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Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district (Brno-City District). The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 inhabitants; its greater metropolitan area is home to more than 800,000 people while its larger urban zone had a population of about 730,000 in 2004.
Brno is the seat of judicial authority of the Czech Republic – it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office. The city is also a significant administrative centre. It is the seat of a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, and the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students.
Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe (23rd in the world). The complex opened in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno. Brno hosts motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, a tradition established in 1930, in which the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious races. Another cultural tradition is an international fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis, that usually attracts tens of thousands of daily visitors.
The most visited sights of the city include the Špilberk castle and fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two medieval buildings that dominate the cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols. The other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by the Brno Dam Lake. This castle is the site of a number of legends, as are many other places in Brno. Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. One of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst.
Brno is the major city of Moravia (a historical region in the Czech Republic). It is the largest city in Moravia and the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area. It was founded around the year 1000; and since the 14th century, the city served as the capital of Moravia. Brno is the heart of Moravia and its cultural hub; it's home to many institutions related to Moravian history and culture. At the same time, Brno represents the administrative center of South Moravian region. It has a population of around 380,000 people, and it's located in a beautiful natural environment between South Moravian vineyards and the Moravian Karst.
Brno is not particularly well known by tourists so you can easily avoid crowds and overpriced services.
Brno is the cultural hub of Moravia, it's the home to a number of notable Moravian institutions, e.g. Moravian Gallery, Moravian Museum, National Theatre Brno, and Brno City Theatre. It's a city with a long tradition in motor racing (on the Masaryk Circuit), huge exhibitions and trade fairs (in the Central European Exhibition Center), and as vibrant university city. There are about 89,000 university students in Brno, a city with 380,000 inhabitants, it makes it the country's largest student city by percentage of population. Since 1998, there is also an international firework competition held annually at the end of May and beginning of June - Ignis Brunensis, it attracts about 100,000-200,000 visitors every day it's being held.
The most interesting places in Brno includes the Brno Underground, a labyrinth of underground cellars which includes the second biggest ossuary in Europe (after the Catacombs of Paris), the two (or three) castles in Brno, the cathedral on the Petrov hill (Pope Benedict XVI. visited the cathedral in 2009), the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in the Old Brno District, the St. Jacob's Church, the Moravian Museum (the biggest museum in Moravia and the second biggest in the country), Lužánky Park which is the oldest public park in the country, Denis Gardens, and various historical squares, churches, palaces, and other interesting buildings.
There are also many places which might be worthy of visit outside of the city centre, like an old Jewish cemetery in Brno-Židenice (by area, the biggest one in Moravia), or the Marian Valley in Brno-Líšeň, it's which is a cascade of lakes between forested hills. From the north, Brno is surrounded by hills and very pleasant nature, probably the most notable place is the Moravian Karst.
Brno lost its status of the capital city but it still behaves like a "cosmopolitan" capital, there is a rich variety of various cultural events, clubs, pubs, etc., and several excellent museums and theatres. Also there are two interesting things about theatres in Brno, Reduta Theatre is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe, and Mahen Theatre (part of the National Theatre Brno) is the first theatre in the entire Europe which was illuminated by Thomas Edison's electric light bulbs (in that time, it was only a four-year-old invention). Brno also serves as the capital of judicial authority of the Czech Republic (it's the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court) and many other state authorities, the rest of it is located in Prague.
The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the town's direct predecessor was a fortified settlement of the Great Moravia Empire known as Staré Zámky which was inhabited from the Neolithic Age to the early 11th century. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of a non-ruling prince from the House of Přemyslid, and Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo. Brno was first mentioned in Cosmas' Chronica Boëmorum dated to year 1091, when Bohemian king Vratislav II besieged his brother Conrad at Brno castle.
In the mid 11th century, Moravia was divided into three separate territories; each one of them had its own ruler, coming from the Přemyslids dynasty, but independent of the other two, and subordinated only to the Bohemian ruler in Prague. Seats of these rulers and thus "capitals" of these territories were castles and towns of Brno,Olomouc, and Znojmo. In the late 12th century, Moravia began to reunify, forming the Margraviate of Moravia. Since then, until the mid of the 17th century, it was not clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. Political power was therefore "evenly" divided between Brno and Olomouc, but Znojmo also played an important role. The Moravian Diet (cz: Moravský Zemský sněm), the Moravian Land Tables (cz: Moravské Zemské desky), and the Moravian Land Court (cz: Moravský Zemský soud) were all seated in both cities at once. However, Brno was the official seat of the Moravian Margraves (rulers of Moravia), and later its geographical position closer to Vienna also became important. Otherwise, until 1642 Olomouc was larger than Brno by population, and it was the seat of the only Roman Catholic diocese in Moravia.
