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Brno ( ) is the second largest city in the Czech Republicmarker, located in the southeast of the country. It was founded in 1243, although the area had been settled since the 5th century. As of August 2009 the population is 404,887. Brno is the capital of the South Moravian Regionmarker as well as the seat of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office and the Ombudsman.


Brno is located in the southeastern part of the country, at the confluence of the Svitavamarker and Svratkamarker rivers. The city is a political and cultural hub of the South Moravian Regionmarker (estimated population of 1,130,000 for the whole region). At the same time, it represents the centre of the province of Moravia, one of the historic lands of the Bohemian Crown. It is situated at the crossroads of ancient trade routes which have joined northern and southern European civilizations for centuries. Due to its location between the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the Southern Moravian lowlands, Brno has a moderate climate.


The etymology of the name Brno is disputed. It most likely comes from Old Czech brnen, brno 'muddy, swampy.' 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 Slavic and Germanic 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, Bruna in Latin and Μπρνο in Greek. In the Middle Ages the name of Brno was Beren or Börön in the Hungarian language, but nowadays the name of the city is Brno.

Administrative division

The city of Brno is divided into 29 city districts:
Administrative division of Brno
District Cadastral areas
Brno-Bohunicemarker Bohunicemarker
Brno-Bosonohy Bosonohy
Brno-Bystrcmarker Bystrcmarker
Brno-Centre (Brno-střed) Brno City (Město Brno), Pisárky (partly), Old Brno (Staré Brno), Stránice, Štýřice, Veveří, Trnitá (partly), Zábrdovice (partly)
Brno-Černovice Černovice
Brno-Chrlice Chrlice
Brno-Ivanovice Ivanovice
Brno-Jehnice Jehnice
Brno-Jundrov Jundrov (partly), Pisárky (partly)
Brno-Kníničky Kníničky
Brno-Kohoutovice Kohoutovice, Jundrov (partly), Pisárky (partly)
Brno-Komín Komín
Brno-Královo Pole Černá Pole (partly), Královo Polemarker, Ponava, Sadová
Brno-Líšeň Líšeň
Brno-Maloměřice a Obřany Maloměřice (partly), Obřany
Brno-Medlánky Medlánky
Brno-North (Brno-sever) (Černá Pole (partly), Husovice, Lesná, Soběšice, Zábrdovice (partly))
Brno-Nový Lískovec Nový Lískovec
Brno-Ořešín Ořešín
Brno-Řečkovice a Mokrá Hora Mokrá Hora, Řečkovice
Brno-Slatinamarker Slatinamarker
Brno-South (Brno-jih) Komárov, Dolní Heršpice, Horní Heršpice, Přízřenice, Trnitá (partly)
Brno-Starý Lískovec Starý Lískovec
Brno-Tuřany Brněnské Ivanovice, Dvorska, Holásky, Tuřany
Brno-Útěchov Útěchov
Brno-Vinohrady Maloměřice (partly), Židenice (partly)
Brno-Žabovřesky Žabovřesky
Brno-Žebětín Žebětín
Brno-Židenice Zábrdovice (partly), Židenice (partly)


St. Michael's church, Brno
Brno as such was acknowledged to be a town in 1243 by Václav I, King of Bohemia, but the area itself had been settled since the 5th century. From the 11th century, a castle of the governing Přemyslid dynasty stood here, and was the seat of the non-ruling prince.

During the mid-14th century Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno and Olomoucmarker. These regional authority bodies made decisions on political, legal, and financial questions. They were also responsible for the upkeep of regional records.

During the Hussite Wars, the city remained faithful to King Zikmund. The Hussites twice laid siege to the city, once in 1428 and again in 1430, both times in vain.

During the Thirty Years' War, in 1643 and 1645, Brno was the only city to successfully defend itself from Swedish sieges, thereby allowing the Austrian Empire to reform their armies and to repel the Swedish pressure. In recognition of its services, the city was rewarded with a renewal of its city privileges. In the years following the Thirty Years' War, the city became an impregnable baroque fortress. In 1742, the Prussians vainly attempted to conquer the city, and the position of Brno was confirmed with the establishment of a bishopric in 1777. In 1805, The Battle of Austerlitzmarker took place 6 miles southeast of Brno.

