Brno lies in the central part of Europe, in the Czech Republic of which it is the second largest city. At the smae time, it represents the centre of the province of Moravia, one of the historic lands of the Czech Crown.It is situated at the crossroads of ancient trade routes which have joined the North and South European civilizations for centuries.
Brno is situated in the picturesque countryside, surrounded on three sides by wooded hills and opening to the Southern Moravian lowlands to the south of the city. In the north, the city is guarded by the foothills of the Drahany and Bohemian-Moravian Ranges.
The city itself lies in the basin of the Svratka and Svitava rivers. The Svratka River cuts a 29 km path throught the city and is the main supply for the Kninicky Dam Lake, a popular recreation area in the city’s northwest corner. The Svitava River flows through the city for about 13 km.
Geographically, Brno is a part of the Danube Basin and has many historical ties to the Austrian capital Vienna which lies approximately 110 km to the south.
Thanks to its location, Brno enjoys a very pleasant, moderate climate, ideal for recreation and everyday living. It enjoys a good natural circulation of air, ensuring very high air quality. No severely violent storms or similar natural disasters have been recorded to the city.
It’s got a population of about half a million inhaitants. It’s the second most populous city in the Czech Republic and has its own university and many other institutions are also situated in Brno, as for example the judicial power (supreme court, constitutional court etc.). It is also the industrial centre of South Moravia producing mainly technological, chemical, textile and food products. It also has it’s own technological park, which belongs to VUT-Brno.
FREEDOM SQUARE – one of the most imposing squares in the historical city centre and it used to be surrounded by houses of noblemen. Number of buildings were rebuilt in the Neo-Reinassance style during the last two centuries. The dominant of the square is the Baroque Plague Column from 1679.
OLD TOWN HALL – the city administration was situated in this, the oldest secular building in Brno until 1935. The origins date back to the 13th century and in 1510 the entrance was decorated with a stone portal. You can find the famous Brno‘s Dragon and the Wheel there, known from the Brno’s tales.
NEW TOWN HALL – is situated in Dominican Square and it’s the original building of the Moravian provincial self-government. Belonging to some of the older rooms which make up the New Town Hall complex are the former cross-shaped corridor and the chapter hall of the Dominican Monastery
PETROV – The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul is located on the top of this hill on the presumed site of the former Brno castle that dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Its current Neo-Gothic form dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Since 1777 the Cathedral has been the seat of the Brno archbishop.
MORAVIAN GALLERY – the former Augustine monastery founded in 1350 serves for exhibition purposes today.
PARNAS FOUNTAIN – The Baroque fountain was built in 1690-95 and it’s the most valuable piece of Baroque sculpture in Brno with its picturesque and unique look.
ST. JAMES‘ CHURCH – it was built at the end of 14th century. The section of the choir was decorated with Parler’s fan vaulting prior to the outbreak of the Hussite Rebellion. The church held parochial rights over non-Slav population arriving in Brno during the period of colonization from the German countries and Flanders.
AUGUSTINIAN MONASTERY AND BASILICA OF THE ASUMPTION OF OUR LADY – The basilica is a true jewel amongst Gothic architecture in Moravia. The widow Queen, Eliška Rejcka, established the Cistercian convent in 1323. The Gotic church differs from other monuments of its period by complicated ad unique ground plan composition and also by building techniques used. In 1987 the Old Brno church was elevated in status by Pope John Paul II and from that time it has carried the title „Basilica Minor“.
CAPUCHIN CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS – The church and the monastery was built in the second half of 17th century. It’s popular with tourists to first of all visit the crypt underneath the church wherw, in addition to rows of buried monks and noblemen.
DITRICHSTEIN PALACE – it was built on the site of five houses by Kardinal Dietrichstein. The building, which used to be the seat of provincial and appeal court, now holds the exhibition for the Moravian Museum.
TUGENDHAT VILLA – belongs to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites since 2001. It is the most prominent completed work of its creatorn Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, built in 1930.
SPILBERK CASTLE AND FORTIFICATIONS – the castle was found inthe 1st half of the 13th century on the top of the hill bearing the same name. The original bulding often changed hands and the medieval part was later rebuilt.. In the 18th century Spilberk was transformed into an enourmous Baroque fort which also became a feared prison, with the casemates being particularly notorious. The prison was also a place of terror during WWII and since 1961 it has been a museum.