Cultural and Historical Characteristics
The enchanting natural world of Moravský kras is complemented by a large number of historical monuments. The earliest cave settlements have been dated to the end of the Riss (Wolstonian) Glaciation, 120,000 years ago. In the sediments of the Kůlna cave Neanderthal tools have been found. Pekárna cave is famous as the locality where the oldest evidence of cave art was discovered – Engravings of horses and bison made by the Magdalenien culture from 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. In a place of honour in the Natural History Museum in Vienna, we can see evidence of a Halstadt culture burial from Býčí skála cave. The oldest dated cave paintings in the Czech Republic at 5,200 years old, also come from Býčí skála. Another find of European significance from the same cave is the remains of metal workings from the 5th century B.C. From the 8th to the 11th century A.D. iron ore was mined in the central part of Moravský kras. Archaeological evidence has confirmed that this locality was the largest centre of metal working on the territory of the Western Slav people.
The architectural pearl of the region is the Pilgrimage Church of the Virgin Mary in Křtiny, built by Jan – Blažej Santini – Aichl. The Křtiny complex in its unfinished form (the southern Ambit and Chapel of St. Josef were never realised), was the largest church structure Santini ever built. The second pearl of Baroque architecture in the region is the Pilgrimage Church of Our Lady of Sorrows at Sloup v Moravském krasu, which was built in 1751 – 1754 according to the project by the architect Marcel Amando Caneval. Unusual examples of the folk architecture of the region are 3 windmills of a Dutch cylindrical type, which date from the mid 19th century and can be seen in Petrovice, Ostrov u Macochy and Rudice.