|— Statutory city —|
• Left, row 1: Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul on Petrov hill • Left, row 2: Veveří Castle • Left, row 3: High-rise buildings • Left, row 4: Brno-Tuřany International Airport • Middle, row 1: Špilberk Castle • Middle, row 2: Ignis Brunensis international firework competition • Middle, row 3: Park Lužánky • Middle, row 4: Masaryk Circuit, the Brno racing circuit • Right, row 1: Church of St. James • Right, row 2: A ship on Brno reservoir • Right, row 3: Mahen Theatre, a part of the National Theatre in Brno • Right, row 4: A part of the Brno Exhibition Centre
|Region||South Moravian Region|
|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|
|• Mayor||Roman Onderka (ČSSD)|
|• Statutory city||230.19 km2 (88.88 sq mi)|
|• Land||225.73 km2 (87.15 sq mi)|
|• Water||4.46 km2 (1.72 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,170 km2 (1,220 sq mi)|
|Elevation||237 m (778 ft)|
|Highest elevation||425 m (1,394 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||190 m (620 ft)|
|Population (26 March 2011)|
|• Statutory city||384,277|
|• Density||1,700/km2 ( 4,300/sq mi)|
|• Metro||ca. 810,000|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||600 00 – 650 00|
|Area code(s)||(+420) 542|
Brno (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbr̩no] ( listen); German: Brünn; Latin: Bruna; Yiddish: ברין, Brin) by population and area is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region where 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 residents, its greater metropolitan area is regularly home to more than 800,000 people while its larger urban zone had population about 730,000 in 2004.
Brno is the capital of judicial authority of the Czech Republic because it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Supreme Prosecutor's Office. Beside that, the city is a significant administrative centre. It is the seat of a number of state authorities like Ombudsman, Office for the Protection of Competition and the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority. Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students. There is also a studio of Czech Television and the Czech Radio, in both cases by law. The city is also home to Brno Television, a small local television station.
Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe (23rd in the world). The huge complex started functioning in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno, and nowadays also ranks among the sights of the city. Brno is also known for hosting big 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 notable cultural tradition is an international fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis, that usually attracts one or two hundred thousand visitors every day it is being held.
The most important sights of the city include the castle and fortress Špilberk and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two formerly medieval buildings that form the characteristic cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols. The other large preserved castle in the city is Veveří Castle near the Brno Dam Lake,. This castle is the site of a number of legends, as are many other places of Brno. Another important monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Brno is surrounded by relatively pleasant nature, one of the especially attractive areas nearby being the Moravian Karst.
The etymology of the name Brno is disputed. It perhaps comes from Old Czech brnie 'muddy, swampy.' Alternative explanations derive it from a Slavic verb brniti (to armor or to fortify) or a Celtic language spoken in the area before it was overrun by Germanic peoples and later Slavic peoples (this theory would make it cognate with other Celtic words for hill, such as the Welsh word bryn). Throughout its history, Brno's locals also used to refer to the town in other languages, including Brünn in German, ברין (Brin) in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin.
- Over the past two decades Brno evolved into an important university city, the number of students of higher education institutions reached 89 thousand in 2010. The city also became home to a number of institutions directly related to research and development, like the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), or the International Clinical Research Center in Brno (ICRC). The city is also gaining importance in various fields of engineering, especially in software development, there is a number of companies focused on development operating in Brno. For example, AVG Technologies (headquarters),IBM (Delivery Centre Central Europe Brno),AT&T (American Telephone and Telephone) Honeywell (Honeywell Global Design Center Brno),Siemens,SGI (CZ headquarters),Red Hat (CZ headquarters),Motorola, etc.
- The Brno Exhibition Centre is the city's premier attraction for international business visitors. Annually, over one million visitors attend over 40 professional trade fairs and business conferences held here. The exhibition and convention industry contributes heavily to the region’s economy. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure and modern facilities, the Brno Exhibition Centre has a prominent position in the region.
- Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, named after Leoš Janáček, was founded in 1947 and is one of two academies of music and drama in the Czech Republic. It holds the annual Leoš Janáček Competition.
- Masaryk University, located in Brno, is the second-largest public university in the Czech Republic and leading higher education institution in Moravia. Today, it consists of nine faculties, with more than 190 departments, institutes and clinics. It is commonly regarded as one of the most significant institutions for education and research in the Czech Republic and a respected Central European university.