In 1243 Brno was granted the large and small city privileges by the King, and thus it was recognized as a royal city. In 1324 Queen Elisabeth Richeza of Poland founded the current Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady which is now her final resting place. In the 14th century, Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno and Olomouc. These assemblies made political, legal, and financial decisions. Brno and Olomouc were also the seats of the Land Court and the Land Tables, thus they were the two most important cities in Moravia. From the mid 14th century to the early 15th century the Špilberk Castle had served as the permanent seat of the Margraves of Moravia (Moravian rulers); one of them was elected the King of the Romans. In the 15th century Brno was besieged in 1428 and again in 1430 by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Both attempts to conquer the city failed.
In 1641, in the midst of the Thirty Years' War, the Holy Roman Emperor and Margrave of Moravia Ferdinand III commanded permanent relocation of the diet, court, and the land tables from Olomouc to Brno, as Olomouc's Collegium Nordicum made it one of the primary targets of Swedish armies. In 1642 Olomouc surrendered to the Swedish army which then stayed there for 8 years. Meanwhile, Brno, as the only Moravian city which under the leadership of Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches managed to defend itself from the Swedes under General Lennart Torstenson, served as the sole capital of the state (Margraviate of Moravia). After the end of the Thirty Years' War (1648), Brno retained its status as the sole capital. This was later confirmed by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II in 1782, and again in 1849 by the Moravian constitution. Today, the Moravian Land Tables are stored in the Moravian Regional Archive, and they are included among the national cultural sights of the Czech Republic.
During the 17th century Špilberk Castle was rebuilt as a huge baroque citadel.In the 18th century Brno was besieged by Prussians in 1742 under the leadership of Frederick the Great, the siege was ultimately unsuccessful. In 1777 the bishopric of Brno was established;Mathias Franz Graf von Chorinsky Freiherr von Ledske was the first Bishop.
In 1839 the first train arrived in Brno from Vienna, this was the beginning of rail transport in what is now the Czech Republic. In the years 1859-1864 the city fortification was almost completely removed. In 1869 a horsecar service started to operate in Brno, it was the first tram service in the Czech lands.
In December 1805 the Battle of Austerlitz was fought near the city; the battle is also known as the "Battle of the Three Emperors". Brno itself was not involved with the battle, but the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte spent several nights here at that time and again in 1809.
Gregor Mendel conducted his groundbreaking experiments in genetics while he was a monk at St. Thomas's Abbey in Brno.
The 20th century and Greater Brno
Around 1900 Brno, which consisted in administrative terms until 1918 only of the central city area, had a predominantly German-speaking population (63%), as opposite to the suburbs, which were predominantly Czech-speaking. Life in Brünn/Brno was therefore bilingual, and what was called in German "Brünnerisch" was a mixed idiom containing elements from both languages.
In 1919, after World War I, two neighbouring towns, Královo Pole and Husovice, and 21 other municipalities were annexed to Brno, creating Greater Brno (Czech:Velké Brno). This was done to dilute the German-speaking majority of close to 55,000 by addition of the Slavic communities of the city's neighborhood. Part of the German-speaking group were almost all of the ca. 12,000 Jewish inhabitants, including several of the city's better known personalities, who had a substantial contribution to the city's cultural life. Greater Brno was almost seven times larger with population of about 222,000 - before that Brno had about 130,000 inhabitants.
In 1921 Brno became the capital of the Land of Moravia (Czech: země Moravská); before that it was the capital of the Margraviate of Moravia. Seven years later, Brno became the capital of the Land of Moravia-Silesia (Czech: země Moravskoslezská).
In 1930, 200,000 inhabitants declared to be of Czech, and some 52,000 of German nationality, in both cases including the respective Jewish citizens.
