24 Jun 2017. Once upon a time I had a Saturday off work (‘It’s maaagic!’, I know!), and I thought it would be super cool (and hugely mainstream) to go on a day trip somewhere outside Brno. So we (Bobby and I) shortlisted a number of potentially ideal places of interest (cities, towns and villages) close to (or not too far from) Brno, and… Znojmo happened.
There was the (tiny) city centre, which all gravitates toward the main square, a kind of rectangle whole long sides are lined with colourful buildings as neatly ordered as boxes aligned on a kitchen shelf. To the end of the square you will find the ‘Dyje’ shopping centre (Obchodní dům) and, most importantly, the City Hall tower (Radniční věž), whose funny-shaped top can easily be glimpsed from any side street in the area.
There was the bundle of tiny alleys leading up to St. Nicholas Church (Chrám svatého Mikuláše), all cobblestones, coloured walls and old, evocative shop signs.
There was St. Nicolas square itself, where a truly spectacular view opened up before our eyes, revealing green hills randomly scattered with sparse houses and gardens, a unique bird’s eye view over Znojmo’s red-tiled roofs, and the Dyje river, a strip of intense blue in a sea of green.
From St. Nicolas square you can (and must) walk all the way to the Rotunda of St. Catherine (Rotunda svaté Kateřiny). The (predictably) round-shaped building is, as we learned, the city’s key monument, renowned for the Romanesque style of its own architecture and the unique fresco it features. Which fresco we didn’t see anyway because the Rotunda was under restoration.
The weather greatly contributed to the perfect city portrait. Everything was flooded by sunlight, so much so that stones, walls and tiles lying in the sun felt boiling hot and looked blinding white. It was almost Mediterranean. As pretty and beautiful as it could get.