- Špilberk Castle, originally a royal castle, but from the 17th century a fortress and feared prison (e.g. Carbonari) is one of the city's principal monuments, as is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The cathedral was built during the 14th and 15th centuries.
- Ignis Brunensis, an international fireworks competition, is held each June. The show attracts more than 1,000,000 spectators each year.
- Villa Tugendhat, an example of functionalistic architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe built in the late 1920s close to the centre of the city, was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. Another renowned architect who significantly shaped Brno was Arnošt Wiesner. Many of his functionalistic buildings can be found all around the city.
- The Brno University of Technology was established in 1899, and now it ranks among the biggest universities in Brno. There is the Czech Technology Park adjacent to the university campus of the Brno University of Technology in Královo Pole.
- Every September, Brno is home to a large wine festival (Slavnosti vína) to celebrate the harvest in the surrounding wine-producing region.
- Hantec is a unique dialect that originated in Brno.
- Brno is the home to the highest courts in the Czech judiciary. The Supreme Court is on Burešova Street, the Supreme Administrative Court is on Moravské náměstí (English: Moravian Square), and the Constitutional Court is on Joštova Street, and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office of the Czech Republic is on Jezuitská street.
- Brno is home to a Synagogue and the largest Jewish cemetery in Moravia. A Jewish population lived in Brno as early as the 13th century, and remnants of tombstones can be traced back to as early as 1349. The functionalist synagogue was built between 1934 and 1936. While there were 12,000 members of the Brno Jewish community in 1938, only 1,000 survived the Nazi persecution during Germany's occupation in World War II. Today, the cemetery and synagogue are maintained by a Brno Jewish community once again.
- Brno is also home to the only Czech mosque, founded in 1998.
The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric era, however, the direct ancestor of Brno was a fortified settlement of the Great Moravia Empire known as Staré Zámky which was inhabited since the Neolithic Age to the early 11th century. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of non-ruling Prince from the House of Přemyslid, and Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo.
In the 11th century a chapel was founded on the Petrov hill, since then, the chapel has undergone many changes which after centuries resulted in the current Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The Spilberk Castle was founded in the 13th century, originally as the major royal castle in Moravia. In 1243 Brno received the large and small city privileges from the King, and thus it was recognized as a royal city. In 1324 Queen Elisabeth Richeza of Poland (cz: Eliška Rejčka) founded the current Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady where 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 Spilberk 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 1641 Brno became the sole capital of Moravia. During the 17th century Spilberk Castle was rebuild into a huge baroque citadel. In 1777 the Brno Bishopric was established.[note 1] In 1839 the first train arrived in Brno from Vienna, this event was the beginning of rail transport in today's 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 today's Czech Republic.
- In the 15th century Brno was besieged twice, in 1428 and again in 1430 by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. But both attempts to conquer the city failed.
- In the 17th century Swedish army under the leadership of General Lennart Torstenson laid siege to the city in 1643 and in 1645. This was an important part of the Thirty Years' War, and Brno was the only city in Moravia which succeeded in defending itself against Swedish sieges.
- In the 18th century Brno was besieged by Prussians in 1742 under the leadership of Frederick the Great, but also without success.
- In December 1805, Battle of Austerlitz, took place nearby the city, the battle is also known as the "Battle of the Three Emperors". Brno itself didn't interfere with the battle but the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte spent several nights here and again in 1809.
- In 1945 Brno was conquered by the Red Army under the leadership of Rodion Malinovsky, ending seven years of occupation by Nazi Germany.
The capital of Moravia
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 as the population number is concerned, and it was the seat of the only Roman Catholic diocese in Moravia. Since 1573, Olomouc was also the seat of the only Moravian university existing at that time (nowadays Palacký University of Olomouc).
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.[note 2] Meanwhile Brno, as the only Moravian city which managed to defend itself from the Swedes, 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.[note 3] In 1948 the communist government of Czechoslovakia abolished Moravian autonomy, stripped Brno of its title, and transferred all political power in the country into one center which is Prague. At the present day, the Moravian Land Tables are stored in the Moravian Regional Archive, and ranks among the national cultural sights of the Czech Republic.
The 20th century and Greater Brno
In 1919 two neighbouring towns, the town of Královo Pole, and the town of Husovice, and 21 other municipalities were annexed to Brno, creating Greater Brno (cz: Velké Brno). Greater Brno had 7 times larger area and population of about 222 thousand - before that Brno had about 130 thousand citizens. In 1921 Brno became the capital city of the Land of Moravia (cz: země Moravská), before that Brno was the capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Seven years later, Brno became the capital of the Land of Moravia-Silesia (cz: země Moravskoslezská). In 1939 Brno was occupied by the army of Nazi Germany, and in 1945 it was conquered by the Red Army.
When the First World War ended in 1918, the population of Brno included about 55,000 German speakers, including almost all inhabitants of Jewish origin. However, most of Brno's Jewish population of about 12,000 were murdered by the Nazis during the German occupation of the country in the years 1939-1945. All Czech universities including that of Brno were closed by the Nazis in 1939, and the university dormitory in Brno was subsequently used as the headquarters of Gestapo. About 35,000 Czechs and also some American and British POW´s were imprisoned and tortured there, with about 800 civilians killed. One source says that executions were public for local Germans for a 3 Reichsmark fee. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the surviving ethnic German residents were forcibly expelled, as was the case throughout Czechoslovakia. In the so-called “Brünn death march,” beginning on 31 May 1945, about 27,000 German inhabitants of Brno were marched 40 miles overland to the Austrian border. According to postwar testimony collected by German sources, about 5,200 of them lost their lives during the march. However, later estimates by Czech sources put the death toll at about 1,700. The Czech sources say that most deaths were due to an epidemics of Shigellosis.
At the beginning of the Communism Era in Czechoslovakia, in 1948, Brno ceased to serve as the capital city of Moravia. Since then Moravia has been divided into several administrative regions subordinate to Prague, and Brno is the seat of the Regional Authority of the South Moravian Region, originally called the Brno Region. In 1968 Brno was recognized as a statutory city.
Geography and climate
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, Brno has a moderate climate. Compared to other cities in the country, Brno has a very high air quality, this is ensured by a good natural circulation of air, no severely violent storms or similar natural disasters have ever been recorded in the city.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Brno has a borderline oceanic climate (Cfb) and a humid continental climate (Dfb) with cold winters and warm, mild summers. 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. 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. There are dozens of legally protected areas which are protected because of their ecological and/or natural values, like the Moravian Karst, Stránská Skála, and others.
Brno is the former capital city of Moravia and the political and cultural hub of the South Moravian Region. The city has over 400 thousand residents. Its urban agglomeration  has approximately 450 thousand residents. Its larger urban zone had a population of about 730 thousand in 2004 while its greater metropolitan area is home to more than 800 thousand people,. The estimated population of the South Moravian Region is 1.2 million people. According to the Eurostat population estimate from the year 2004 Brno had 367,729 inhabitants, which ranks it among the 100 largest cities of the EU. Brno is situated at the crossroads of ancient trade routes which have joined northern and southern European civilizations for centuries, and as a part of the Danube basin region. The city is historically connected with Vienna which lies a mere 110 km (68.35 mi) to the south.
|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
|Precipitation mm (inches)||24.6
|Snowfall cm (inches)||17.4
|Avg. precipitation days||6.0||5.4||5.3||5.4||8.3||9.1||9.0||7.3||5.5||5.1||7.0||6.3||79.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||45.3||71.6||121.1||169.0||219.5||220.8||235.0||217.8||162.1||123.9||51.3||39.9||1,677.3|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (UN)|
|Source #2: NOAA|
The City spends about 30 million EUR every year on culture. There are many museums, theatres and other cultural institutions in Brno, the city is also a vibrant university city with about ninety thousand students, a number of festivals, exhibitions, and other cultural events.
Since the 1990s Brno is experiencing a great cultural "rebirth", façades of historical monuments are being repaired and various exhibitions, shows, etc. are being established or extended. However the city still might have a bad reputation of "a dirty industrial town with nothing worthy of seeing". In 2007 a summit of 15 presidents of the EU Member States was held in Brno.
Despite its urban character Brno still preserves traditional Moravian folklore, including folk festivals with tradition Moravian national costumes (cz: kroje), Moravian wines, folk music and dances, and other things. Unlike smaller municipalities, in Brno the traditional folk festivals are held locally by certain city districts, among the city district where annually the traditional Moravian festivals takes place are Židenice,Líšeň, or Ivanovice.
