Czech Dreams 2024
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, located in the southeast of the country. It was founded in 1243, although the area had been settled since the 5th century. As of December 2009 the population is 405,337. Brno is the capital of the South Moravian Region 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 Svitava and Svratka rivers. The city is a political and cultural hub of the South Moravian Region (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. Hantec is a unique dialect that originated in Brno, however most people only know a few words.
Masaryk University, located in Brno, is the second largest public university in the Czech Republic 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 Republic and a respected Central European university with democratic traditions advocated since its establishment in 1919. 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.
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, as is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The cathedral was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. 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. Another renowned architect who significantly shaped Brno was Arnošt Wiesner. Many of his functionalistic buildings can be found all around the city.
Ignis Brunensis, an international fireworks competition, is held each June. The show attracts more than 1,000,000 spectators each year. Every September, Brno is home to a large wine festival (Slavnosti vína) to celebrate the harvest in the surrounding wine-producing region.