Brno is the second largest as well as the second most populous city in the Czech Republic – and the adjective of being the second city is something which will probably never go away. Located in Moravia, in the south-eastern part of the country, it represents the historical capital of the Moravian Region.
It is also, naturally, its administrative centre. The population of the city, together with the metropolitan area, counts around 800 000 people.
Brno’s history dates back to the 11th century and the establishment of a castle on its ground. The city went through an interesting history from being one of the centres of Moravia, through getting city privileges and being recognised as royal city during the 13th century, to the city we know nowadays.
Brno is home to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court; important Brno Exhibition Centre belonging to one of the largest in Europe; several universities – Brno University of Technology, Masaryk University or the Mendel University; or the UNESCO World Heritage listed Villa Tugendhat.
Cathedral of St Peter and Paul
The signature Cathedral St Peter and Paul is being portrayed on the 10 crown coins – even though it’s often mistaken with the Prague Castle.
The (initially Romanesque) Basilica stands on the top of the Petrov Hill and dominates the entire city. The Cathedral with towers reaching respectable height of 84 metres was built in 1777, although the towers itself were added in the early 20th century together with the overall reconstruction by August Kirstein.
Nowadays, the Cathedral has mostly Baroque interior, all while the exterior has majority of Gothic features.
Brno Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall building with its history starting in 1240 (it is one of the first buildings built in the city of Brno) used to be home to the administration of the city until mid 20th century.
The Old Town Hall is located only a short walk from the very city centre, nearby the Cabbage Market. There is multiple legends going around about the building.
One of them is the one about the dead crocodile hanging in the Gothic gateway of the building. People of Brno believed that it used to be a dragon which was threatening the city and its citizens.
The popular Cabbage Market (Zelný trh) in Brno is a famous market located right in the historical centre of the city.
Established back in the 13th century, the Market faces a great population. Not only it is a place to get some of the freshest vegetable, fruit and flowers, it is also a perfect destination for a stroll to look around and enjoy the genuine atmosphere.
There also used to be a poultry market, potter, shoe maker and a store with hardware goods in the old times.
Mummies of the Capuchin Crypt
Capuchin Monastery and its Crypt are another interesting tourist attraction of the city of Brno. The early Baroque Monastery was built in 1651 and the Vault comes from the mid 18th century.
This unique complex breaths with history as every part is hiding its own story. The Crypt itself situated in the basement of the Monastery is then a funeral room for member of the Capuchin order.
Seeing their mummified remains is certainly a spooky and rare experience.
The Phallic Clock situated in the centre of the Liberty Place in Brno belongs to one of those controversial monuments / sites you definitely have to see. The Clock provoked many interesting reactions from locals and the general public – the reason bing is the controversial shape.
The 6 meter tall black stone Clock introduced in 2010 is supposed to represent a bullet. However, most of the people will probably tell you a different suggestions about the Brno’s astronomical clock.
Like almost every other city in the Czech Republic, also Brno has its own crafted beer. The city has great number of brewpubs and beer bars to chose from. Starobrno is the signature beer of Brno.
You can visit Starobrno brewery, the tour takes you through the history, shows you the brewing process and it finishes by the best – the beer tasting. Bookings for the tour are required.
Mendel Museum of Genetics
The Mendel Museum of Genetics in Brno belonging to Masaryk University is one of the jewels of the city. The Museum presents Gregor Johann Mendel, the founder of genetics and his work.
He spent in the city the majority of his life and performed most of his experiments there.
The Mendel Museum established in 2002 and located within the Augustinian abbey then showcases several temporary exhibitions and one permanent one and tries to demonstrate the genius Mendel was.
Brno Špilberk Castle
Špilberk Castle is another iconic monument of the city. Located on the top of the hill and overlooking Brno, Špilberk used to be the seat of Moravian margraves.
The Castle was built in 13th century. One century later, Špilberk was turned into a Baroque fortress and later into barracks and a prison.
The prison has always played an important role of the Castle and even today serves as a huge tourist attraction. The Castle itself is today home to the Brno City Museum.
Proudly being one of the Czech UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Villa Tugendhat is a fine example of the Modern architecture. Among other twelve sitech listed in UNESCO in the Czech Republic, is is surely something exceptional.
The three-story Tugendhat Villa was constructed between 1929 and 1930 on a slope in Černá Pole neighbourhood and represents an outstanding design, following principles that “less is more”.
The unusual methods used during the construction led to the extremely high cost.
More reasons behind are also expensive materials and modern technologies used during the work.
Inside, there is an exhibition showing the life of original owners – Tugendhats who emigrated before the World War II.