Brno
Brno
—  Statutory city  —
Montage of Brno
• 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: International airport Brno-Tuřany • Middle, row 1: Špilberk Castle • Middle, row 2: International firework competition Ignis Brunensis • 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 dam lake • Right, row 3: Mahen Theatre, a part of the National Theatre in Brno • Right, row 4: A part of the Brno Exhibition Centre

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Brno is located in Czech Republic
Brno
Location of Brno in Czech Republic
Coordinates: 49°12′N 16°37′E / 49.2°N 16.617°E / 49.2; 16.617
Country Czech Republic
Historical region Moravia
Region South Moravian Region
District Brno-City District
Founded ca. 1000[1]
Administrative divisions Bohunice, Bosonohy, Bystrc, Centre, Černovice, Chrlice, Ivanovice, Jehnice, Jundrov, Kníničky, Kohoutovice, Komín, Královo Pole, Líšeň, Maloměřice and Obřany, Medlánky, North, Nový Lískovec, Ořešín, Řečkovice and Mokrá Hora, Slatina, South, Starý Lískovec, Tuřany, Útěchov, Vinohrady, Žabovřesky, Žebětín, Židenice
Government
 – Mayor Roman Onderka (ČSSD)
Area
 – Statutory city 230.19 km2 (88.9 sq mi)
 – Land 225.73 km2 (87.2 sq mi)
 – Water 4.46 km2 (1.7 sq mi)
 – Metro 3,170 km2 (1,223.9 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 237 m (778 ft)
Highest elevation 425 m (1,394 ft)
Lowest elevation 190 m (623 ft)
Population (2011-01-01)[3][4]
 – Statutory city 404,820
 – Density 1,758.6/km2 (4,554.8/sq mi)
 – Metro ca. 810,000 increase
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 600 00 – 650 00
Website www.brno.cz

Brno (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbr̩no] ( listen); German: Brünn; Latin: Bruna; Yiddish: ברין) 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 centre 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 over 400 thousand residents,[3] its greater metropolitan area[4] is regularly home to more that 800 thousand people[3] while its larger urban zone had population about 730 thousand in 2004.[5]

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 significant administrative centre. It is the seat of number of state authorities like Ombudsman,[6] Office for the Protection of Competition[7] or the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority.[8] Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties of 13 universities and about 89,000 students.[9] There is also a studio of the Czech Television[10] and the Czech Radio,[11] in both cases by law. The city is also home to Brno Television, a small local television station.[12]

Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe (23rd in the world),[13] this huge complex first started functioning in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno, now it also ranks among one of the sights of the city.[14] The city is also known for hosting big motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, this tradition was established in 1930 and the most prestigious races include the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix.[15] Another notable cultural tradition includes an international fireworks competition Ignis Brunensis,[16] this event usually attracts one or two hundred thousand visitors every day it's being held.[17]

The most important sights of the city include the castle and fortress Špilberk and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, these two formerly medieval buildings form the characteristic cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols. The other large and preserved castle in the city is Veveří Castle near the Brno Dam Lake,[18] this castle is a subject for a couple of legends like a number of other places in Brno.[19][20] Another important monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.[21] Brno is surrounded by a relatively pleasant nature, one of the especially attractive areas nearby might be the Moravian Karst.

Contents

Etymology

The etymology of the name Brno is disputed. It most likely comes from Old Czech brnen, brno 'muddy, swampy.'[22] 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 in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin.

The Asteroid 2889 Brno was named after the city, as well as the Bren light machine gun (Brno + Enfield), a famous gun of the World War II.