During the German occupation of the Czech lands between 1939 and 1945 all Czech universities including those of Brno were closed by the Nazis. The Faculty of Law was transformed into the headquarters of the Gestapo and the university dormitory was used as a prison. About 35,000 Czechs and some American and British prisoners of war were imprisoned and tortured there, about 800 civilians were executed or died.Executions were public.
Between 1941 and 1942, transports from Brno deported 10,081 Jews to Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp. At least further 960 people mostly of mixed race origin followed in 1943 and 1944. After Terezín, many of them were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, Minsk Ghetto, Rejowiec and other ghettos and concentration camps. Despite the fact Terezín was not an extermination camp, 995 of people transported from Brno died there. After the war only 1,033 people returned.
Industrial facilities such as arms factory Československá zbrojovka and aircraft engine factory Zweigwerk (after the war it became Zbrojovka's subsidiary Zetor) and the city centre were targeted by several Allied bombardment campaigns between 1944 and 1945. The air strikes and later artillery fire killed some 1,200 people and destroyed 1,278 buildings. After the city's liberation by the Red Army on 26 April 1945 and the end of the war, ethnic German residents were forcibly expelled. In the so-called “Brünn death march”, beginning on 31 May 1945, about 27,000 German inhabitants of Brno were marched 40 miles (64 kilometres) to the Austrian border. According to testimony collected by German sources, about 5,200 of them died during the march. Later estimates by Czech sources put the death toll at about 1,700, with most deaths due to an epidemic of shigellosis.
At the beginning of the Communist Era in Czechoslovakia, in 1948, the government abolished Moravian autonomy and Brno hence ceased to be the capital of Moravia. Since then Moravia has been divided into administrative regions and Brno is administrative centre of the South Moravian Region.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Brno has a borderline oceanic climate(Cfb) and a humid continental climate (Dfb) with cold winters and hot to warm summers. However, in last 20 years the temperature grows rapidly and summer days with temperature exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) are quite common. The average temperature is 9.4 °C (49 °F), the average annual precipitation is about 505 mm (19.88 in), the average number of precipitation days is 150, the average annual sunshine is 1,771 hours, and the prevailing wind direction is northwest. The weather box below shows data between years 1961 and 1990. Its elevation above the sea level varies from 190 m (623.36 ft) to 425 m (1,394.36 ft), and the highest point in the area is the Kopeček Hill.
Climate data for Brno
|Record high °C (°F)||12.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−24.1|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (UN)|
|Source #2: NOAA|
Brno is located in the southeastern part of the Czech Republic, at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and there are also several brooks flowing through it including the Veverka, Ponávka, and Říčka. The Svratka River flows through the city for about 29 km (18.02 mi), the Svitava River cuts a 13 km (8.08 mi) path through the city. The length of Brno is 21.5 km (13.36 mi) measured from the east to the west and its overall area is 230 km2(88.80 sq mi). Inside of the city limits there is the Brno Dam Lake, several ponds, and other standing bodies of water, for example reservoirs in the Marian Valley or the Žebětín Pond. Brno is surrounded by woody hills from three sides; a significant part of the area of the city is forest, about 6,379 ha (15,762.85 acres), i.e. 28%. Due to its location between the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the Southern Moravian lowlands (Dyje-Svratka Vale), Brno has a moderate climate. Compared to other cities in the country, Brno has a very high air quality, which is ensured by a good natural circulation of air; no severely violent storms or similar natural disasters have ever been recorded in the city.
|Administrative divisions||Bohunice, Bosonohy, Bystrc,Centre, Černovice, Chrlice,Ivanovice, Jehnice, Jundrov,Kníničky, Kohoutovice, Komín,Královo Pole, Lesná, Líšeň,Maloměřice and Obřany,Medlánky, North, Nový Lískovec, Ořešín, Řečkovice and Mokrá Hora, Slatina,South, Starý Lískovec, Tuřany,Útěchov, Vinohrady,Žabovřesky, Žebětín, Židenice|
Prices in Brno
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.53|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€3.70|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€11.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€19.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€28.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.40|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.29|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.11|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€3.40|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.35|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€56.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€30.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€72.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.92|
39 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
112 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
(IATA: BRQ) Although it has a limited amount of destinations Brno Airport is highly convenient and boasts an extremely impressive structure. Those interested in modern architecture may want to visit even if they are not lucky enough to fly into the airport.
