Brno is the second-largest town in the Czech Republic (with a population
about half a million), located in the south-east part of the Czech Republic.
It had been a royal city since 1347. There are six Universities in Brno.
Historical and artistic places of interest include:
In the immediate surroundings of Brno are the Moravian Karst with Macocha Chasm
and Punkva caves; the site of the "Battle of the Three emperors" (Napoleon, Alexander of
Russia, and Franz of Austria), commonly known as the Battle of Austerlitz; the chateau of
Slavkov (Austerlitz); Pernstejn Castle; and many other attractions.
- Spilberk castle and fortress
Founded in the first half of the 13th century as a royal castle for
the defence of Brno. After the 17th century it served as a
provincial fortress, and in the 18th and 19th centuries was a
prison for political inmates, called the "prison of nations" of the
Habsburg monarchy. In 1939-1940 it was prison of the Brno Gestapo,
and afterwards served as a military building.
Since 1960 it has been the headquarters of the Brno City Museum.
There is a permanent exhibit in the castle`s casemates, and a new
exhibition entitled "Spilberk - Prison of Nations", as well as
displays on Brno history and the City Museum gallery, are currently
being prepared in the northern wing.
- Petrov Cathedral
The Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul is located on the hilltop here,
on the presumed site of the former Brno castle (including a chapel)
from the 11th and 12th centuries. After the
castle`s demise a detached Romanesque basilica was rebuilt as a Gothic
cathedral in the 13th century, further modified in the 15th and 16th
centuries, and converted in the Baroque style in the 18th century.
Its current neo-Gothic form dates from the turn of this century.
Since 1777 the cathedral has been the seat of the Brno bishopric.
The original church crypt from the 12th century is now accessible to
- St. James' Church
National Cultural site. Founded in the 13th century. The late
gothic building we see today was constructed in the 14th and 15th
centuries. (A. Pilgram, A. Gabri, M. Grim, builders) with its final
touches added in the 16th century.
- Dietrichstein Palace
Dietrichstejn palace was built in the years 1613-16 by G.G.Tencalla.
The monumental palace was rebuilt around the year 1720.
Part of the bulidng complex is the "bishop's courtyard" built in
1352. Today's Moravian Provincial Museum.
- Beseda House
A Neo-Renaissance building built 1868-73 from the drawings of
Theofil Hansen jointly with the adjacent Prazak palace as a
conceptual unit in the north italian renaissance style.
Built between 1871 and 1873 in the neo-Renaissance style for the
use by the Czech Readers` Society, the Beseda House was the centre
of Czech culture and education in Brno, and a symbol of Czech
national feeling among citizens during the waves of Germanization
at the turn of the century. Today it is the headquarters of the
Brno State Philharmonic Society and the main venue for the
"Moravian Autumn" international music festival.
- Parnas Fountain
The Baroque "Parnas" fountain was built in the place of an earlier,
Renaissance fountain from the year 1597. The current version is the
work of Johann Bernard Fischer of Erlach in the years 1690-97.
- Capuchin Monastery and the
Church of the Holy Cross
The Capuchin monastery and
church in the former Coal Market was built by Ondrej
Erna in mid-17th Century. It contains a crypt of the members and
benefactors of the Capuchin Order.
- Old City Hall portal
The richly decorated portal of the Old City Hall is an extraordinary
example of late gothic sculpure, the work of Anton Pilgram in 1510.
- New Town Hall
The seat of the city mayor and the highest city administative
bodies. The historical core of the site took form in the 1680s,
as the place were provincial diets and assemblies of the
Moravian nobility were held. The area was expanded in the 17th
and 18th centuries to include additional buildings situated
around its two coutyards. The present appearance of
the building dates from 1934 - 1935.
- Old Town Hall
Originally a town house with a tower in witch the city documents
and valuables were stored, this building later served as the
centre of municipal administration from the first
half of the 13th century up until 1935. The premises were
enlarged in the 16th and 17th
centuries by the buildings in the courtyard, and the tower was
modified at the beginning of
the 20th century. Today it is the home of the Brno Culture
and Information Centre, and
the site of such social events as the Brno Summer of Culture.
For more information about Brno see the