Mendel is back

A festival that will present Mendel in a different light and reveal his true DNA.
23 – 24 July 2016 in Brno

Brno, Czech Republic

4 faces – priest – geneticist – meteorologist – beekeeper
4 places – Mendlovo náměstí – Jánská ulice – Zelný trh – Komenského náměstí

Not only a famous geneticist, whose discoveries gave the world its present appearance. Mendel was a versatile personality and his complete DNA will be explored by the MENDEL IS BACK Festival. The project is loosely based on last year's international celebration of 150 years of his legacy Mendel: The Legacy and this year it will present the brilliant scientist in a different light:
Light will be the main theme of the entire festival. A unique lighting and audiovisual installation will connect the individual sites of Mendel's activities and will immerse the visitors into the mysterious night-time transformations of buildings and their interiors.
The following will be included in Mendel's legacy:
  • Music and culinary programme
  • Original Mendel's lecture as a dramatic performance
  • Thematic workshops and lectures not only for children


  • 23 JULY 2016

    Mendel the Beekeeper

    Masaryk University (Komenského náměstí 2)
    3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Afternoon schedule
    • Interactive workshops for children (3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.)
    • Real beekeeper in action
    • Open flower shop (in cooperation with TAMASVIGH – Floristic Studio)
    • Tasting of honey dishes (in cooperation with Laskominy od Maryny)
    • Beehive audioshow
    9:00 p.m. - Midnight
    Audiovisual Mendel-themed light show in front of the building and in the courtyard

    Mendel the Geneticist

    Secondary School Brno, Charbulova (Jánská 22)
    3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Afternoon schedule
    • Lecture by MUDr. Renata Gaillyová, Ph.D. - Head of the Department of Genetics, University Hospital Brno on Genetics at the Mendelian Times and Today (4:00 p.m.)
    • Full Mendel's biography in the school premises
    9:00 p.m. - Midnight
    Light installation on the building facade
    10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Specialized popular dramatised original lecture with Mendel in the leading role

    Mendel meteorologist

    Reduta Theatre Underground (Zelný trh 4)
    3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Afternoon schedule
    • Music workshops for children (in cooperation with Opera on the Road)
    • Meteorology-themed art installation
    • Lecture by RNDr. Ing. Jan Rožnovský, CSc. - Director of the Brno branch of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (5:00 p.m.)
    3:00 p.m.
    Drummers workshops in the STORM theme (in cooperation with Opera on the Road)
    4:00 p.m.
    Drummers workshops in the STORM theme (in cooperation with Opera on the Road)
    3:00 p.m. - Midnight
    Unique audiovisual light show in the Reduta underground on "Windstorm over Brno"
    • Mendel described this phenomenon in his book in detail
    • For this occasion, the normally inaccessible underground of the Reduta Theatre will be open to the public and these spaces will be connected with the underground under the Vegetable Market (Zelný trh).

    Mendel - a Man and a Priest

    Mendel Museum (Mendlovo náměstí 1a)
    1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Afternoon schedule
    • Opening of the permanent exhibition of the Mendel Museum
    • Culinary programme with a pea and green menu (in cooperation with Foodpark)
    • Interactive workshops for children (every hour)
    6:30 p.m.
    Concert of the Futurum Band, Michal Pavlíček, Monika Načeva and Bořkovec Quartet
    • tickets presale from 23 June in the Mendel Museum
    • Guided tour of the Mendel trail
    9:00 p.m. - Midnight
    Light installation on facades and garden


    Mendelianum Brno (Údolní 39)
    Whole day
    Display: attractive world of genetics
    3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Workshops for children
  • 24 JULY 2016

    9:00 a.m.
    Mass (Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Mendelovo náměstí 1)
    11:00 a.m.
    Mass (Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Mendelovo náměstí 1)
TICKETS FOR THE CONCERT (6:30 p.m. Mendel Museum)
Price - Concert Tickets
to 15.7.2016: 50, - CZK
from July 15, 2016 and on the place 100, - CZK
For children under 10 years are admitted free.
Tickets are on sale at the reception of the Mendel Museum.
Phone.: +420 549 496 669, E-mail:

Changes in schedule reserved.

Gregor Johann Mendel

When Gregor Johann Mendel first publicly presented his groundbreaking and painstaking research in the field of plant breeding, the audience failed to understand the lecture. Most of the audience failed to understand what he was talking about. Today, geneticists and biologists consider Mendel to have been one of the world's greatest scientists and his work central to the modern world of genetics.
Mendel Mendel Mendel Mendel Mendel

"My time will come."

Gregor Johann Mendel maintained, right up to his death, that his findings were correct. Today, no one doubts that his knowledge in the field of plant breeding, published 149 years ago, laid the foundation of genetics and influenced scientific research in many areas.