In the 18th century, development of industry and trade began to take place, which continued into the next century. Soon after the industrial revolution, the town became one of the industrial centres of Moravia — sometimes it even being called the Moravian Manchestermarker. In 1839, the first train arrived in Brno. Together with the development of industry came the growth of the suburbs, and the city lost its fortifications, as did the Spielberg fortressmarker, which became a notorious prison to where not only criminals were sent, but also political opponents of the Austrian Empiremarker. Gas lighting was introduced to the city in 1847 and a tram system in 1869. Mahen Theatremarker in Brno was the first building in the world to use Edison's electric lamps.

During the "First Republicmarker" (1918–1938) Brno continued to gain importance — it was during this period that Masaryk Universitymarker was established (1919), the state armoury (Československá Statni Zbrojovka Brno) was established (1919), and the Brno Fairgrounds were opened in 1928 with an exhibition of contemporary culture. The city was not only a centre of industry and commerce, but also of education and culture. Famous people who lived and worked in the city include Gregor Mendel, Leoš Janáček, Viktor Kaplan, Jiří Mahen, and Bohuslav Fuchs. Milan Kundera was born here, leaving to Prague to pursue his university studies and never come back.

In 1939 Brno was annexed by Nazi Germany along with the rest of Moravia and Bohemia. After the war, the ethnic German population was expelled or terminated.

Historical population

Brno today

Augustinian Monastery and Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, Brno
St. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Courtyard of the Špilberk Castle
Dominikánská Street in the city centre
Brno Exhibition Centre
  • The Brno Exhibition Centre, established in 1928, is the city's premier attraction for international business visitors. Annually, Over 1 million visitors attend over 40 professional trade fairs and business conferences held here. In 2007, the centre hosted the 14th Meeting of Central European Presidents, and a Rolling Stones concert. The exhibition and convention industry contributes heavily to the region’s economy, while 90% of the Czech population associate Brno with trade shows. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure and modern facilities, the Brno Exhibition Centre has a prominent position in the region. Therefore, Brno can be nicknamed the capital of trade fairs in Central Europe.
  • Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, named for Leoš Janáček, was founded in 1947 and is one of two academies of music and drama in the Czech Republic. It holds the annual Leoš Janáček Competition.
  • Masaryk Universitymarker, located in Brno, is the second largest public university in the Czech Republicmarker and the largest in Moravia. Today, it consists of nine faculties, with more than 190 departments, institutes and clinics. It is recognised as one of the most significant institutions for education and research in the Czech Republicmarker and a respected Central European university with democratic traditions advocated since its establishment in 1919.
  • Špilberk Castlemarker, 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, as is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The cathedral was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. Its bells ring noon at 11 a.m., a tradition since the siege by the Swedesmarker in 1645.
  • The town has a long history of motor racing. The first races were run as a checkpoint for the ViennamarkerBreslaumarker race in 1904; in the 1920s, the town hosted the Brno–Soběšicemarker hillclimb race; and in the 1930s, all races were held on the street course called Masaryk Circuitmarker which led through the streets of the western part of the town and neighbouring villages, such as Bosonohy and Žebětín. A series of Czechoslovakian Grand Prixmarker was held from 1930 to 1935, in 1937 and also once after the war, in 1949. Since 1968, Brno has been a permanent fixture on the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) series, and has held motorcycle races since 1965. The road course ceased to be used at the end of 1986, when all motorsport activities resumed at the new permanent Masaryk Circuitmarker, which was completed in 1985, in the northwest section of the town. Among other events, it hosts the Moto GP series. The Czech Moto Grand Prix in 2008 was won by Valentino Rossi.
  • Ignis Brunensis, an international fireworks competition, is held each June. The show attracts more than 200,000 spectators regularly.
  • Villa Tugendhatmarker, a unique example of modern functionalistic architecture, designed by Mies van der Rohe and built in the late 1920s close to the centre of the city, was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCOmarker in 2002. Another renowned architect who changed significantly the modern shape of Brno was Arnošt Wiesner. Many of his functionalistic buildings can be found all around the city.
  • In the 1990s, after more than 70 years of discussion, the city council decided to build a new main train station farther from the centre of the town and to develop a more modern area of the town, which is currently occupied by train track. This plan has been criticised for its possible economical and ecological consequences. The whole Brno railway junction is to be reconstructed, which is very complicated due to its 170 years of development since the first train came to Brno from Vienna in 1839. The construction is projected to finish in 2017. After municipal elections in autumn 2006 this project has been put on hold by new city leadership and it appears that an upgraded main station in the city centre will be reconsidered.
  • The Brno University of Technologymarker, established in 1899, has been developing the Czech Technology Park since 1995.
  • Every September, Brno is home to a large wine festival (Slavnosti vína) to celebrate the harvest in the surrounding wine-producing region. [9114]
  • Hantec is a unique dialect that originated in Brno, however most peoples' knowledge of it is restricted to a few words.
  • Brno is the home to the highest courts in the Czech judiciary. The Supreme Court is on Burešova Street, the Supreme Administrative Court is on Moravské náměstí ( ), and the Constitutional Court is on Joštova Street. This makes Brno a second capital of the Czech Republic—or would, if the constitution didn't define the capital as being solely Praguemarker. Thus, Brno might be thought of as the "capital of the judicial branch of government" in the Czech Republic.
  • Brno is home to a Synagogue and one of the largest Jewish Cemeteries 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. The functionalist synagogue was built between 1934 and 1936. 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. Today, the cemetery and synagogue are maintained by a Brno Jewish community once again.


