The Czech Republic has many castles and fortresses. In Brno, the 17th century hilltop Castle of Špilberk hunkers down on top Castle Hill on the site of a former fortress. Now Baroque in design, it acted as the Royal residence of the Hapsburgs. After the Napoleonic Wars, it became the most despicable prison in all of the Czech Republic, achieving status as a symbol of the excesses of the Hapsburg rulers. The Nazis took a page from the Hapsburgs and, also, used it as a prison.
Today, Špilberk Castle attracts hundreds of visitors. In the summertime, you can attend concerts and plays. You can wander the halls and view the exhibits part of the Brno City Museum. They extend over three floors and detail both the rise and roles of the Castle as well as the history of Brno, itself. Take a visit to the Dungeons, subterranean tunnels used by Emperor Joseph II or visit the Gothic reconstruction of the Chapel. Times to visit vary according to the season.
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