and for his march against the Osman Empire in the Balkans. At the end of his life he was very popular among all social classes. When visiting Nové Jičín he acquired pneumonia and passed away. The following day his remains were ceremoniously transferred to the Hofburg in Vienna, where his wife is also buried.

Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches

Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches

* 8/17/1608 La Rochelle - † 8/13/1682 Jevišovice

Firstly he battled on the side of the hugenots at his hometown La Rochelle. Then he left France and entered the order of the Swedish army. However he ended up leaving it. In March 1645, he was named general by Emperor Ferdinand III. Under his leadership, the Brno troop of just 1500 men preserved the town against 28 000. In 1646 he became the general major and then the general of imperial troops in Moravia. He spent the end of his life at his extensive Moravian estate, which the Habsburg emperors granted to him.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

* 8/16/1769 Ajaccio, Korsika - † 5/6/1821 Svatá Helena

One of the most significant leaders, French generals. In 1804 he had himself crowned as the Emperor of France, he implemented numerous reforms and new laws, reorganised the government and improved the system of education. His troops consisted of 3 million soldiers. He tried to take over all of Europe.

Leoš Janáček

Leoš Janáček

* 7/4/1854 Hukvaldy - † 8/13/1928 Ostrava

Born in Hukvaldy, where you will find a memorial to him. His work is regarded as one of the pillars of contemporary world music. Apart from opera, he wrote vocal, orchestral and chamber compositions and cantatas. Every year in June is the Janáček Hukvaldy Festival. The foremost Moravian opera house bears his name.

Alfons Mucha

Alfons Mucha

* 7/25/1860 Ivančice - † 7/15/1939 Praha

Czech art nouveau artist. Born in Ivančice, studied at the Slovanic grammar school in Brno. In 1879 he went to Vienna to work as a theatre scenery painter. In 1883 he was invited by Count Khuen Belassim to create the décor of chateau Emmahof in Vienna. The breaking point in his career was in 1897 when he received an order for a poster for Sarah Bernhardt. Mucha’s most famous period was at the turn of the 20th century. In the U.S.A. he was welcomed as one of the greatest decorative artists in the world, however he returned to the Bohemia.

Dagmar Havlová

Dagmar Havlová

* 3/23/1953 Brno

Czech theatrical and film actress, wife of the former President Vaclav Havel since 1997. She played in the Jiří Wolker theatre, Vinohrady theatre. She has starred in 50 films and received a number of awards. She has devoted herself to charity intensely and established the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel foundation VIZE 97.

Edvard Beneš

Edvard Beneš

* 5/29/1884 Kožlany - † 9/4/1948 Sezimovo Ústí

The second president of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. After the start of World War I Beneš engaged in anti-Austrian resistance and helped organise rebellions. From the beginning of the twenties he was a significant and respected politician in Europe. After the abdication, T.G. Masaryk was elected president on 18.12.1935. After concluding the Munich Agreement he went to exile. Following the ensuing presidential vote (1946) he once again became president.

Eliška Rejčka

Eliška Rejčka

* 9/2/1286 Poznaň - † 10/19/1335 Staré Brno

Czech queen, widow of Czech kings. She was originally promised to the son of Branibor Margrave Oto Braniborský, but instead in 1300 married Czech King Václav II, whose wife had died. In 1303 she arrived in Prague and was crowned Czech and Polish queen. On this occasion she took the name Elizabeth or also Eliška; Rejčka is a corruption of her original name. Rudolf Hapsburg, who took the unoccupied Czech thrown in 1306, chose her as his second wife.

František z Ditrichštejna

František z Ditrichštejna

* 8/23/1570 Madrid - † 9/20/1636 Brno

One of the most famous Czech politicians of the 17th century, he was the Bishop of Olomouc from 1599. In Moravia, he was the main character in the anti-reformation movement and re-catholicisation. He was the main advisor to Habsburg monarchs. He established several monasteries and supported science and art.

