The programme of this historical/cultural event draws inspiration from Emperor Napoleon’s arrival in Brno on November 20, 1805. Organisational constraints make it impossible to follow the exact timing of the arrival; the event is therefore being held in the late afternoon on the Saturday nearest the historic date. As a central part of the programme, soldiers of Napoleon’s army will ride through the historic centre of Brno to the premises of Biskupský dvůr in contemporary uniforms.
The entire event is free of charge.
Everything takes place during one evening.
You will meet soldiers from Napoleon’s army in period uniforms and dragoons on horses.
Take a walk through the historic centre of Brno with Napoleon!
The first news about French troops setting foot on Moravian soil near Znojmo reached Brno on November 17. Panic broke out – city officials took every opportunity to cut and run. And consternation of the Brno inhabitants was further increased when the garrison of Spielberg Castle left the city on Monday, November 18. Fear, distress, hopelessness – such were the feelings of those who had been left to their fates.
The first Frenchmen appeared in the city on Tuesday, November 19. These were the chasseurs à cheval, members of Marshal Murat’s light cavalry with some other cavalry formations. They rode through the Brno Gate at the end of what is now Pekařská street and rushed into the fortified city like a storm. It took them only a few minutes to seize the whole of the inner city. The pulse of the capital of Moravia stopped. The French announced Napoleon’s ceremonial arrival for the next day. The French Emperor, wearing a grey cloak and a simple bicorne hat, entered the city surrounded by his guard around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.
Napoleon’s arrival brought numerous problems for the common citizens. They were beset by fear that the upcoming military conflict could directly affect them. When the French began to build fortifications near the Jewish Gate (today's central station), the gossip was that Brno would be the last point of resistance for the French army.
But Napoleon had a different battleground in mind. He wanted to lure the Allies onto the gently sloping hillocks between Brno and Austerlitz. From November 21 onwards, he and his entourage left the city every day to visit the site and Napoleon never forgot to urge his generals: “Take a good look at this terrain. It will be the battleground. You will have to play your role there.” He always returned to Brno after sunset. Two candles lit in every window welcomed him from afar – why? Come and find out!