The headquarters of the Regional Museum is Mikulov's imposing chateau, rising high above the picturesque town over the road between Brno and Vienna. The border between Moravia and Austria was once guarded by a medieval castle founded by Czech King Otakar Přemysl I. Its Gothic defense towers, which still stand out from the body of the castle, remind us of how old Mikulov really is. The owners of the town, the families Liechtenstein and Dietrichstein, gradually developed their residence according to the requirements of the times, to its present Baroque elegance.
Historical Scintific Instruments in the Mikulov Collections
The publication was awarded the 3rd place in the Gloria musaealis competition in the category of Museum publication of the year 2011
The core of of the scientific instruments collection deposited in the Regional Museum in Mikulov come from the former Mikulov Grammar School founded by the Piarist Fathers in 1631. As the collection was motivated by the needs of education, the whole set of the instruments in the mathematical cabinet has been preserved and the whole collection of unique origin can be admired at the museum.
The catalogue of the scientific instruments from the16th - 18th century was published to accompany an exhibition made to celebrate the 380th anniversary of foundation of the Mikulov Piarist school, the first educational institution founded by this order outside Italy. It was written by the foremost Czech historian of astronomy PhDr. Zdeněk Horský, CSc at the end of 1980s. The catalogue was intended to be published at the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jan Evangelista Purkyně (1787 - 1869), the best known alumnus of the Mikulov school. Unluckily the publication did not take place and Dr. Horský died. It took nearly quarter of century till the museum could repay this debt to the author.
This little known collection containing over 60 items consists of mathematical, metrological, geodetic and topographical instruments, globes and armillary spheres, rich collection of various types of sundials, as well as instruments used for demonstration of principles of mechanics, optics, thermophysics, electricity and magnetism, and chemistry. Dr. Horský based the arrangement of the catalogue on the general usage of the classification of branches in the history of sciences, as practised in the international index of historical scientific instruments made by the UNESCO for the International Union for Philosophy and History of Sciences. The publication on Mikulov collection will certainly become a welcome contribution to this index and it will be appreciated not only by the historians of science, but also by employees of museums and antiquarians as well as amateur admirers of historical objects.
The publication is bilingual - it has been translated into English. The individual items are presented on fine photographs by Milan Karásek and accompanied by slides by Jaroslav Prokop and engravings from historical books from the château library. PhDr. Alena Hadravová, CSc. from the Institute for Contemporary Sciences of the Czech Academy of Sciences and doc. RNDr. Petr Hadrava, DrSc. from the Astronomical Institute of Czech Academy of Sciences published a commentary on the collection in the introductory part of the book and helped to make the publication possible. RNDr. Jiří Grygar, CSc. contributed personal memory of the author of the catalogue.
published: 2011 165 pages excerpt from the book
Publication can be ordered at:
Regionální muzeum v Mikulově, Zámek 1, 692 15 Mikulov, Czech republik
tel.: +420 519 309 019
Payment: advance invoice, the publication will be sent after the payment is transferred to our account