Brno today

A construction of new office buildings
  • 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.[9] The city also became home to a number of institutions directly related to research and development, like the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC),[23] or the International Clinical Research Center in Brno (ICRC).[24] 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),[25] IBM (Delivery Centre Central Europe Brno),[26] Honeywell (Honeywell Global Design Center Brno), [27] Siemens,[28] SGI (CZ headquarters),[29] Red Hat (CZ headquarters), [30] Motorola,[31] 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.[32] It holds the annual Leoš Janáček Competition.[33]
  • Masaryk University, located in Brno, is the second-largest public university in the Czech Republic and leading higher education institution in Moravia.[34] Today, it consists of nine faculties, with more than 190 departments, institutes and clinics. In the Czech Republic 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. With democratic traditions advocated since its establishment in 1919.[35]
  • 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,[36] as is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The cathedral was built during the 14th and 15th centuries.[37]
  • Ignis Brunensis, an international fireworks competition, is held each June. The show attracts more than 1,000,000 spectators each year.[38][39]
  • 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.[40] Another renowned architect who significantly shaped Brno was Arnošt Wiesner. Many of his functionalistic buildings can be found all around the city.[41][42][43]
  • 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.[44]
  • 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,[45] the Supreme Administrative Court is on Moravské náměstí (English: Moravian Square),[46] and the Constitutional Court is on Joštova Street,[47] and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office of the Czech Republic in on Jezuitská street.[48]
  • 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.[49] The functionalist synagogue was built between 1934 and 1936.[49] 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.[49] 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.[50]

History

The 10 CZK coin (1993 design)
Brno in ca. 1700

The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric era,[51] 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.[52] In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of non-ruling Prince from the House of Přemyslid,[51] and Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo.

In the 11th century there was founded a chapel 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.[53] In the 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.[54] In the 14th century, Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno and Olomouc.[51] 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 of 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 only capital of Moravia.[51] During the 17th century the Spilberk Castle was rebuild into a huge baroque citadel.[53] In 1777 the Brno Bishopric was established.[51][note 1] In 1839 the first train arrived to Brno from Vienna, this event was the begging of the rail transport in the today's Czech Republic.[55] 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 today's Czech Republic.[56]

Unsuccessful Swedish siege in the year 1645.

Major battles

  • 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 have 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 night here and again in 1809.[57][58]
  • In the year 1945 Brno was invaded by the Red Army under the leadership of Rodion Malinovsky. Thus Brno was liberated from the Nazi Germany during the World War II. Then 40 years of communism came with devastating effect on the city and the entire Moravia.

The capital city of Moravia

Coat of arms of the margraviate

In the mid 11th century Moravia was divided into three separate territories, while each one of them had its own ruler independent on the other two. Seats of these rulers and thus "capitals" of these territories were castles/towns of Olomouc, Znojmo, and Brno. In the late 12 century Moravia began to reunify, forming the Margraviate of Moravia, since then, until the mid 17 century, it wasn't clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. So the political power was "evenly" divided between Brno and Olomouc but Znojmo also played and an important role. The Moravian Diet (cz: zemský sněm), the Moravian Land Tables (cz: zemské desky), and the Moravian Supreme Court (cz: zemský soud) were all seated in both cities at once. Olomouc was the seat of the only bishopric in Moravia, later also of the only Moravian university, and it was a bigger than Brno, while Brno was the seat of Maravian Margraves (rulers of Moravia),[53] and later its position closer to Vienna became also important.

In 1641 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. And in 1642 Olomouc surrendered to the Swedish army, while Brno was the only Moravian city which managed to defend itself. Since then, the only capital city of Moravia was Brno, until 1948 when communistic government finally abolished the Moravian autonomy. 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.[59]

The 20th century and the Greater Brno

Lands and their capitals (underlined) of the First Czechoslovak Republic

In 1919 two adjacent towns, the town of Královo Pole, and the town of Husovice, and 21 other municipalities were annexed to Brno, creating the Greater Brno (cz: Velké Brno). The Greater Brno had 7 times larger area and population of about 222 thousand, before that Brno had about 130 thousand of citizens.[60][61][62] In the year 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, in 1945 it was liberated by the Red Army.

At the beginning of the Communism Era in Czechoslovakia, in 1948, Brno ceased to serve as the capital city of Moravia.[63][64] Since then Moravia is divided into a few administrative regions subdued to Prague, and Brno is the seat of the Regional Authority of the South Moravian Region, originally called the Brno Region.[63] In 1968 Brno was recognized as a statutory city.[65]

Geography and climate

The Marian Valley in Líšeň
Air quality in the Czech Republic in the year 2008, Brno ranks among the cleanest cities.