Jan Adam Ondřej z Lichtenštejna

Jan Adam Ondřej z Lichtenštejna

* 12/1/1657 Brno - † 6/11/1712 Vídeň

The third Lichtenstein prince was a very good economist and financier, a great fan and supporter of art, especially painting and architecture. In 1694 he received the Merit Order of the Knights of the Golden Fleece. In 1699 he acquired the Schellenberg estate and in 1212 the County of Vaduz. Later on, this territory formed a part of the present day Principality of Lichtenstein. He was one of the most generous patrons of his time.

Jiří z Poděbrad

Jiří z Poděbrad

* 4/24/1420 Poděbrady - † 3/23/1471 Praha

The only Czech monarch who did not come from a monarchical dynasty. He avoided non-radical Calixtines. In 1452 he conquered Tabor, thereby liquidating the Taborites as a political and religious group. In the very same year he became the administrator of the Czech kingdom during the reign of minor Ladislav Pohrobka.

Karel IV.

Karel IV.

* 5/15/1316 Praha - † 11/30/1378 Praha

The most significant European monarch of late medieval times, Roman emperor and Czech king, he was nicknamed the “Father of the Homeland.” During his reign the Czech monarchy became the centre of Europe, Prague was the royal seat of the city of the Holy Roman Empire. The country underwent incredible economic, artistic and cultural development. He brought Czech monarchy to its climax. Charles IV is buried in the sarchophagus in the middle of the royal crypt in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle.

Karel sr. of Žerotín

Karel sr. of Žerotín

* 9/16/1564 Brandýs nad Orlicí - † 10/10/1636 Přerov

One of the most significant figures in the Pre-White Mountain period, nobleman, politician and writer. In 1595 he led the Moravian movement in battle against the Turks. From 1608 he was the Moravian district marshal. He took part in establishing the Austro-Hungarian-Moravian confederation in support of Matyáš, who was in conflict with Rudolph II.

Přemysl Otakar I.

Přemysl Otakar I.

* 1155 - † 1230 Praha

Ottokar I was a Bohemian prince and the third king of Bohemia from the Přemyslid dynasty. He was the oldest son of King Vladislaus II and his second wife, Judith of Thuringia. He was the first Bohemian king to secure the hereditary title for his descendants.

Přemysl Otakar II

Přemysl Otakar II

* 1233 Městec Králové - † 1278 Suché Kruty

Přemysl Otakar II, known as the iron and golden king, born around 1233 as the second son of King Václav I and Kunhuta Štaufská, was the fifth Czech king from the Přemyslid family (crowned in 1261) and a powerful Central European sovereign who temporarily connected Austrian lands to Bohemia after the Babenburg family died out. However, these lands were not held long against the advancing Hapsburgs, and Přemysl Otakar II was killed during his retreat from the Battle of the Marchfeld, after having been defeated by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph I.

Saint Cyril

* 0826 - † 0869

Saint Cyril (originally named Konstantinos) was a Byzantine theologian and one of the most prominent scholars of the 9th century. The younger brother of St. Methodius, together with whom he is known as the Apostle of the Slavs and the main patron of Moravia.

Saint Methodius

Saint Methodius

* 0813 Soluň - † 0885 Morava

Significant Byzantine jurist, theologian and statesman, one of the most prominent scholars of the 9th century. The elder brother of St. Cyril, along with whom he is known as the Apostle of the Slavs and the main patron of Moravia.

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

* 3/8/1850 Hodonín - † 9/15/1937 Lány

The first Czechoslovakian president, Czech philosopher, pedagogue, politician, scientist and journalist. He spent his youth in Čejkovice. He entered the political and social scene during the Austrian monarchy. During World War I he organised anti-Austrian resistance towards establishing an independent Republic of Czechoslovakia. He was the President of Czechoslovakia from 1918 and abdicated in 1935 due to old age.