Possibly thanks to its history as former capital city of Moravia, Brno has hundreds of historical sights, including one designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and eight monuments listed among the national cultural heritage of the Czech Republic. Majority of the main sights of Brno are situated in its historical centre. The city has the second largest historic preservation zone in the Czech Republic, the largest one being that of the Czech capital Prague. However, there is a considerable difference in the size of historical preservation zones of both cities. While Brno has 484 legally protected sights, Prague has as much as 1,330 of them. Brno can be referred to as a cradle of certain new trends in modern architecture and especially in functionalism on the territory of the Czech Republic, and there is a wide range of monuments built in functionalist style in this city, probably the most important one being Villa Tugendhat, designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1920s for the wealthy Fritz Tugendhat family, and finished in 1930. The following list shows only some of the most important sights of Brno. Objects marked with a star () officially rank among the national cultural sights of the Czech Republic.
The biggest festival held in Brno is the fireworks festival Ignis Brunensis (Latin for "Flame of Brno"). 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.
The next international festival is the Cinema Mundi (a Latin name which means something like "the Cinematography of the World"); it 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...
Brno has the oldest theatre building in Central Europe, it's the Reduta Theatre at Zelný trh (en: the Vegetable Market). So the city has a long tradition in theatre productions, the first theatre plays in Brno took place probably in 1660s in the City Tavern, today's Reduta Theatre, however, the first "real theatre" with theatre boxes was build in 1733 in this complex. The first documented professional Czech performance took place in 1767 again in the Reduta Theatre, the play was called Zamilovaný ponocný (en: Watchmen in Love) performed by the Venice Theatre Company, the same year Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed in the theatre with his older sister Anna Maria (Nannerl). In that year the Mozart family spent Christmas in Brno, this rare and precious visit is commemorated by a statue of Mozart as a child in front of the Reduta Theatre and also the Reduta's Mozartův sál (en: Mozart Hall) was named after him.
The National Theatre Brno is one of the leading representatives of the scene of opera,drama and ballet in the city of Brno. The first permanent seat of the National Theatre Brno was established in 1884 and it was called Národní divadlo v Brně (en: the National Theatre in Brno), today this institution owns the Mahen Theatre, built in 1882, Janáček Theatre built in 1965, and the Reduta Theatre which is Central Europe's oldest theatre. The composer Leoš Janáček is also connected with the National Theatre Brno. And there is also one more interesting thing about the National Theatre Brno, the Mahen Theatre was the first theatre building which was illuminated by Thomas Edison's electric light bulbs in entire Europe, at that time it was a completely new invention and there were no power plants built in the city, so a small steam power plant was built nearby just to power the theatre, and Thomas Alva Edison came to Brno in 1911 to see this somewhat unique creation.
But probably the most accomplished and also the most successful theatre in Brno is the Brno City Theatre, it was founded in 1945, their performances have been permanently sold out since the year 1995, and on top of that, they stage about 150 performances abroad every year. Repertoire of this theatre consists primarily of musical and dramatical scene. Beside that there is a variety of smaller theatres in Brno, like Divadlo Bolka Polívky, Divadlo Husa na provázku, HaDivadlo, loutkové divadlo Radost, Divadlo Polárka, G Studio, Divadlo v 7 a půl - Kabinet múz, Divadlo Vaňkovka for children, etc. So the overall repertoire of theatres in Brno can be considered relatively wide and performances of foreign artistic ensembles are also exceptional, for example performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts in the Janáček Theatre in 2011.
Theatres in Brno experienced a long development and the current seats of the theatres and their artistic ensembles might be considerably different from the original ones, for example the Mahen Theatre was originally called the City Theatre and until 1918 it performed only in the German language and also it wasn't part of the National Theatre in Brno, there was similar situation regarding the Reduta Theatre. Between the years 1971 and 1978 some plays were even performed at Brno Exhibition Centre due to reconstruction of the Mahen Theatre.
Legends connected with Brno
|This section requires expansion. (September 2011)|
There are several legends connected with the City of Brno; one of the best known is the Legend of the Brno Dragon. It is said that there was a terrible creature terrorizing the citizens of Brno. The people had never seen such a beast before, so they called it a dragon. They trembled in fear of the dragon until a brave man decided to kill the monster by tricking it into eating a carcass filled with lime. In reality the dragon was a crocodile, the preserved body of which is now displayed at the entrance of the Old Town Hall. Crocodile motifs are common in Brno. A "krokodýl" (in Czech language) is the local stuffed baguette, and the city radio station is known as Radio Krokodýl.
Next to the "dragon" at the Old Town Hall the town's second well-known emblem is displayed. This is a waggon wheel made from a tree found and felled fifty miles away from the city. According to the story, a local man waged to fell the tree, to make a wheel out of it, and to roll the wheel to the city of Brno, all this within a single day. Since the whole achievement was considered impossible by normal human means, the man was later believed to have called on the devil for assistance, and he died in poverty as a result.
