Kapucínská krypta

Capuchin Catacombs - Krypta - Capuchin Crypt

Useful Information

Kapucínská krypta, Brno, Czech Republic. Public Domain.
Location: Kapucínské náměstí 5, 602 00 Brno.
5 minutes walk from the main train station. Follow the sign KRYPTA.
(49.191482, 16.609804)
Open: APR to OCT Mon-Sat 9-12, 13-18, Sun 11-17.
NOV to MAR Mon-Sat 10-16, Sun 11-16:30.
Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
Closed Christmas and Easter.
Fee: Adults CZK 120, Children (0-14) CZK 70, Students (-26) CZK 70, Seniors CZK 70, Disabled CZK 70, Families (2+*) CZK 250.
Photography Permit CZK 30.
Classification: SubterraneaCatacomb
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: with permit
Accessibility: no
Address: Capuchin monastery, Kapucínské náměstí 5, 602 00 Brno, Tel: +420-511-140-053. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1599 Capuchins come to Czechia at the invitation of Archbishop Zbyněk Berka of Dubá and Lipá and found their first monastery at Hradčany in Prague.
1604 foundation of monastery in Brno after an invitation by Bishop František of Dietrichstein and donations of many benefactors.
1656–1784 Capuchin brothers and the benefactors of the order buried in the crypt.
1855 first documented visits to the crypt.
NOV-1870 the play The Life and Death of the Pandurs is performed in Brno.
1872 the brothers transfer the mortal remains into a new tin coffin, which they keep in an easily accessible chapel under the church.
APR-1950 communist action K took monasteries, confiscated possessions and religious brothers and centralized them in different places.
1968 Capuchins returned to the monastery in secrecy, religious life was still outlawed.
1989 end of the Cold War allowed the return to normal religious life.


Kapucínská krypta, Brno, Czech Republic. Public Domain.
Kapucínská krypta, Brno, Czech Republic. Public Domain.
Franz Freiherr von der Trenck (*01-JAN-1711-✝14-OCT-1749). Public Domain.
Franz Freiherr von der Trenck (*01-JAN-1711-✝14-OCT-1749). Public Domain.

The Capuchin monastery at the Kapucínské náměstí, just south of the central marketplace, has a Baroque church, the church of the Finding of the Holy Cross. Its facade and a terrace with Baroque sculptures by Jan Adam Nessman from 1765 is worth the visit, but the main sight is inside. The architect M. Grimm built a crypt below the church, which was used by the Capuchin monks to bury Capuchin order members, supporters and other personalities. The most famous members of this party are the counts of Sinzendorf, owners of the Veverí Castle, and Baron Trenck.

The Kapucínská krypta (Capuchin Crypt) was open for the public for a long time, since the end of the 19th century visitors came to see the crypt. The special feature of the crypt was the climate, which caused the bodies of the dead to mummify. This is mainly a result of the effective ventilation system, the architect created for this vault. Mainly used by the monks for their own dead, it finally became popular among the local high society to be buried here. The monks called them benefactors, obviously they made generous donations to be buried here. Over 150 Capuchin and around 50 benefactors are buried here, but in quite different ways. The Capuchin brothers were buried in their religious clothing and directly on the bare ground. The benefactors were buried in wooden coffins decorated with an oil painting. The celebrities got a special treatment, like the glass coffin of Trenck. Finally, the crypt was full and no more people were buried here.

Franz Freiherr von der Trenck (*01-JAN-1711 Reggio Calabria, Italy, ✝14-OCT-1749 Brno) was a legendary commander of the Pandur regiment and is considered to be the father of military music. The Czech version of his name is František baron Trenck. His military career was pretty stormy, a series of ups and downs, he was a good fighter, but also eccentric and brutal. He entered the Hungarian 8th Infantry Regiment of Count Nikolaus Pálffy in 1729, achieved the rank of first lieutenant, but resigned in disgrace three years later as a result of his dissolute life and his pronounced belligerence. He married the daughter of Field Marshal von Tillier, and they settled on the Brestovac estate in Slavonia, which her father had bought.

In 1737, after all his children and his wife had died from the black plague, he tried to revive his military career. First he offered his services to the Austrian army, when Count von Seckendorf refused, he entered the service of the Russian Tsarina Anna of Kiev as a knight captain in the hussar regiment. He was promoted to major for his bravery in the fight against the Turks and condemned to death for bad conduct, brutality and disobedience. He was pardoned at the place of execution by Field Marschal Münnich, demoted and convicted to several months of forced labor in Kiew fortress. Then he was expelled from Russia.

He stayed at his home, but even there a judicial criminal case was brought against him after a cruel punishment of a gang of thieves. He sought asylum in the Capuchin monastery in Vienna under the protectorate of Prince Karl Alexander of Lorraine.

At the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740, he received permission from Empress Maria Theresia to equip a corps of 1000 pandurs at his own expense and lead them to Silesia. Immediately after the accession of the young Maria Theresa to the throne, the neighbours tried to exploit the inexperience of the ruler. The Prussian King Frederick II incursed into Silesia and Bavaria tried to annex Bohemia and Upper Austria. He was quite successfully and received high honours by Maria Theresa in Vienna in February 1745 and promoted to colonel. But again their victories were counterbalanced by the atrocities they committed on the civilian population. He was accused of numerous offences, namely embezzlement of regimental funds, cruelty against his own crew as well as against the officers, incitement to steal church treasures and other offences. Some of them were obviously committed by someone else, but when in April 1746 he insulted one of his denunciators in front of the imperial couple in the Vienna theatre, he was imprisoned by order of the court's presiding general and sentenced to death in December 1746. In other words, killing a few hundred peasants is okay, foul language in front of the Empress not.

After the intercession of Emperor Franz and Prince Karl Alexander of Lorraine, the Empress ordered the resumption of the criminal proceedings. The trials lasted two years. During the proceedings he physically attacked the presiding judge. As a result he was again sentenced to death, Maria Theresia pardoned him in 1748 to life imprisonment at Špilberk Castle in Brno. Here at Špilberk, he met the monks of the Capuchin order. After only a year imprisonment he became sick. In September, he received permission from the empress to write his will, in which he donates the Capuchins four thousand gold coins. After he had died he was buried in the Capuchin crypt, following his last will, next to the Capuchin friars without coffin on bare ground. Today his mummified body is on display in a glass coffin.

Despite his bad temper, he was an educated man with musical talent and knowledge of seven languages and friend of English literature. At the same time he was a bold soldier who was able to adapt the tactics of battle to the momentary situation on the battlefield. But his worst failures ware actually being rude to important people. The first time that a documented visit of his burial took place was in 1855, the event was published in the Tagesbote newspaper. But the author tells that visiting the crypt was a common affair. At that time he was already in a massive oak coffin.

His life as an adventurer, womaniser and brawler made him fascinating, a lot of stories were written about him, later stage plays and movies. In 1883, Karl May published the story "Pandur and Grenadier" as part of his humoresques and historical tales. On the 250th anniversary of Trenck's death in 1999, the Brno City Museum dedicated an exhibition at Spielberg Castle to his fate and era.