Tišnov and Předklášteří are situated in a valley with the river Svratka passing through it and sheltered by the hill Květnice (470 m) which is an important location from the point of view of mineralogy and botany.
One of the murals on the town hall in Tišnov engraved by Jano Köhler at the beginning of the 20th century shows a proud local saying of the old simple Tišnov country folk with the following meaning: „the hill Květnice and all the water in the Besénka brook flowing down the hill are more precious than the whole of Moravia.“ This saying has its origin in the mineral wealth of the Tišnov region. In the Dark Ages, during the reign of the Přemyslide dynasty, prospectors started to look for silver ores and the brook Besének flowing into the river Svratka is said to have been panned for gold. We should be modest about this saying; however we should admit that the Tišnov region is set in a part of nice hilly country called Podhorácko and at the southeast foothills of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands with a rich past evident not only from many archaeological finds but also from many secular and ecclesiastical buildings constructed in different times and styles. The middle part of the river Svratka forms a lifeline of this interesting country. Many other small valleys and dales, many other brooks and small rivers diverge like a fan from this valley just tempting to follow their course up to places where they come from the ground, high on hills with a spectacular view across the valley.
The town hall on the Peace Square – Municipality seat – used to be a wooden structure and was first mentioned in the 16th century. Since 1771 it has been a building made of stone and in 1905-1906 a new structure in a romantic historicist style according to the plans of the architect Vladimír Fischer was built on the original medieval vaults. In 2002-2003 the building was given its present look by adding a new west wing.
One of the predominant architectural features in Tišnov is the St. Wenceslas’s church, a one-aisle Gothic building from the second half of the15th century, turned into a Baroque structure in the 18th century and again rebuilt to its present day form in mid-19th century.
The house No. 67 in Dvořáčkova street has its front decorated with frescos set in oval plaster frames depicting St. Martin and St. George. This is where Jan Dvořáček, a Czech patriot defending the rights of the Czechs against Austrian oppression was born in 1808; in 1848 he took part at the Slavonic Congress in Prague.
The town with eight thousand inhabitants is spread in a broad valley surrounded by wooded hills. The first written notice about a village called Ťušnovice, which is the present day town Tišnov, dates from 1233 and refers to the foundation of the convent Porta coeli near the town. The history of the settlement in the Tišnov valley is however much older with first settlers coming to this place forty thousand years ago. We would like to mention at least the numerous finds of stone tools from the late Palaeolithic age discovered on historic sites such as Horka near near Hradčany, Železný and Březina (Neolithic industry). There are still some gardens in Tišnov where you can still dig out broken fragments of urns dating from the Bronze Age Lusatian culture.
On a woodcut from the 1930’s Karel Formánek depicted a charming snug place in old Tišnov round the mill that was demolished in the 1960’s.
The Baroque Pieta close to the church was originally on the Komenský Square on the place of the column dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The village soon became the centre of the convent estate the wealth of which was founded on the lands donated to the convent by the ruling Přemyslide dynasty. The village began to turn into a small town; however its growth was interrupted by the Hussite wars in the15th century. The following 16th century was an era of surging growth for both crafts and commerce that brought prosperity to the growing town. The burgers began to enjoy various privileges ranging from the right to organize markets - the town received this privilege from the Bohemian king Wenceslas IV already in 1416 - to honorary privileges given by the convent abbess in 1554. These rights were reconfirmed also by other rulers especially in the 18th century. The Thirty Years’ War caused great damage in Tišnov and the town took almost two hundred years to recover. Tišnov began to be recognized as town only in 1788 when regulated municipal authorities were set up. A turning point in the town’s past was the construction of the railway connection to Brno in 1885 and its extension to Žďár nad Sázavou via Nové Město na Moravě twenty years later. Tišnov became a real gate to the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands.
The column dedicated to Virgin Mary on the Komenský Square was built in 1863 commemorating the coming of the Slavonic missionaries Constantine and Method to Moravia a thousand years ago. The statues of the missionaries flanked by St. Wenceslas and St. Florian adorn the column with the statue of Virgin Mary on top. It was created by the sculptor Josef Břenek.
