Czech RepublicsipkaRegion by regionsipkaSouthern Moravia (Brno)sipkaBrno district

Brno is situated around the confluence of two rivers-the Svratka and the Svitava. With 400,000 inhabitants being Czechia's second largest city after Prague, Brno is the acknowledged metropolis of the country's largest region in area and population which is also important for economy and culture, the wine bearing South Moravia. Situated in the pleasant lowlands where European highways cross, the city has an international airport and belongs to important railway junctions.
For the trade world, Brno has always been a renowned, lively, much visited and successful city of annual fairs and exhibitions. The Brno Fair Ground is among Europe's most beautiful exhibition stages, experts say. But the intriguing millennial history has much more in store for interested visitors.
Ascend the hill soaring up just in the inner city and let yourself get enchanted by the beautiful scenery of Brno and the lovely countryside around. From here, you can also watch the vast complex of the Spilberk Castle. Founded by Premysl Otakar II. to protect the city, it evolved into a feared fortress in the 17th century and finally to an even more feared jail where people of all nations of the Austro Hungarian Monarchy served their sentences. Beside Spilberk, the skyline of Brno has yet another dominant, the Petrov Hill with St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral on the top the spires of which can be seen from far away. The cathedral occupies the site of old Romanesque basilica, redeveloped to a Gothic church later, then baroquised in the 18th century and finally remodelled to the present neo-Gothic looks at the break of the 19th and 20th centuries. This explains why, having entered an obviously Gothic church, you will find yourself surprised by overwhelming baroque showiness.
Brno has several baroque churches while there is only one Gothic church in the Mendel Square in Old Brno. Founded by the double widow, Queen Eliska Rejcka for the Cistercian Monastery in 1323, the church became famous as a centre of science and culture after the Augustinians had taken it over. Brno has got two town halls. The Old Town Hall was converted from a fortified burgher house at the break of the 13th and 14th centuries to become a world centre for several centuries down to 1935. The New Town Hall emerged from a Dominican monastery and a Moravian Estates House from the 1680's. While the Old Town Hall is now a place of culture, history and information, the New Town Hall is the seat of Lord Mayor and the city administration. Both town halls have provided stuff for many legends. There is one thing you can hardly encounter elsewhere. The Capuchin Church has a crypt from the late 17th century where there is unique natural circulation of air through which the corpses that had been laid there without coffins got naturally mummified.
The period between the world wars was a time of modern architecture in Brno. The Tugendhat Villa is now the most valued sight of that time. Built by Mies van der Rohe at the brink of the 1920's and 30's, the concept of the family house is still unique and imposing for Europe. The international style buildings deisgned by Bohuslav Fuchs (Avion hotel, Zeman's Cafe, Baths at Zabrdovice, etc.) belong to the admired sights of Brno, too. Brno is the seat of Czech Republic's Supreme Court and of six universities that offer the widest selection of study, including arts.
The city is a renowned centre of culture. Festivals of serious and folk music (Moravian Autumn, Festival of spiritual Music, etc.), Biennale of Graphic Design, several exhibitions, original theatre projects of the nine theatre houses (experimental scenes are at home here) have developed international reputation. The countryside that surrounds Brno is a fine place for rest and omnifarious recreation. Let us mention the Brno Dam, with the moody 13th century Veveri Castle seated in the beautiful countryside around, and the Masaryk Race Track, the stage of international bike races.

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