Public Transport

Public transport infrastructure consists of 13 tram (streetcar), 11 trolleybus, 49 bus and 1 ship (dam) routes. Service is provided by Dopravní Podnik Města Brna (Brno City Transportation Company). Planned light rail line, which will run in a tunnel through the city centre, should minimize congestion of surface streetcars.


Brno lies on the main rail route connecting Prague and Vienna. Regular rail services operate along this section including the fast Supercity Pendolino tilting trains.


Brno is served by Czech Airlines (codeshared by Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Aeroflot), Ryanair, Atlant Soyuz and Smart Wings from Brno-Tuřany Airportmarker.

Weather and Climate

Climate statistics:
  • Average annual temperature: +9.4 °C/+48.9 °F
  • Absolute maximum temperature: +36.2 °C/97.2 °F (1952 and 1957)
  • Absolute minimum temperature: −26.4 °C/−15.5 °F (1920)
  • Average summer temperatures (June-August): +17.8 °C/+64.0 °F
  • Average winter temperatures (December-February): −1.0 °C/30.2 °F
  • Average annual precipitation: 505 mm (19.9 in)
  • Average annual sunlight duration: 1771 h
  • Average number of precipitation days per year: 150
  • Warmest month: July
  • Coldest month: January
  • Typical wind: Northwest

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) -2.5 -0.3 3.8 9.0 13.9 17.0 18.5 18.1 14.3 9.1 3.5 -0.6
Temperature (°F) 27.5 31.4 38.8 48.2 57.0 62.6 65.3 64.6 57.7 48.4 38.3 30.9
Precipitation (mm) 24.6 23.8 24.1 31.5 61.0 72.2 63.7 56.2 37.6 30.7 37.4 27.1
Sunshine duration (h) 45.3 71.6 121.5 169.1 219.1 221.0 234.9 217.9 161.9 124.0 51.3 40.1

International relations

Twin towns—Sister cities

These are the official twin cities of Brno:

See also


  1. E.M. Pospelov, Geograficheskie nazvaniya mira (Moscow, 1998), p. 82.
  2. PR Herald
  3. The History of the Jewish Community in Brno
  4. NB Brno is listed as ‘Brünn’

External links

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