A Latte and a Lancaster, Please!
Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city, has many cafés each with their own particular style and atmosphere. Located in the Moravian Museum, on the city’s historic Vegetable Market Square, Air Café could very well be one of the most unique and perhaps even in a class by itself.
Established in 1999, this café is themed primarily on Czech airmen who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War; The walls are covered in period posters and photographs as well as art prints of famous RAF aircraft of the conflict which were operated by Czech servicemen. Beyond the walls, a set of display cabinets contains preserved uniforms and equipment used by RAF aircrews during the war.
To complete the atmosphere, Big Band and other period music fills the background as you enjoy your drinks and take in the displays.
A Closer Look
While I can’t possibly list absolutely every piece of paraphernalia on display at Air Café, I will touch on a few of the more noticeable pieces:
Preserved wing sections of two types of aircraft are on prominent display. One is a section of wing covering cloth from an Avia BH-11, a Czech made touring aircraft used in the mid 1920s. The other is a wing fragment of a USAAF Boeing B-17 bomber which was shot down over Czechoslovakia.
Two different types of inflatable one man life rafts used by RAF fighter pilots to stay afloat when shot down over the English Channel are impossible to miss.
Inside the display cabinets, alongside the uniforms and other equipment, is a very well preserved .303 calibre machine gun of the sort fitted to the turrets of many RAF bombers.
Coffee and Commemoration
This is more than a café on an aviation theme, everything about it shows that it is a labour of love and reverence on the part of the owner and it has an atmosphere that commands the respect of the visitor.
I highly recommend a visit here if you find yourself visiting Brno.
This link will take you to the Air Café website. It’s only in Czech, but will show oyu a lot more pictures of the place and give you a feel for it:
This link will take you to a great Czech/English bilingual write up of the café on the fantastic Free Czechoslovak Air Force blog: