The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is one of the dominating features of the city of Brno. The origins of the church on Petrov dates back to the 1170s. In the Gothic period the church was rebuilt several times. In one of the reconstructions, around 1500, the original consecration to St. Peter was added to by the consecration to St. Paul. In 1296 a collegiate chapter was established at the church. During the Thirty Years’ War the church burnt down and was newly built in two Baroque periods, 1651-52 and 1743-46. When Pope Pius VI confirmed the establishing of the Brno diocese in 1777, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was promoted to a cathedral.
The cathedral had 21 altars at the end of the 15th century. The cathedral was damaged in the year 1643 during the Swedish siege, and was burned down. Between 1743 and 1748 the aisle was re-designed into the shape which it has today, according to the design of Mořic Grimm. The chancel was re-gothicized at the end of the 19th century. The overall reconstruction was finished by Viennese architect August Kirstein in the year 1909, when the cathedral received two towers, and other civil adjustments were implemented. Among the decorations inside the church, you cannot overlook the statue of Madonna and child which dates from around the 1300’s, a late Gothic pieta, Baroque altars and a rostrum.
Apart from the cathedral interior visitors may see the Romanesque-Gothic crypt with foundations of the original church. In the treasury room there is an exhibition of vestments, monstrances and other liturgical articles. Visitors also like to climb the cathedral steeples to have a view of the city. The diocese museum houses an interesting exhibition of Vita Christi (Christ’s life).References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.