Moravské zemské muzeum
Národní muzeum

In chronicles and legends of the Czech nation, Veligrad/Velehrad is

considered to be both the seat of the prince and king Svatopluk and

the “archbishop of the Holy Moravian Church” Methodius, thus the capital

of Great Moravia. More than centennial archaeological excavations

proved that Veligrad of the 9th century had to be found in Moravia, on the

place of today’s cities Uherské Hradiště and Staré Město. It was a large

fortifi ed settlement of urban character; on the territory of the today’s Staré

Město it was divided into functionally different areas, e.g. the government

area with a palace and a rotund in the site “Na Dědině”, a burial ground

“Na Valách” with a church and more than 2 000 graves or a residential

and craftsmen’s area with districts of specialized producers in the sites

“U Víta”, “Za Zahradou” or “Na Špitálkách”. A strongly layered society lived

inside Veligrad’s enceinte in which the rich and mighty – princes, magnates

and Church representatives – dominated. Craftsmen, merchants as well

as poor people were numerous, there were also unfree people, i.e. slaves.

The Christian centre of Veligrad, and under archbishop Methodius maybe

even the religious centre of whole Great Moravia, was situated on the

dominant elevation in Uherské Hradiště-Sady.

Splendid archaeological fi nds document the culture of Veligrad.

A highlight is a representation of a ruler on horse with a bird of prey on

his hand, the so-called “falconer” of Staré Město. The small silver disc

probably adorned a wooden stick. It represents the unoffi cial symbol

of Great Moravia. A leaden pendent cross with the Crucifi ed and the

Greek inscription I(ESU)S-CH(RISTO)S-FOS-ZOE-NIKA meaning “Jesus

Christ-Light-Life-Victory” discovered in the area of the ecclesiastic centre

in Uherské Hradiště-Sady is also unique. It is the only fi nd of this kind from

the territory of Great Moravia. Other unique objects, e.g. the so-called

Zelnitius’ belt end decorated with semiprecious stones and glass or sets

of female gold jewels originating from noblemen’s graves prove that their

owners were in no way inferior to their Frankish counterparts. Prisoners’

iron handcuffs from the grave of a “vampire”, a man excluded from

the society whose return to the world of living people they should prevent,

are also quite unique. Every year, further new proofs of life and death

of the inhabitants of the Great Moravian Veligrad and their successors

from the 10th – 13th centuries are being found on the sites of Staré Město

and Uherské Hradiště.

© Moravské zemské muzeum 2010, vytvořila Adamna NET (