Mendel the Priest

Poor origin and natural intelligence – a combination that logistically led Mendel into the arms of the Church in 1843. An important role on this path was played by pastor Jan Schreiber who persuaded the Augustinian abbot Cyril Napp to accept the young man, later regular Gregor, to the Brno monastery. Mendel did not wear the cowl with enthusiasm; on the other hand, it opened the door to further education for him, specifically to the study of languages, philosophy and natural sciences. Cyril Napp continued to support Mendel throughout the journey and after his death in 1868, Mendel was elected the abbot of the monastery in Old Brno.

Augustinian Monastery, Mendel Square (Mendlovo náměstí)

The monastery garden with its greenhouses witnessed most of Mendel's experimental work. Then, the monastery in Old Brno was his main place of work even after he was elected the abbot of the Order St. Augustine and the prelate.

Mendel the Geneticist

Individual properties of organisms are inherited by rule of either all or nothing. All or nothing...Gardens of the Brno monastery, a large library, educated friars, Vienna University and the study of mathematics and combinatorics. And, of course, ordinary peas. 34 species of this plant, seven specified characteristics, 355 fertilised flowers, 12,890 seeds of hybrids. That is what stood at the birth of today's genetics. In addition to peas, Mendel also conducted experiments on other plants, crossbred mice and worked with bees.

Secondary School Brno, Charbulova – former Brno Realschule, the seat of the Natural Research Association

The State Higher Realschule at the Jánská Street was established to expand the teaching of natural sciences and technology. That is where Mender taught natural science and physics. At the same time, it was the seat of the Natural Research Association which wanted to promote science as the main factor on the journey towards education. That is where in 1865 Mendel published his concept of heredity – Experiments with plant hybrids. At that time, Mendel's theories did not receive any response. Because nobody understood them. Not yet.

Mendel the Meteorologist

Mendel's service as the chaplain at the Old Brno Parish also included caring for the sick and dying in the St. Anne's Hospital. He left this position soon but through it he met the director Dr. Pavel Olexík who led him to his interest in meteorology. It became his lifelong hobby. Records of the temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind speed, which he recorded daily in the 1870s and 1880s, are still archived by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute in Brno. Most of his publications are focused on meteorology. He added the term "kouřmo" (haze) to the scientific terminology and it is still used today.

Reduta Theatre Underground

Reduta was the venue of floral exhibitions organised by the Economic Society in which Mendel actively participated. For Mendel, it was not only an important social event but it was where he mainly obtained valuable information about the breeding of new varieties. On Saturday, a unique audiovisual show with the theme "Windstorm over Brno" will be held in the Reduta underground, which is a phenomenon that Mendel described in detail.

Mendel the Beekeeper

Mendel was close to the nature from his childhood. In addition to his parents, especially his mother and his grandfather, a gardener from Hynčice, he was led to it by his teacher. This did not include only plants as he also became familiar with beekeeping at a very young age. In 1871, he built a beehive in the abbey gardens where he gradually planted up to fifty colonies of bees. He was elected the first deputy mayor of the Moravian Beekeeping Association and actively informed about his beekeeping research and observations. His interest was not aimed at honey or mead; again, he was primarily interested in understanding the laws of heredity.

Masaryk University, Comenius Square - former Technical Study Institute

Mendel was a talented teacher, albeit one without formal teaching qualification. He shortly worked as a substitute teacher in Znojmo and then helped with the teaching of natural science at the newly established Brno Technical Institute. From there, his steps led to the Jánská Street, to the former Brno Realschule.

  • 1822 Born Johann Mendel on July 20 in Heinzendorf (present-day Hynčice, Czech Republic) into a family of farmers
  • 1843 Becomes an Augustinian friar, adopts the name Gregor
  • 1847 Ordained priest at the Brno Abbey
  • 1851–53 Studies at University of Vienna under Professor Christian Doppler and Dr Franz Unger
  • 1854–63 Experiments with peas in Brno
  • 1865 Lectures on „Experiments in Plant Hybrids”
  • 1868 Becomes abbot
  • 1863–84 Meteorologist and beekeeper
  • 1884 Dies on January 6 in Brno
  • 1900 Mendel rediscovered by the world scientific community
  • 1906 William Bateson uses term „genetics“ for the first time
  • 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick discover the structure of DNA
  • 2001 Scientists map the human genome
  • 2015 Mendel: The Legacy celebrations held on July 20

Map of venues

Contact Information

Mgr. Adéla Nováková Spokeswoman Turistické informační centrum města Brna, p.o. Radnická 2 – 10, 658 78, Brno +420 725 047 701 Bc. Tereza Kalábová Program Manager Turistické informační centrum města Brna, p.o. Radnická 2 – 10, 658 78, Brno + 420 606 698 620


The event will be held under the auspices of Petr Vokřál, Mayor of Brno.
The Statutory City of Brno financially supports Turistické informační centrum města Brna, p.o. (Brno Tourist Information Centre)