Ryanair flies 7 times a week to London-Stansted and 3 times a week to Bergamo(advertised as being close to Milano), twice a week to Alicante. Wizzair flies to London-Luton 3 times a week, Rome twice a week and from December 2011 twice a week Eindhoven. Czech Connect Airlines flies 4 times a week to Moscow and twice a week to Saint Petersburg. UTair flies three times a week to Moscow-Vnukovo. CCA flies once a day - Monday to Friday to Prague as a codeshare of CSA Czech airlines and beyond and Czech budget airline Smart Wings fly to several seasonal vacation destination. Bus 76 runs every 30 minutes from about 4:30AM–11:30PM to the bus and train stations in the city center. Fare is 22Kč, and you can buy your ticket beforehand in the information centre or the ticket machine in the airport.
(IATA: BTS) The airport is the largest in the Slovak Republic and the home base of Danube Wings, though the budget airline Ryanair flies the vast majority of seat capacity (80%). Additional carriers are Aeroflot to Moscow, CSA to Prague, Sun d'Or to Tel Aviv (seasonal, budget flights), and LOT to Warsaw.
Prague Ruzyne Airport
(IATA: PRG) There are buses to Brno operated by Student Agency. You must change buses at Florenc station in Prague.
Vienna International Airport / Wien Schwechat
(IATA: VIE) It is located near the town of Schwechat in Austria, after which the airport is named. The airport is the home base of the flag-carrier Austrian and the budget airline Fly Niki. Most European airlines and a significant number of international airlines have direct connections to Vienna from their respective hubs. Direct transfer options:
- Student Agency. offers 4 direct daily coaches. It is much cheaper to take the Viennese train S7 to Praterstern and catch the same coaches from there, for some reason the trip to the airport costs double, so it is much cheaper to take the Austrian public transportation. €16.
- Tourbus, a.s.. offers 1-2 direct daily buses to Brno. €8.60.
Brno is an important stop on the Prague–Vienna and Prague–Bratislava–Budapest railway line; all IC and EC trains stop here. For some trains originating in Prague, it is a terminal stop.
- Prague: 2¾h, hourly IC/EC trains
Standard tickets are expensive when bought at train station (CZK 333Kč first person, 200Kč second, 166Kč others), but you can get a great discount (up to 180Kč) if you buy them online. In Jan 2012 there was a special promo fare of 200Kč.
- Olomouc: 1½h, every 2 hours
Be careful that you get in to the proper train, because another train to Brno via Břeclav departs at around the same time which will add 2 hours more to your trip.
- Ostrava: 2¼h, hourly
- České Budějovice: 4½h, every 2 hours
- Vienna: 2h, EC trains every 2 hours (depart from Wien Meidling station, though you can also depart from other stations further from the city center)
Brno hlavní nádraží (Brno Main Station) is located close to the city center; almost all attractions are just within a few minutes walk. These attractions are to the north of the station, to the left coming out; follow the sign marked "Centrum," not the one marked "Centra."
There are coach services from various European destinations including Prague where frequent buses run touting assorted amenities and stops (such as Prague Airport). You can find the timetable for all buses including international on [www]. The page is in Czech, English and German.
- Bohemian Lines. Is a Brno-based company. Buses roll off to Scandinaviaevery couple of days headed for Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and a slew of more exotic smaller towns. Copenhagen €57 (1500Kč), Stockholm €67 (1750Kč).
- Student Agency. started by students, but offers service with free coffee, newspapers, and movies to everyone. Brno is the main hub and buses travel across Europe, and are known for their high quality. Vienna €8.
- Tourbus, a.s.. is also based in Brno and serves many destinations and is particularly cheap to some international destinations. Vienna €5.
- Eurolines CZ/Touring Bohemia, s. r. o.. International and domestic routes. Some services include free newspapers, magazines and bottled water, some even have wifi. Book ahead for best price.
Using highways - Ostrava, Bratislava, D1 highway from Prague or using any of the national roads. For the highway you have to buy a toll sticker.
An unconventional, but beautiful way to get to Brno (well, from just outside town) is to take a boat from Veverská Bitýška village, which takes you (in summer season only) on a trip across Brněnská přehrada (Brno dam lake) to Brno-Bystrc.
