Brno 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.
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. 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.
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.
The go-to bar is the cramped and smoky Charlie's Hat (know to most locals simply as Charlie's), east on Koblizna street from the north end of Freedom Square (50 Kč entry, includes drink voucher). A cluster of more down-tempo bars frequented by students can be found along Dominikánská (Kavárna Trojka - students caffee and bar)and Starobrněnská just west of the Zelný trh (cabbage market square). Around the main square you can find a lot of clubs, pubs, restaurants, coffee houses and lounge bars.
- The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is located on the Petrov hill in Brno-Center. It is a national cultural monument and one of the most important architectural monuments of South Moravia. The interior is mostly Baroque, while the impressive 84m high towers were built between 1904 and 1905 by architect August Kirstein in the Gothic Revival style. Traditionally, the bells of the Cathedral toll midday at 11 o'clock in the morning instead of at 12 o'clock. According to the legend, during the Thirty Years' War, the invading Swedes laid siege to the city of Brno but had promised that the attack would be halted if they had not succeed in taking the city by midday on August the 15th. When the battle was underway some shrewd citizens decided to ring the bells an hour early, fooling the Swedes who broke off the siege and left empty-handed. Brno was the only city to repel the Swedes during this war.
- Moravské zemské muzeum (Moravian Museum in English) is the second largest and oldest museum in the Czech Republic. The museum was founded in July 1817 by Emperor Francis I. Its collections include over 6 millions of objects from many fields of science and culture.
- Veveří Castle is a castle located some 15 km northwest of Brno, on the River Svratka. According to legend, the castle Veveří ("squirrel" in Czech) was founded by Přemyslid Duke Conrad of Brno in the middle of the 11th Century, then only as a hunting lodge. Nevertheless, the first credible recorded mention about the castle is from the years 1213 and 1222, when King Přemysl Otakar I used the fortified castle as a prison for rebellious peers. Initially, it was apparently a wooden residence situated near the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary west of the present compound. In the 1220s a stone castle on the extremity of the rocky promontory behind a deep moat cut out of the rock started to grow. The so-called keep is the only structure which has remained well-preserved from this oldest building stage.
- Mahen Theatre is a Czech theatre situated in the city of Brno. Mahen Theatre, built as German Deutsches Stadttheater in 1882, was one of the first public buildings in the world lit entirely by electric light. It was built in a combination of Neo-renaissance, Neo-baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles. The city theatre Reduta in Brno burned down in 1870, and the city council decided to build a new theatre building within a short time period. Thanks to the efforts of then mayor Gustav Winterholler, the decision was taken to build a bigger and better theatre at the place of Obstplatz (today's Malinovský square). The commission was assigned to the renowned Vienna architectural studio Fellner and Helmer. The studio was specialized in projects of theatre buildings. Around 1880, their modern type of theatre building was considered as a model.
- Špilberk Castle is an old castle on the hilltop. It began to be built as early as the first half of the 13th century by the Přemyslid kings and complete by King Ottokar II of Bohemia. From a major royal castle established around the mid-13th century, and the seat of the Moravian margraves in the mid-14th century, it was gradually turned into a huge baroque fortress considered the heaviest prison in the Austro-Hungarian empire, and then into barracks. This prison had always been part of the Špilberk fortress.