Letohrádek Mitrovských


Secret meetings of Freemasons and the first pineapple greenhouse.


Antonín Arnošt Freiherr Mitrowicz was born in 1735 in Banská Štiavnica. For many years, he served in the army in many ranks, last as Major General, and he was named a “c. and k. true chamberlain”. His military career ended in 1778 when he lost his leg during an artillery attack and was retired early. After that, he moved to Brno and in the following year he bought
an estate with a garden in Old Brno, where a villa with
a magnificent garden delimited by the Svratka river lead were built in the years 1779-1794. Antonín Arnošt also became one of the main benefactors of the Brno University and was also
a member of the Brno lodge of the Freemasons.


The authorship of the project is not clearly determined. The villa is a building of great artistic quality and it is visually interesting. The floor plan of the building is late baroque, axially composed. The oval central hall is elevated above the surroundings and hides illusive fresco decorations which create the impression of view of exotic land with lush vegetation, but Masonic symbols are also very subtly incorporated in them. The author of the painting is probably the painter Ignaz Mayer junior (1763‑1842) who worked on similar contracts for the Pernštejn estate of the Mitrowicz family.

19th a 20th century

The suburban villa located in an ornamental garden was very famous during the time of Earl Antonín Arnošt Mitrowicz mainly thanks to social ceremonies which were attended also by Emperor Napoleon I and later Emperor Franz I.

The building was purchased for the city’s purposes in the second half of the 19th century. It lost its reputation and served as a venue for folk theatre arenas, balls and other entertainment. At the beginning of the 20th century, a nursery was established here which used the building until the 1960s. At that time, the fencing was removed from the garden, the garden was made smaller and modified into a leisure park where a Baroque sculpture of the god of war Mars was placed later. The garden buildings (greenhouse – orangery) as well as the buildings forming support facilities for the villa were torn down.

A general reconstruction of the building took place in the years 1979-1987 and subsequently the villa was used for several years by the Brno City Museum.

Since the end of 2007, the villa has been used again for cultural purposes. The building is rented by a private person.

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