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.[2] 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).[66] 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[67] 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.[2] Brno have a very high air quality ensured by a good natural circulation of air, no severely violent storms or similar natural disasters have ever been recorded in the city.[2] The average temperature is 9.4 °C (49 °F), the average annual precipitation is about 505 mm (19.88 in), the avgerage number of precipitation days is 150, the average annual sunshine is 1,771 hours, and the prevailing wind direction is northwest.[2] Its elevation above the sea level is varying from 190 m (623.36 ft) to 425 m (1,394.36 ft),[2] and its 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.[3] Its urban agglomeration [68] has approximately 450 thousand residents.[3] Its larger urban zone had a population of about 730 thousand in 2004[5] while its greater metropolitan area[4] is home to more than 800 thousand people,[3]. The estimated population of the South Moravian Region is 1.2 million people.[69] According to the Eurostat population estimate from the year 2004 Brno had 367,729 inhabitants,[70] 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.[66]

Climate data for Brno
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.2
(32.4)
3.1
(37.6)
8.5
(47.3)
14.4
(57.9)
19.5
(67.1)
22.6
(72.7)
24.5
(76.1)
24.2
(75.6)
20.2
(68.4)
14.1
(57.4)
6.6
(43.9)
1.9
(35.4)
13.32
(55.97)
Average low °C (°F) −5.2
(22.6)
−3.3
(26.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.9
(39.0)
8.3
(46.9)
11.4
(52.5)
12.7
(54.9)
12.6
(54.7)
9.5
(49.1)
5.0
(41.0)
0.9
(33.6)
−3
(26.6)
4.38
(39.89)
Precipitation mm (inches) 24.6
(0.969)
23.8
(0.937)
24.4
(0.961)
31.5
(1.24)
61.0
(2.402)
72.2
(2.843)
63.7
(2.508)
56.3
(2.217)
37.6
(1.48)
30.7
(1.209)
37.4
(1.472)
27.1
(1.067)
490.3
(19.303)
Avg. precipitation days 6 5 5 5 8 9 9 7 6 5 7 6 78
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)[71]
Panoramic view of approximately the northeast quarter of the city

Culture

People wearing the traditional Moravian kroje (Moravian national folk costumes) at a "folk festival" in Líšeň.

The City spends on culture about 30 million EUR every year.[72][73] There are many museums, theatres and other cultural institutions in Brno, the city is also a vibrant university city with about 90 thousand students, a number of festivals, exhibitions, and other cultural events.

Since the 1990s Brno is experiencing a great cultural "rebirth", facades 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 there was a summit of 15 presidents of the EU Member States held in Brno,[74] in 1996 the Queen Elizabeth II visited the city,[75] then in 2010, her son, Prince Charles,[76] in 2009 the Pope Benedict XVI,[77] and others.

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,[78] Líšeň,[79] or Ivanovice.[80]

Sights

The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul and Dietrichstein Palace viewed from the tower of the Old Town Hall.
Villa Tugendhat, a masterpiece of the Modern Movement in architecture, designed by architect Ludwiga Miese van der Rohe in 1920s and finished in 1930, now protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[81]

Possibly thanks to its history of the former capital city of Moravia Brno has hundreds of historical sights, including one designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO[81] and eight monuments listed among the national cultural heritage of the Czech republic.[82][83] Majority of the main sights of Brno is situated its historical centre, the city has the second-largest historic preservation zone in the Czech Republic, the biggest one is in Prague. However there is a considerable difference in the size of historical preservation zones in Brno and Prague, while Brno has 484 legally protected sights, Prague has 1 330.[84] Brno can be referred to as a cradle of certain new trends in modern architecture and especially in functionalism.[85][86] It is possible to see relatively a wide range of monuments built in this style here, probably the mots important one is Villa Tugendhat. The following list shows only some of the most important sights of Brno. Objects marked with a star (star) officially ranks among the national cultural sights of the Czech Republic.

