About the base

The Trapíkov sand dune is about one kilometre from the acropolis of the Great Moravian castle Mikulčice-Valy; it was settled as early as primaeval times and the Early Middle Ages. The position of the new base at this very site carries both practical and symbolic importance. The building is strategically located at the entrance to the monument preservation site, on an elevation that protects it from floods, and it is a symbol of settlement continuity in the cultural landscape of the valley meadow of the River Morava.

Architecturally, the new base is an unusual building. It is a place where both intellectual and manual work takes place; it serves as an occasional temporary residence for archaeologists, a depository of finds, a conference centre and the seat of excavation management. The construction materials used and the harmonious architectural forms determine the character of the building as a place for concentrated work in the metaphysical environment of an alluvial landscape. The building was created on the basis of a long-term collaboration between architects and archaeologists, and, its interiors included, was designed by Pelčák and Partner Architects of Brno.

The new building is connected with the world of Great Moravia by the traditional building materials − natural plaster and the raw wood used in the sun blinds and avant-corps.

This two-storey building with a three-ridge saw-tooth roof is organised into four wings by an internal and an entrance patio. Like city quarters meeting at the main square, the wings of the archaeological base meet in its public space – in the lobby, which also serves as a meeting and conference hall. One wing serves for research, another is residential, the third stores documentation and the last is the seat of administration and management. On the first floor there are depositories and residences for seasonal workers and guests.

The building has all the features needed for the functioning of an archaeological workplace of this kind. The core of the base is the research premises with the archaeologists’ offices and laboratories for conservation, restoration and analysis. An important part of the base is the so-called wet lab where the washing and drying of finds takes place and where botanical and other organic samples are submitted to methods such as flotation and where large objects, transported from the excavation in situ, can be analysed.

The research base in Trapíkov draws on the unforgettable atmosphere of the old archaeological base on the acropolis – it is part of the genius loci of the Mikulčice-Valy fortified settlement.