Technical Museum in Brno

Petr Nekuža


Technical Museum in Brno

Purkynova 105, 612 00 Brno Czech Republic

www.technicalmuseum.cz

Brno, Czech Republic
2009 Gloria Musaealis Award / Museum Event Category


The new look of the water mill in Slup


In 1983 the water mill in the south Moravian village Slup became the third technical site in the management of the Technical Museum in Brno that is open to public.The first written record of the village lying at the Austrian border is from 1228. Gradually extended the so-called krhovice-jaroslavice leat (now 31 km long) which runs this way from the mid 15th century but its oldest part was dug out in the 13th century. From 1512 is the oldest known Slup miller Johannes.

Contemporary late-renaissance building, built probably in the late 16th century to replace an earlier mill, is one of the greatest surviving buildings of its kind in the country. Feudal mill on the mill race led from the river Dyje, fitted with 5 water wheels and 10 pairs of millstones, was in the 17th and 18th century one of the largest in Moravia. The builder designed the building so generously that during the modernization of the technological equipment of the mill no expansion of the building was needed. At the beginning of the 19th century the mill passed from religious and secular owners of the local estates into the private ownership of Slup millers, after which it was owned by several families. After the Second World War the mill as German property fell into state hands. In the early 1950acute;s, the mill stopped grinding, the machines were dismounted and the building began to deteriorate. After the large reconstruction carried out in the late 1970acute;s and 1980acute;s, which saved the monument from physical extinction, it was possible to install four grinding units, presenting the evolution of the milling industry in the Czech lands from the top medieval ages to the first half of the 20th century.

For more than twenty years of operation, the technical condition of the monument progressively deteriorated and the exhibition became physically and contentualy obsolete. Therefore the Technical Museum in Brno started extensive reconstruction work in 2004. In 2003 the theft of several collection items initiated an instalation of a security system payed from the Integrated Programme of Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, upgrading also the existing fire alarm system. There was also replaced electrical wiring, installed new lighting of the mill interior and dehumidifier equipment working on the principle of electroosmosis. Dehumidification of the walls then allowed the necessary repair work of the monuments facade. Millwrights exchanged four damaged water wheels, along with wooden parts of bridges over the mill race and other wooden constructions. To create a dignified frame of the national cultural landmark also helped the repair of the immediately following shore of the flume using traditional wickered fences and especially paving of the front of the mill area with a clear definition of parking spaces. Village Slup provided night lighting of the monument.

Originally planned reinstallation of the actual exposition has changed in to a completely new exhibition documenting the long development of grain processing using a number of authentic three-dimensional objects. Together with the installed machines the exhibition allows visitors to learn about the development of milling technology from the beginning of grain growing to the 20th century in its entirety in an authentic environment. It is possible to see quern-stones, hand mills, water-powered grinding devices and also a roller mill. A number of collection exhibits documenting the alternative sources of power for watermills was extended by wood gas engine instalation, which is scheduled for activation using electric engine or connecting to existing transmission drive of milling machines.
    
Among the efforts of the Technical Museum in Brno to attract public to visit the water mill has an important place meeting of the traditional folk crafts and folklore groups called Bread Festival, which the museum currently has a role of a co-host.In June 12th 2009 the ceremonial opening of the exhibition of milleracute;s trade evolution completed a major milestone (or millstone, in this case) in Slup mill existency and visitors can see the important technical monument in more degnified form than at the very beginning of the 21st century.

In May 2010 the Technical Museum in Brno was awarded with Czech National Museums prize Gloria Musaealis in category Museum Achievement of 2009 for activities in the last few years related with the repeated reconstruction of the Slup mill. Water mill in Slup is currently one of seven technical monuments in management of the Technical Museum in Brno (Smithy in Tesany / Wind mill in Kuzelov / Old ironworks in Adamov / Water mill in Slup / Railway station in Brno - Lisen / Border fortifications in Satov / Iron mill Slakhamr by Zdar nad Sazavou).