In a country best known for its medieval styles of architecture, Villa Tugendhat in Brno is a striking example of the modernist style. Designed by the German architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, the building was completed in 1930 and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001.
The free-standing three-story villa sits on a slope in Brno’s Černá Pole neighborhood. It shows Mies’ signature use of simple designs made from glass and steel. An example of early functionalism architecture, Mies used a revolutionary iron framework, which enabled him to dispense with supporting walls and arrange the interior in order to achieve a feeling of space and light. The house is the best-preserved of Mies’s European architectural works.
Built as a private home, Villa Tugendhat is now open to visitors but can only be visited by booking a guided tour. A maximum of 16 people are allowed in a single group and tickets can be purchased online. Several types of tours are available. The basic tour includes the residential areas of the villa and the garden, while the extended tour also includes the technical floor: the engine rooms, boiler room, dark room, and fur coat storage room. If you don’t have the time to visit, you can still see the exterior on a bike tour around Brno.
Things to know before you go
*Villa Tugendhat is a must-visit for design and architecture lovers. *The house is not wheelchair accessible. *High-heeled shoes may not be worn inside. *Students under the age of 26 receive discounted admission.
How to get there
The villa is accessible by public transport but requires a walk of 15-20 minutes from the nearest bus and tram stops. From the center of Brno you can take tram number 9 to Tomanova, bus number 67 to Schodova, or tram number 3 or 5 to Dětská nemocnice. There is no reserved parking for visitors near the villa but, if a space is available, you can park in the streets around Villa Tugendhat for free.
When to get there
Villa Tugendhat is open year-round, from morning through early evening—with slightly earlier closing during the winter months. If you want to take a tour of the interiors, it is advisable to book well in advance—tours can be sold out up to 2 months ahead of time. The basic tour lasts around 60 minutes; the extended tour 90 minutes.