Transportation - Get Around
The Integrated Transport System of the Southern Moravia Region (IDS JMK) covers public transport over Brno and major part of the Southern Moravia Region; it includes local trains, trams, buses and trolleybuses. Daytime transport ends up at 11PM, the night buses go hourly and have central transfer node at Main Station.
For journeys within the city, a short transfer ticket (valid 15 min, 20Kč) and long transfer ticket (60 min, 25Kč) are available. Tickets are available at yellow ticket vending machines at bus and tram stops, and also at railway station counters. You can buy the 60-minute ticket at driver for 35Kč.
South Moravia Region is divided into tariff zones, Brno itself consists of two zones. IDS JMK tickets are valid in all buses and local trains (category Os, Spand R), the price varies on number of zones you travel over.
One-day network ticket costs 86Kč for Brno and 190Kč for the whole region. On weekends up two adults and three children can travel on a single network ticket.
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Czech food is mostly based around pork and potatoes. Another Czech favorite is smažený sýr, fried cheese, which is available at many restaurants and fast food stands. A good option is to visit one of the many pubs or restaurants that usually offer traditional Czech food all day long. You could easily find a restaurant where you get a meal and a drink for around €5, even in the city center. Many of these places also offer cheaper special (limited, pre-prepared) menus at mid-day. Cafés offer a nice selection of rolls and pastries if you're looking for breakfast food. Visit the cukrárna near the House of the Four Idiots on nam. Svobody and try a rakvička ("little coffin", small pastry covered with cream). This is the only place in the Czech Republic to find the chocolate ones.
Sights & Landmarks
The city center is full of historical buildings, old churches, theaters, fountains, sculptures, clubs, restaurants, etc. It is very compact, so one can just walk around most of the places of interest.
- Capuchin Monastery (Kapucínský klášter), Kapucínské náměstí 5, . 15 Feb–14 Dec Tu–Su 11AM–4:30PM, May–Sep also in Mo. The 17th-century monastery lies right in the city center. It has Baroque statues and a mummified monks exhibition in an underground tomb.60Kč.
- Church of St. James, Jakubské náměstí.This church is doubtlessly one of the most notable churches in Brno. It's a big gothic church and was founded in the 13th century. It has remained unchanged since the 17th century which is quite rare). Beneath the church, there is the Brno Ossuary, the second biggest ossuary in Europe (after the Catacombs of Paris). The ossuary is not yet opened for visitors, however, it was planned for 2012.
- Old Town Hall, Radnická 8 (between Náměstí Svobody and main station). See beloved Brno symbols the Brno Dragon (Brněnský drak) and the Wheel. Also notice the lopsided tower above the entrance. Legend has it that the city council stiffed the mason who built it and he made the crooked ornament in a fit of pique.
- Petrov Cathedral, Petrov Street.Cathedral: 8:15AM–18:30PM; tower: May–Sep noon–6:30PM, Oct–Apr noon–5PM; crypt: Tu–Su 11AM–5PM. St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, known as Petrov forms a dominant silhouette of Brno skyline. (Petrov is the name of the hill which the cathedral is built upon, not the cathedral.)
- Špilberk Castle (Hrad Špilberk), , e-mail: [email protected]. May–Sep 9AM–6PM, Oct–Apr 10AM–5PM. Formerly the major royal castle in Moravia, the seat of Margraves (rulers) of Moravia, and once the seat of the King of the Holy Roman Empire (King Jobst of Moravia). Later it become a famous fortress which was for a long time used as one of the most feared prisons in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many people have been tortured here from all around Europe, mostly during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It's the city museum with restaurant and there's a nice park around it, open for walks and beautiful sightseeing, the castle and the park are parts of the national cultural heritage of Czech Republic. Permanent exhibitions 120Kč, casemates 70Kč.
- Tugendhat Villa, Černopolní 45 (tram stop „Dětská nemocnice”), . The villa is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Designed by Mies van der Rohe, it is seen to be a classic example of Bauhaus architecture, and was also the location of the meeting which decided upon the Velvet Divorce that separated the Czech and Slovak republics in 1992. It is possible to visit the Villa by guided tour; tours are led hourly and must be booked in advance (see the Villa website). The building reopened in March 2012 after an extensive restoration.
