Art and Culture



Mikulov is hardly an art Mecca. It is not Paris or Vienna. It is smallish town of some 7500 inhabitants but it has an artisitc life on your own - to which you can contribute, for example if you want to exhibit your art work here or even settle down.

Compared to its size, of only 7500+ inhabitants, a very recent history (all inhabitants are newcomes who were brought in after the end of the Second World War or their descendants, never mind recent migrants like myself), lack of wealth, either of new or inherited variety, the cultural life of the town is quite astonishing. There is even a private theater, a cinema, concerts, mainly of popular and folk variety but also jazz performances take place throughout the year. The classical music scene is not exactly flourishing but is extistant, something that in itself is amazing considering the town's postwar history and deminutive size.

There are no art museums that opened year round but a quite few small private galleries are opened.

Please let me know if you want exhibit your art in Mikulov.

The town of Mikulov publishes a cultural events calendar, I will later try to translate those monthly event calendars in more digistible form.

But what is happening within long demolished city walls of Nikolsburg is of little relevance because what matters most is that today's Mikulov is located in one of the world's regions most saturated with art and culture. Here are the world's top three per my count. I am a eurocentric Eurocentric though.

- Italy, the entire North without Southern Tyrol, and the Center or from the North of around Verona down to Rome.

- France and the lands around Paris including parts of Belgium and westernmost Germany- just insert the bar needle of a compass somewhere at the Place de la Concorde and draw a 350 km circle but do so without crossing the Channel over to England.

-Vienna, same here but the circle is perhaps a bit smaller, the bar needle is inserted somwhere in Vienna's Hofburg and 250 km circle is drawn around.

These are top three, the other contenders being perhaps Southern Italy from Rome down, greater London and the lands around it - a circule of say 150 km and with Mediterranean France being the finalist.

Even though Mikulov or Nikolsburg fell out from Austria's political orbit in 1918 and was forcefully separated from the German speaking world in 1945 to which it used to belong throughout its entire written history, the remnants of civilization remained.

Mikulov itself is worthy of a UNESCO landmark status but it has UNESCO sights in immediate vicinity, the estates of Valtice (Feldsberg) and Lednice (Eisgrub), which represent a monument of human cultural and artistic heritage in their entirity - not just as palaces and parks, but as landscape. The ultimate Gesamtkunstwerk. Without the music one. If you cross into lower Austria's Weinviertel, you'd discover the world of intense beauty. The melodic sight of rolling hills and pathwork of fields with church spires and castle ruins is, at least in my opinion, the most beautiful landscape anywhere. It lacks the Alpine drama but it is beautiful. I hate writing words repetitevely and so I look up 61 synonyms for the word beautiful to find the most descriptive one for the Weinviertel scenery. None does it justice: it is just that - beautiful.

Vienna, which is the Mecca for Arts and a museum superpower condensed within one city, is well under an hour drive away. It can also be easily reached by train (from Mistelbach or from quaint Laa an der Thaya). Although for most, though not all, Czech speaking inhabitants of the region Vienna is alien now, the disappearance of the borders did remarkably little to remove not physical borders which are very much present, Vienna's proximity is a boon to any culture savvy outsider. Nikolsburg, Milulov is within Vienna's sphere of influence, at 75 km distance from the metropolis it falls neatly within my 250 km circle of gravitation. There you'd find a vibrant art scene, some of the world's most important art, historical and technical museums, countless galleries, antique markets, the classical music environment and richness of repertoire that is perhaps still without a parallel on the planet, regular performances by international pop, rock and jazz stars, culinary variety that is a few other cities can offer.

The adjacent Weinviertel or Wine Quarters of Lower Austria which Mikulov now borders (it is a border town after all) has a thriving local art life, features numerous performances and concerts throughout the region well through the year, though the crescendo is reached in late summer/ Don't forget inummerable castles, ruins of old fortifications, museums beautiful towns and hamlets and, something that I consider a part of cultural life of highest value, rich and bountiful wine making tradition that is at least two millennia old and which is much alive and now generates some of the world best and most aromatic white wines mainly through a small scale, artisan production.

Southern Moravia itself - on the Czech Republic side where Mikulov is also located is the center of the Czech Republic wine making, in fact the region produces 96% of domestic wine in the Czech Republic and Mikulov is the key wine producing town, though more on that in the Food and Drink section.

Brno, Brünn, a city that was best known for it is bourgeois life, textiles, it was known as the Austrian Manchester, and adventurous architecture is now the capital of Moravia. As a city is much overshadowed by Prague and also much understatimated, even unknown, in greater Europe never mind the rest of the world. The city is marvelous, has its own character, tough but not disagreeable, it is shabby in some parts, flamboyant, very much Czech now (the Austrian or the German speaking ingredient has disappeared almost in its entirety save for Brünn's glorious architecture). has a few good art and historical museums, numerous galleries, performance venues, night clubs (to an extent also a part of culture scene), movies. Brno is very much alive.

Because Mikulov is in located in one of the greater region with world's richest density of culture from the past and historical heritage, I consider it to be in the top three, there is no question of whether you find enough "art and culture" here, in fact you'd find more than anyone can possibly handle but because there is so much of it you can be picky. And with Brno (Brünn), Weinviertel of lower Austria and Vienna so close, the variety of modern art and choice of live music is bewildering.

Tell us what you want to do and see, and we perhaps could work out a sightseeing plan for you.