The city of Brno
Brno is the heart of South Moravia, its capital and the second-largest and the second most populated city of the Czech Republic. It is located in the southeast of the Czech Republic at the confluence of the rivers Svratka and Svitava. It is the centre of industry and trade strategically located in Central Europe with an excellent accessibility. It provides connections to the motorways, extensive railway network and international airport. The city is the place of business of many Czech and international companies.
Brno has became a dynamically developing centre of industry, trade, science, information technologies, research and innovation with business incubators and centres of excellence science in the private and public sectors. Some of the research centres have linkages with local universities. There are fourteen universities containing thirty four faculties and three university campuses in Brno. It is also proud to have one of the best-equipped observatories in the world.
Optimally located in the heart of Europe and with extensive range of accommodation facilities, Brno is a popular destination for both exhibition and congress tourism, as well as for company events. Brno is an important trade fair city also thanks to the premises of the Brno Exhibition Centre, where internal and external exhibitions, congresses and fairs during the year are organized. The Brno Exhibition Centre is one of the most famous trade fair complexes in the world since 1928. In terms of architecture the Brno Exhibition Centre is one of the most unique functionalist buildings that you can see in Brno.
Tugendhat Villa is also a functionalist work which is the only building of modern architecture in Brno listed on the UNESCO heritage sites. Tugendhat Villa was designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe for the married couple of Fritz Tugendhat and Greta Tugendhat, formerly Löw Beer. Greta’s father owned Löw Beer Villa situated in the city part Černá pole near Tugendhat Villa.
The dominant sight of the city is Špilberk castle. Even from a distance you cannot overlook the hill overgrown with greens and with the mighty castle at the top of it. Due to the location in the centre of the city, Špilberk castle is the venue of celebrations, festivals and theatre performances. Another castle of Brno is Veveří castle which towers above the Brno Reservoir. Veveří castle is a popular destination due to its location which allows you to combine a visit of the castle with a boat trip.
You can visit some of the other sights such as the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul whose bells strike a midday at eleven o’clock in Brno. It serves as the reminder of the year 1645 when Brno was the only city in Moravia which resisted the Swedish siege during the Thirty Years’ War. On the basis of the legend, after one hundred and twelve days of the siege the Swedes decided to withdraw if the city does not fall till twelve o’clock. The defenders however tolled midday an hour earlier and Brno was not conquered. The pride and the resilience of the city is commemorated by the Clock sculpture of a cartridge located in the Freedom Square that every day at eleven o’clock plays a carillon melody. In the Freedom Square which has kept triangular shape to this day you can see also House of the Lords of Lipá, one of the most beautiful renaissance Brno houses or early Baroque Plague Pillar.
There is the Old Town Hall near the Freedom Square decorated by the Gothic portal with a twisted middle Pinnacle (turret). Basing on a legend, Pinnacle should be as straight as the behaviour of councillors, who refused to pay to the stonemason’s master Anton Pilgram for the construction of the portal. The Old Town Hall has another legend. In the passage of the Old Town Hall you can see so-called Brno Dragon whom knight Albert Trut brought to the Prince Ulrich as a gift. The prince let the dragon be hung in the chamber of the Old Town Hall so everybody can view the dragon.
There are headquarters of two important cultural institutions of the state in Brno – Moravian Gallery and Moravian Museum which is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic. Brno is also the centre of the Czech judiciary. The Supreme Public Prosecutor´s Office, the District Court Brno-venkov, the Municipal Court of Brno and the Regional Court are also located there. There are also three supreme judicial institutions, i.e. the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court.