As a historic memento to victory over the Swedish army in 1645, the local Petrov Cathedral rings noon an hour earlier, at 11 o'clock.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2011)|
The town has a long history of motor racing. Since 1968, Brno has been a permanent fixture on the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) series. The road course ceased use at the end of 1986, when all motorsport activities resumed at the new permanent Masaryk Circuit, which was completed in 1985. Among other events, it hosts the Moto GP series.
There are also a horse-race course at Brno-Dvorska and an aeroclub airport in Medlánky. Several sports clubs play the highest Czech league, respectively. For example, (football) FC Zbrojovka Brno, (ice hockey) HC Kometa Brno, men and women basketball teams, four baseball teams (AVG Draci Brno, Hroši Brno, VSK Technika Brno, MZLU Express Brno), American football team (Brno Alligators), two rugby teams (RC Dragon Brno, RC Bystrc) and others. Tennis player Lucie Šafářová comes from Brno as well as Lukáš Rosol, who managed to beat top-player Rafael Nadal in the second round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
Museums, libraries, and galleries
|This section requires expansion. (September 2011)|
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 Czech Republic with about 4 million volumes. And 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.
Government of Brno City and the districts
By law Brno is a statutory city; it consists of 29 city districts (administrative divisions, cz: Městské části) the highest body of its self-government is the Assembly of the City of Brno (cz: Zastupitelstvo města Brna).  The city is headed by the Lord Mayor (cz: primátor), he/she has right to use the mayor insignia and represents the city outwards, the current Lord Mayor is Romand Onderka. The executive body is the City Council (cz: Rada města Brna) and local councils of the city districts, the City Council has 11 members including the Lord Mayor and his four deputies.  The Assembly of the City elects the Lord Mayor and other member of the City Council, establishes the local police, and is also entitled to grant citizenship of honour and the Awards of the City of Brno. The head of the Assembly of the City of Brno in personal matters is the Chief Executive (cz: Tajemník magistrátu) who according to certain special regulations carries out the function of employer of the other members of the city management. The Chief Executive is directly responsible to the Lord Mayor.
The city itself forms a separate district the Brno-City District (cz: Okres Brno-město) surrounded by the Brno-Country District (cz: Okres Brno-venkov), Brno is divided into 29 administrative divisions (city districts) and consists of 48 cadastral areas. This might sound confusing but there is a big difference between "a city district of Brno", "the Brno-City District" and "the Brno-Country District".
The city districts of Brno significantly varies in their size by both population and area. The most populated city district of Brno is the Brno-Centre which has over 91 thousand of residents and the less populated are Brno-Ořešín and Brno-Útěchov with about 500 residents. By its area the largest one is Brno-Bystrc with 27.24 square kilometres (10.52 sq mi) and the smallest is Brno-Nový Lískovec with 1.66 square kilometres (0.64 sq mi).
|Source: Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2005 [Historical lexicon of municipalities in the Czech Republic 1869–2005] (in Czech). Díl I. Český statistický úřad. 2006. pp. 51–54. ISBN 80-250-1311-1.|
According to the Czech Ministry of the Interior there were approximately 405,000 citizens including foreigners with registered permanent residence in Brno in January 2011. It's interesting, however, that according to the Czech Statistical Office, Brno had only ca. 371,000 inhabitants at the same time. This difference is given by a different methodology for the census, the lower number comes from the census performed in 2001 while the other one is regularly updated number of people with registered permanent residence in the city.
Brno experienced the largest increase in population during the 19th century at the time of the industrial revolution. A slight decrease in population of the city in 1989 was caused by suburbanisation.
Notable people connected with Brno
Many notable people are connected with Brno, such as worldwide known scientists or famous cultural figures. For instance physicist Ernst Mach and logician Kurt Gödel were born here. Or the founder of genetics Gregor Mendel worked in the St Thomas's Abbey in Brno where he created his revolutionary scientific theories, Mendel University in Brno is named after him.
Public transport in Brno consists of 12 tram lines, 13 trolleybus lines (the largest trolleybus network in the Czech Republic) and almost 40 day and 11 night bus lines. Trams have a long tradition in Brno, they first went to the streets in 1869, it was the first operation of horse-drawn tram in the current Czech Republic. The local public transport system is interconnected with regional public transport into one integrated system called IDS JMK and directly connects also several nearby municipalities with the city. Its main operator is the DPmB company (Brno City Transport Company) which also operates a ferry route serving mainly for recreational purposes at the Brno Dam Lake, and for interested also a tourist minibus providing a brief tour of the city. The city also plans to build a metro system (S-Bahn) because of locally overloaded trams and to lessen the congestion on the surface.
