Brno

The city officially dates back to 1243, but this region was inhabited as far back as the 5th Century. A fort until the mid-1800s, it eventually transformed into a lush metropolis with ornate buildings influenced by architectural and cultural traditions of the Austrian Empire. To this day, it rivals all the great European cities in terms of its architecture. An interesting fact is that Brno Castle was among the most infamous prisons of the Austrian Empire at that time in history.

The name of the city can be traced back to a Celtic local dialect which had spread through this region before the invasion of Germanic tribes. The name roughly corresponds to the word 'hill'.

The convergence of the Svratka and Svitava rivers lies at the roots of this city, which has not changed its location since prehistoric times. Nestled in a valley and surrounded by magnificent mountain ridges, the city is a meeting point of trade routes and its strategic location has always proven a benefit to its residents. It has always been an industrial center and wine production region, still boasting the best wines in this area of the Czech Republic to this day.

In January of 1243, Wenceslas I officially received a city permit, and nobles relinquished their stronghold over Brno. The form of government changed, and authority was delegated to a mayor and city council. These privileges play a major part in the history of the country, affecting the drafts of city rights in all Czech territories. They also influenced city life here a great deal.

Completely walled in, the city area extended from Silinger, where ruins survive to this day. The city offers a large number of historical attractions and cultural landmarks. In the early 1800s, the city became a focal point of culture on the national level. It became even more of a cultural and academic center when Czechoslovakia was established in 1918. New universities were founded, with curriculums covering various disciplines, including technology, agriculture, forestry, and medicine. Another interesting fact is that Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, is deeply associated with Brno. He may have been born in Heinzendorf, but he spent most of his life in this charming city.

We couldn't possibly go on without mentioning some of its sites and tourist attractions. The first and foremost is Prazak Palace. The Viennese architect von Hansen designed this beautiful building between 1869 and 1874. He developed it in the new Renaissance style. Used for political purposes prior to 1948, it became the property of the government after that year. It was converted to an art gallery shortly after 1990. It now holds a public library and a 20th Century collection of native Czechoslovakian art. Another important venue is the Museum of Applied Arts, which was founded with academic purposes by the Industrial Association of Moravia and the Chamber of Commerce and Trade. The aim was to present visitors with an admirable collection of historical arts and crafts, an aim well-fulfilled indeed, but this museum naturally has much more to offer. Modernized in 1999, its airy and sunlit main hall, convenient passages between floors and separate exhibition rooms, and superior architectural characteristics will ensure that all visitors are left with a sense of satisfaction and admiration.