  • Castles
  • Brno underground [note 2]
    • Brno Ossuary
    • Capuchin Crypt
    • The Labyrinth under Vegetable Market
  • Other seats and palaces
    • Moravian Diet House
    • Bishop's Palace
    • Palace of Noble Ladies
    • Old Town Hall
    • Schwanz Palace
  • Functionalism buildings

Festivals

Fireworks festival Ignis Brunensis on the Brno Dam Lake (2010).
Historical horse-drawn tram at the festival called "Brno - City In the Centre of Europe".

The biggest festival held in Brno the fireworks festival Ignis Brunensis, this Latin name means "the Flame of Brno"; it's part of a festival with a bold name "Brno - City in the Centre of Europe".[94] Ignis Brunensis is the biggest show of its kind held in Central Europe,[95][96] this event usually attracts one or two hundred thousand visitors every day it's being held.[17] 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.[97] 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.[98] There are many other festivals regularly held in Brno, for instance the International Music Festival Brno,[99] the Spilberk International Music Festival,[100] the Summer Shakespeare Festival,[101] and many others...

Theatres

The Mahen Theatre, one of the buildings of the National Theatre Brno, built in 1882.[102]

Brno has the oldest theatre building in Central Europe, it's the Reduta Theatre at Zelný trh (en: the Vegetable Market).[92] 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.[92] 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).[92] In that year Mozart family was spending Christmas in Brno,[103] this rare and precious visit reminds a statue of Mozart as a child in front of the Reduta Theatre and also the Reduta's Mozartův sál (en: the Mozart's Hall) was named after him.[104]

The National Theatre Brno is one of the leading representatives of the scene of opera,[105] drama[106] and ballet[107] in the city of Brno. The first permanent seat of the National Theatre Brno was established in year 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 that Central Europe's oldest theatre.[108] The composer Leoš Janáček is also connected with the National Theatre Brno.[109] 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 the 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.[102]

But probably the most accomplished and also the most successful theatre in Brno is the Brno City Theatre, it was founded in 1945,[110] their performances have been permanently sold out since the year 1995, and on top of that, they stage about 150 performances abroad every year.[111] Repertoire of this theatre consists primarily of musical and dramatical scene.[112] 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 not exceptional, for example performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts in the Janáček Theatre in the year 2011.[113]

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 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.[114]

Brno Legends

The Brno Dragon and Brno Wheel at the Old Town Hall

There are several legends connected with the history of the City of Brno; one of the best known is the Legend of the Brno Dragon.[115] 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. The dragon was actually a crocodile which is now displayed at the entrance of the Old Town Hall. Crocodile motifs are common in Brno: a krokodil is the local stuffed baguette, and the city radio station is known as Radio Krokodil. Beside the dragon the second town emblem is displayed, a waggon wheel made from a tree fifty miles from the city. For a wager, a local man felled the tree, made the wheel, and rolled it to Brno in a single day. Since this feat was considered impossible, he was later believed to have called on the devil for assistance, and he died in poverty as a result.

Sport

Race Brno Formula Renault 3.5 Series 2010 on the Masaryk Circuit.

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.[116][117]

Museums, libraries, and 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.[118] The museum was founded in 1817 and its collections include over 6 millions objects.[118] The biggest public library in Brno is the Moravian Library, it's the second largest library in Czech Republic with about 4 million volumes.[119] And the biggest gallery in Brno is the Moravian Gallery and again it's second largest institution of its kind the Czech Republic and the biggest in Moravia.[120]

City local government

Administrative divisions of Brno and their coats of arms

By law Brno is a statutory city; it consists of 29 city districts (administrative divisions, cz: Městské části)[121] the highest body of its self-government is the Assembly of the City of Brno (cz: Zastupitelstvo města Brna). [122] 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.[123][124] 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. [125] 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.[122] 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.[126] The Chief Executive is directly responsible to the Lord Mayor.[127]

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).

