Genius loci

The concept of genius loci, the spirit of the place, means a sum of values that determine the unique character of a place. Such phenomena of a natural and cultural character create a positive image of the place, its authenticity, integrity, intimacy and sacredness. In the case of Mikulčice it is the unique combination of several qualities: the paramount historical importance of the location, the extent of the preservation of archaeological objects, long-term archaeological research and an exceptional landscape. The most prominent of these qualities is the spiritual character of the place, influenced by a high concentration of early mediaeval Christian churches and burial places, which is enhanced by the natural environment, the local floodplain forests and meadows.

In the postwar period Mikulčice and the local archaeological
base − a workplace of the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Brno – witnessed a remarkable period of discoveries at the 9th-century Moravian sites.

Despite some distorted interpretations and the political background of post-war archaeology, the period of discoveries in Mikulčice and other Great Moravian localities remains a unique, valuable chapter in the research into early mediaeval Moravia and the eastern part of Central Europe. The locality of Mikulčice-Valy, discovered suddenly and unexpectedly in 1954, and the subsequent excavations became a symbol of postwar success for so-called Slavic archaeology in what was then Czechoslovakia. The fascinating results of the fresh excavations and research carried out at the 9th-century Moravian and Slovak locations were promptly presented by means of the “Great Moravia” exhibition, which was highly acclaimed both in Czechoslovakia and abroad. The project was opened in 1963 in Dům umění in Brno and then re-installed in a number of European capitals. The Mikulčice finds were always at the core of these installations. This is why archaeological research is one of the major phenomena that forms the genius loci of the Mikulčice fortified place.