- Veveri street (Ulice Veveří). This street is a group of outstanding Art Nouveau buildings called Tivoli (tram stop Konečného náměstí), and a number of baroque and other beautiful historical buildings. Nearby, is one of three botanical gardens in Brno. The street goes from the historical center and leads to the north.
- Brno Zoo, U zoologické zahrady 147/46, . Daily 9AM-4PM.A great zoo set in a nice area with hundreds of animals such as polar bears, seals, tigers, chimpanzees and more. 100Kč.
- The Mendel Museum of Genetics, Mendlovo náměstí 1a (tram stop „Mendlovo náměstí”), , e-mail: [email protected].Tu–Su 10AM–5PM. The most famous biologist in the history of genetics worked and died in Brno. This interesting museum commemorates his revolutionary research. Information in English available. 60Kč, admission free every last Wednesday in a month.
- The Moravian Gallery, , e-mail: [email protected]. We–Su 10AM–6PM. The second largest art museum in the Czech Republic. Mainly exhibits Moravian art and applied art throughout history. Most recommended is its exhibition of modern Moravian art. The gallery consists of three buildings: Admission to all three buildings 300Kč.
- Governor Palace (Místodržitelský palác), Moravské náměstí 1a. 140Kč.
- Museum of Decorative Arts (Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum), Husova 14.150Kč.
- Pražák's Palace (Pražákův palác), Husova 18. 120Kč.
- The Moravian Museum (Moravské zemské muzeum), Zelný trh 8, , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu–Sa 9AM–5PM. It's the second largest and oldest museum in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 1817 by Emperor Francis I and, today, has collections with millions of objects from different fields of human history. Apart from the main building in Dietrichstein Palace at Zelný trh the museum has various branches: 130Kč.
- Museum of Gypsy Culture (Muzeum romské kultury), Bratislavská 67 (tram stop „Tkalcovská”), , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu–Fr, Sa 10AM–6PM. A museum dedicated to the Gypsy minority in Moravia.K40Kč.
- Tourist information centre, Nádražní 8 and Radnická 2 (The first lies just opposite of the main station entrance), . 9AM–5PM.
- Denis gardens (Denisovy sady). it's one of the most beautiful parks in Brno, there is an obelisk and a colonnade, and it offers a nice view on the city, including the Špilberk castle and the cathedral, also it is the oldest public park in the country which was founded by public administration authorities. It's located in the historical center, between the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and the Špilberk Castle.
- Freedom Square (Náměstí Svobody). forms the heart of the city. It's shaped into big reversed "A". Many cultural events take place here and there are always a lot of people here. It is closed for most cars and trams running through the middle. Also most of the interesting places in the city center are within 10 minutes walk from the Square.
- Lužánky park (Park lužánky). the oldest public park in the country and the biggest park in Brno. There is an artificial brook with living fishes and a number of similar nice things. It's located north to the historical centere, about 15 minutes by walk, or 2–3 minutes by tram.
- Moravian square (Moravské náměstí). is the biggest square in Brno, it's dominated by the Church of Saint Thomas which is the last resting place of Jobs of Moravia, German King and Margrave of Moravia, the nearby former Governor's Palace offers permanent exhibitions of the Moravian Gallery. The square is located in the historical centre near the Freedom Square.
Museums & Galleries
The most significant museum in Brno is the Moravian Museum which is the largest and the biggest museum in Moravia and the second in the Czech Republic. The museum was founded in 1817 and its collections include over 6 million objects. The biggest public library in Brno is the Moravian Library, it's the second largest library in the Czech Republic with about 4 million volumes. The biggest gallery in Brno is the Moravian Gallery and again it is the second largest institution of its kind in the Czech Republic and the biggest in Moravia.
There is also a Technical Museum which is the largest in Moravia.
Things to do
- Ignis Brunensis. There are four firework competitions on the dam lake and at least two in the town centre. The fireworks begin every evening at 10:30PM. The show lasts about 22 minutes. Public transport runs longer and more frequently at these times. During the festival there are nights of theatres and museums. Entrance is free, but expect crowds.