Demography

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1869 73,771
1880 82,660 +12.0%
1890 94,462 +14.3%
1900 109,346 +15.8%
1910 125,737 +15.0%
1921 221,758 +76.4%
1930 264,925 +19.5%
1950 284,946 +7.6%
1961 314,235 +10.3%
1970 344,031 +9.5%
1980 371,463 +8.0%
1991 388,296 +4.5%
2001 376,172 −3.1%
Source: (in Czech) Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2005 [Historical lexicon of municipalities in the Czech Republic 1869–2005]. Díl I. Český statistický úřad. 2006. p. 760. ISBN 80-250-1311-1. http://www.czso.cz/csu/2004edicniplan.nsf/t/9200404384/$File/13n106cd1.pdf. 

According to the Czech Ministry of the Interior there was about 405,000 citizens including foreigners with registered permanent residence in Brno in January 2011.[3] It's interesting, however, that according to the Czech Statistical Office, Brno had only ca. 371,000 inhabitants at the same time.[128] This difference is given by a different methodology for the census, the lower number comes from the census performed in year 2001 while the other one is regularly updated in much shorter interval so we might consider ~405,000 to be the more accurate value.[129][130]

Brno experienced the largest increase in population in the 19. century in 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.

Transportation infrastructure

Pisárky tunnel (connects D1 motorway to the Large City Ring Road)
Tram service is the backbone of the public transport in Brno.
The Brno-Tuřany Airport is the second busiest airport in the Czech republic.[133]

Public transport in Brno consists of 13 tram lines, 13 trolleybus lines (the largest trolleybus network in the Czech Republic) and almost 40 day and 11 night bus lines.[134] Trams have a long tradition in Brno, they first went to the streets in year 1869, it was the first operation of horse-drawn tram in the current Czech republic.[56] The local public transport system is interconnected with regional public transport into one integrated system called IDS JMK and directly connects also a few nearby municipalities with the city.[135] 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,[136] and for interested also a tourist minibus providing a brief tour of the city.[137] The city also plans to build a metro system (S-Bahn) because of locally overloaded trams and to lessen the congestion on the surface.[138][139][140]

Railway transport first started to operate in the city in year 1839 on line Brno–Vienna, this was the first operating railway line in the current Czech republic.[55] 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.[141] The current main station building is outdated and lack sufficient operating capacity but the construction of the new station was postponed for several times for various reasons.[141]

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.[142] Not far from the city limits there is also one expressway R52 leading to Vienna, another expressway R43 which should connect Brno to the northwestern Moravia is planned.[142] The city is gradually building the large city ring road (road I/42), a few road tunnels were build (Tunnels Pisarky, Husovice, Hlinky and Královopolský) and next tunnels are planned.[143] Also, due to the congestion in private transport the city longer strives to build more parking ramps including underground ones, but this effort has not always been successful.[144]

Air transport is enabled by two functional airports one of them is 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,[145] the airport also serve as one of two bases for police helicopters in Czech republic. The other one is a small domestic airport serving mainly recreational activities like flying hot air balloons, gliders or aircraft RC models.[146][147][148]

Cycling is widespread in Brno also due to lowland nature of the landscape. Existing tracks for cycling and skating on roller skates in 2011 measured in total approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) and are gradually expanded.[149] 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.[150] Brno passes also several hiking trails of the Czech Tourist Club.

International relations

Twin towns—Sister cities

Brno is twinned with the following cities:[151]

Nearby cities

This tool shows only cities with population over 300,000 in radius of 300 km (186.41 mi).

Gallery

See also

Notes

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Probably the most worthy of mentioning is the Brno Ossuary which is the second largest ossuary in Europe,[87] 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.[88]
  3. ^ Lužánky is the oldest public park opened in the current Czech republic, as a public park it was established in the late 18th century.[89] 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,[90] 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.[91]
  4. ^ 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's 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.
  5. ^ Reduta Theatre is notable mainly because it is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe,[92] Central Cemetery in Brno (founded in 1883) is by its area of 56 hectares (140 acres) the largest cemetery in the Czech Republic.[93]

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