Railway transport first started to operate in the city in 1839 on line Brno–Vienna, this was the first operating railway line in the current Czech Republic. Today's Brno is a railway junction of supranational importance, for passenger traffic there are nine stations and stops. Current main railway station which the central hub of regional train services, used by about 50 000 passengers every day and passed by around 500 trains daily, is currently operating at full capacity. The current main station building is outdated and lack sufficient operating capacity but the construction of the new station has been postponed for several times for various reasons.
Road transport makes Brno an international crossroad of highways. There are two motorways on the southern edge of the city, D1 leading to Ostrava and to Prague and D2 leading to Bratislava. Not far from the city limits there is also one expressway R52 leading to Vienna, another expressway R43 which will connect Brno to the northwestern Moravia is planned. The city is gradually building the large city ring road (road I/42), several road tunnels were built (Tunnels Pisarky, Husovice, Hlinky and Královopolský) and more tunnels are planned. Also, due to the congestion in private transport the city continues to strive to build more parking ramps including underground ones, but this effort has not always been successful.
Air transport is enabled by two functional airports. One of them is the public international airport Airport Brno. Passenger traffic at this airport has experienced a large increase in recent years, regular flights fly from there to, for example, London, Rome, Milan and other cities, the airport also serves as one of two bases for police helicopters in the Czech Republic. The other local airport is a small domestic airport serving mainly recreational activities such as flying hot air balloons, gliders or aircraft RC models.
Cycling is widespread in Brno also due to lowland nature of the landscape. Existing tracks for cycling and roller skating in 2011 measured in total approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) and are gradually being expanded. And there is also one long bikeway leading to Vienna, which is one of Brno's sister cities, the track is approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) long. Several hiking trails of the Czech Tourist Club also pass through Brno.
Twin towns—Sister cities
This tool shows only cities with population over 300,000 in radius of 300 km (186.41 mi).
||Prague (~180 km (111.85 mi)), Dresden (~290 km (180.20 mi))||Wrocław (~210 km (130.49 mi))||Ostrava (~140 km (86.99 mi)), Katowice (~210 km (130.49 mi)), Kraków (~260 km (161.56 mi))|
|Vienna (~110 km (68.35 mi)), Bratislava (~125 km (77.67 mi))||Budapest (~260 km (161.56 mi))|
- The cathedral of the bishopric of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brno, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, is depicted on the 10CZK coin.
- This led to decline in population of Olomouc from over 30,000 people to mere 1,675 and total devastation of the city.
- However, Olomouc also had legal status of capital city, although this title was purely a honorary matter rather than a real role, sometimes it was referred to as "the Secondary Capital".
- Probably the most worthy of mentioning is the Brno Ossuary which is the second largest ossuary in Europe, after the Catacombs of Paris. A very special place is also the Capuchin crypt with mummies of Capuchin monks and some of the notable people of their era, like architect Mořic Grimm or the famous mercenary leader Baron Trenk.
- Lužánky is the oldest public park opened in the current Czech Republic, as a public park it was established in the late 18th century.Denis Gardens were founded in early 19th century and are the first public park in the present-day Czech Republic founded by public administration authorities, while Lužánky Park was founded by the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Špilberk Park is classified as a national cultural sight of the Czech Republic as a unique piece of garden architecture.
- Abbey of Saint Thomas is the place where Gregor Mendel established the new science of genetics, Church of Saint Tomas is the final resting place of its founder Margrave of Moravia John Henry of Luxembourg and his son King of the Romans and Margrave of Moravia Jobst of Moravia. Basilica of the assumption of our Lady the final resting place also of its founder Queen Elisabeth Richeza. Church of Saint James is one of the most preserved and most spectacular Gothic churches in Brno, it is also the final resting place of the commander of Brno defences against the Swedish siege during the Thirty Years' War, Imperial Field Marshal in Moravia, Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches.
- Reduta Theatre is notable mainly because it is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe,Central Cemetery in Brno (founded in 1883) is by its area of 56 hectares (140 acres) the largest cemetery in the Czech Republic.
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- From the Vienna Ringstrasse to the Brno Ring Boulevard - en
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