- Brno Trade and Fair Centre(BVV), Výstaviště 1 (tram stop „Výstaviště”).The largest trade center in the Central European region with many important fairs. The largest are Autosalon, MSV (International Engineering Fair), Invex (International Fair of Information and Communication Technologies), IDET (International Exhibition of Defence and Security Technologies and Special Information Systems) and of course a Vinex (International Wine Fair) and Pivex (International Beer Fair).
- One World Brno. Documentary film festival on human rights held every March.
Festivals and events
The biggest festival held in Brno is the fireworks competition festival Ignis Brunensis (Latin for "Flame of Brno") held annually in June. It is part of a festival with a bold name "Brno - City in the Centre of Europe". Ignis Brunensis is the biggest show of its kind held in Central Europe.usually attracts one or two hundred thousand visitors every day.
International film festival Cinema Mundi shows about 60 films competing for Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
The Theatre World Brno is another international festival annually held in the city where the Brno theatres and the city centre stages around one hundred performances by both national and foreign ensembles.
There are many other festivals regularly held in Brno, for instance the International Music Festival Brno, the Spilberk International Music Festival, the Summer Shakespeare Festival, and many others...
Every September, Brno is home to a wine festival (Slavnosti vína) to celebrate the harvest in the surrounding wine-producing region.
The traditional Brno beer is Starobrno, a traditional non-alcoholic drink is kofola (a very different but captivating kind of cola). Both must be tasted in draught form! Although Czechs are famous for their love of beer that love is mostly focused on pale beer, dark beer (černé pivo) is sweet and not very often drunk here. There's quite a few small breweries in the city, among them a small private brewery named Pegas, a block west from the steeple of St James Church (sv. Jakub). The pub is equipped with modern brewing technology, beer is made right in front of the guests' eyes. For a list of other breweries look at this list.
The go-to bar is the cramped and smoky Charlie's Hat (know to most locals simply as Charlie's), east on Koblizna street from the north end of Freedom Square (50 Kč entry, includes drink voucher). A cluster of more down-tempo bars frequented by students can be found along Dominikánská (Kavárna Trojka - students caffee and bar) and Starobrněnská just west of the Zelný trh (cabbage market square). Around the main square you can find a lot of clubs, pubs, restaurants, coffee houses and lounge bars.
In recent years a number of bars have sprung up in and around Dvořákova street in the city centre, including:
- Bar, který neexistuje, Dvořákova 1. Cocktail bar featuring a huge menu of rums and whiskies
- Lokál U Caipla, Kozí 3. Traditional pub, featuring lots of typically Czech dishes and beer served from big metal tanks
- Zelená Kočka Pivárium, Dvořákova 3. Beer speciality pub - serving Dalešice beer (made in a brewery 60km famous for appearing in the film Postriziny) as well as a selection of beers from around Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria which changes every day.
- ROTOR, Dvořákova 12. Cosy little bar with good wine, spirits and coffee
- Výčep Na Stojáka, Běhounská 6. Probably the most popular bar in Brno during summer, where locals and foreigners alike drink cold Chotěboř (lager type beer) soak in the evening sun in the square.
Things to know
The city spends about 30 million euro every year on culture. There are many museums, theatres and other cultural institutions. Brno is also a vibrant university city with about ninety thousand students, a number of festivals and other cultural events.
Since the 1990s Brno has experienced a great cultural "rebirth", façades of historical monuments are being repaired and various exhibitions, shows, etc., are being established or extended. In 2007 a summit of 15 presidents of the EU Member States was held in Brno.
Despite its urban character, some of the city districts still preserve traditional Moravian folklore, including folk festivals with traditional Moravian costumes (cz:kroje), Moravian wines, folk music and dances. Unlike smaller municipalities, in Brno the traditional folk festivals are held locally by city districts, among the city district where annually the traditional Moravian festivals takes place are Židenice, Líšeň, or Ivanovice.
Hantec is a unique dialect that originated in Brno.
Safety in Brno
Avoid the main train station after dark as it attracts a number of unsavory characters, the usual caution applies. Also keep a keen eye out when using Automated Teller Machines in the immediate area for similar reasons. The area is also known be actively visited by pick-pockets. Also avoid the Cejl street during dark hours for the same reasons. Take the tram or a bus between the stopsMalinovského náměstí and Tkalcovská.