The house No. 475 in the Brněnská street was the home of the painter and honorary citizen of Tišnov Josef Jambor who lived there from 1931 until his death in 1964. It was given its present form in 1996 and houses a gallery which shows a collection of Josef Jambor´s paintings which he donated to the town and the house is also partially used as exhibition place for other artists.
Only at the turn of the 20th century the town buildings went beyond the medieval borders of the town in the place under the dominant St. Wenceslas’s church. At the foothills of the wooded Klucaniny hill doctor F. Kuthan had his sanatorium built and soon a new street lined by beautiful art nouveau houses led from the town gymnasium to this place. In the time between the wars Tišnov grew into a pleasant garden town. The significant architects Bohuslav Fuchs and Jindřich Kumpošt made the plans for the functionalist building of the savings bank (today Commerce Bank/Komerční bank) and at the same time a few fine houses of the same style were built in the garden part of the town. The grammar school building was opened in 1925 and was substantially extended by a new hall in 1925-26 which has been used for social and cultural events to this day including the renowned international mineral exchange.
The character of a pleasant garden town was quite spoiled by the construction of blocks of flats in the 1960’s and 1970’ s. These blocks have become a part of their surroundings now due to trees and shrubs planted around them. An important contribution to a further development of the town was the extension of the gymnasium by a sports hall in 1978-1983 that is used for various sports events including international competitions. The home for senior citizens built in 1992-1996 at the housing estate Pod Květnicí is one of a few important and interesting buildings that have been recently constructed.
Some houses in the Rieger Street are protected by the state, many of them were built at the beginning of the 20th century. One of them is called Jaroch’s villa (No. 324) which is very attractive and has an extraordinary charm.
Tišnov has never developed any important industry. Therefore the environs of the town have kept the character of a well-balanced agricultural and wooded country with many precious and rare sites of unspoiled countryside. First of all there is the mythical hill Květnice which was declared nature reserve already in 1928. The telltale name of this partly limestone and quartzite hill („blooming hill“) clearly shows the immense number of plant species which can be found on this place. Even today you can see there many thermophilic plants blooming from spring to autumn, such as dogwood, feather grass, elecampane, grass lily, etc. The hill „blooms“ even inside with a wide variety of minerals that can be found there, such as amethyst, smoky quartz, Bohemian topaz, calcite, many stalactites of various shapes and colours. In 2002 an instructive trail was created on this hill with 13 boards providing information about plants, animal species and minerals you can find in this nature reserve. The opposite hill called Klucanina (415 m) is also surrounded by a beautiful and interesting countryside with a new lookout tower and with the rare and protected flowers of lady’s slipper (orchid) which is regarded as one of the most beautiful and precious European flowers.
The lookout tower on the hill Klucanina was erected in 2003 thanks to voluntary work of many enthusiasts from a public association called „View of Tišnov“ and also thanks to the cooperation of the municipality. It was built on the place of a former wooden lookout tower, which stood on the top of the hill in 1934-1947 and was constructed with the help of the active Club of Czech Tourists.
The Sokol gymnasium in Tišnov has been a Mecca for mineralogists for three decades. In recent years the collectors of minerals have been coming to this place usually twice a year at the first weekend in May and November. This mineral exchange has become known not only all over Europe but also for example in Japan and Latin America.
You can get a wonderful view of the town from the rocks on the hill Výrovka(420 m), perched high above the Svratka valley south of the town. You can also hike along the river round the sluice in Březina through the narrow, winding and rocky valley between the villages Sentice and Heroltice. There is the well known holiday resort Šárka with a lot of chalets built by holidaymakers from near Brno in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
There are important karstic hollows inside and under the limestone part of the hill Květnice. The biggest and the most fascinating of them is called The Queen of the Caves discovered by chance when a dachshund hunted a fox in a den in 1972. There is a very difficult speleological research going on in the cave which is only exceptionally opened to public, for example when a mineral exchange is held in Tišnov.