Václav Antonín Kounic

Václav Antonín Kounic

* 2/3/1711 Vídeň - † 6/28/1794 Mariahilf u Vídně

He came from the old feudal, later earl family of the Opava region. After studying in Vienna he entered the services of the Emperor Charles VI in 1727. During the course of the war for Austrian heritage (1740-48), Marie Teresa entrusted him with numerous diplomatic tasks. In 1753 he became the first minister of Marie Teresa with the title of a court and state chancellor. He deserved merit for acquiring the King of France as an ally to Austria. He was also renowned as a patron and supported the arts. He is buried in the Kounic tomb in the chateau in Slavkov by Brno.

Johann Gregor Mendel

Johann Gregor Mendel

* 7/21/1822 Hynčice - † 1/7/1884 Brno

Abbot in the Augustinian monastery in Old Brno, born in Hynčice. Known for breeding experiments with peas in the monastery garden. He discovered Mendel's law that became the basis for genetics.

Karel Absolon

Karel Absolon

* 6/17/1877 Boskovice - † 10/7/1960 Brno

The discoverer of Punkevny caves (in 1909 - 1933), paleontologist, paleoanthropologist, explorer in the Moravian kras area, Dolní Věstonie and also abroad in France, Britain and in the Balkans. He was born in Boskovice. His expedition was the first to descend to the very bottom of the Macocha gorge in 1901 using ropes and ladders from the edge of the gorge. He established the exposition Anthropos in the Moravian Municipal Museum of Brno.

Viktor Kaplan

Viktor Kaplan

* 11/28/1876 Mürzzuschlag - † 8/23/1934 Unterach am Attersee

Austrian engineer, inventor of Kaplan’s turbine. He studied at Vienna’s Technical University. He also spent some time at the German Technical University in Brno, as a constructor of the institution of learing about machines. His turbine received a patent in 1920.

Baldassare Fontana

* 6/27/1661 Chiasso - † 10/7/1733 Chiasso

Italian baroque sculptor, who also worked in Moravia. He created a large number of valuable stucco interiors during his life. We can see his work in the monastery in Velehrad, or in Olomouc, where his sculptures decorate the Archbishop’s palace. He is buried in the Church of St. Vitus in Chiasso.

Jan Amos Comenius

Jan Amos Comenius

* 3/29/1592 Nivnice - † 11/16/1670 Amsterdam

He spent his childhood in Uherský Brod. He attended the Moravian Church school in Přerov in 1608 – 1611, and later studied in Herborn and Heidelberg. In 1616 he was ordained as a minister and two years later he became pastor of the Moravian Church congregation in Fulnek. After White Mountain he was forced into hiding and most often stayed at the castle of Charles the Elder of Žerotín in Brandýs. His wife and two of his children died, and during this difficult period he wrote Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, which is probably his best-known work. In 1628 he left his native country for good and went to Lesna, Poland, where he lived and worked until 1656. A fire in the town cost Comenius his entire library and most of his manuscripts; he left home once again and made his way to Amsterdam. His time there was the peak of his scientific and literary activities; Comenius published approximately 62 books while living in Amsterdam. His inclinations toward irrationalism and faith in prophecy and visions also became stronger. At this time he also composed several religious tracts, polemics, and even political treatises. Not all of these met with understanding.

Karel Čapek

Karel Čapek

* 1/10/1890 Malé Svatoňovice - † 12/26/1938 Praha

Czech prosaic, dramatist, journalist and translator of the first half of the 20th century. For a certain period he was the representative of the Czechoslovakian Penclub. During the time of of the threat of Nazi occupation he was one of the main motors of resistance. He began creating literature before World War I, at first with his brother Josef, who was primarily a painter.

Karel sr. of Žerotín

Karel sr. of Žerotín

* 9/16/1564 Brandýs nad Orlicí - † 10/10/1636 Přerov

One of the most significant figures in the Pre-White Mountain period, nobleman, politician and writer. In 1595 he led the Moravian movement in battle against the Turks. From 1608 he was the Moravian district marshal. He took part in establishing the Austro-Hungarian-Moravian confederation in support of Matyáš, who was in conflict with Rudolph II.