Points of interest in Brno

Brno is the largest and capital city of South Moravia. It blends rich history with modernity and innovation. The Moravian capital is a city of universities, a business hub and a great place to live, not just to visit. It’s a city of galleries, museums, cafés, clubs and festivals. See for yourselves that Brno is a lively and creative place to discover.

• Brno and its surroundings have attracted and inspired people since ancient times; this is documented by the findings of tools, art and settlements that are thousands of years old. Not only tools and art, but life-like mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers can be seen and explored at the exhibition in the Anthropos Pavillion.

• Brno is the busiest point in the South Moravian Region – it is part of the regional integrated transport system and is easily accessibile from other major cities. Besides excellent road infrastructure in and around the city, Brno is an important railway stop and has its own international airport. 

• Brno is located between two castles – Špilberk castle on the hill in the city centre and Veveří castle which can be reached by our famous little ferries at the Brno reservoir. The reservoir was built in the 1930's by the damming of the Svratka river.

Špilberk  9.7  003 ©Muzeum města Brna-foto Miloš Strnad

The castle Špilberk

Veveří DSC_1482 Zdeněk Kolařík

The castle Veveří

• Brno is a patroitic city. Locals are proud of its history, namely that Brno withstood Swedish siege during the devastating Thirty Years' War.  Spectacular city festivities are held every August in memory of the famous event and the victory of Brno over the Swedish army. Part of Brno's winning strategy was to ring noon at the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul an hour earlier during battle on August 15th 1645. To commemorate the Swedish army’s capitulation, the bells ring noon at  11 a.m every day. It's not a mix up, Brno is just really proud about its victory!

• During the tourist season, buglers (trumpetists) in historical costumes announce noon from the Old Town Hall tower.  Those who climb up 173 steps to the Old Town Hall are rewarded with amazing panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. The tower is also opened at night during the summer season. Brno has many legends linked with the Old Town Hall - the crooked spire on the Old Town Hall portal, the captured councillor Haas, Birk’s wooden wheel, the indecent figure on St. James church or the famous Brno Dragon in the Old Town Hall passageway and many others.

křivá věžička staré radnice

The crooked spire on the Old Town Hall portal

Birk’s wooden wheel and the famous Brno Dragon

• Brno is a city with interesting architecture spanning from middle ages to modern times. – but its functionalist buildings  form one of the leading collections of urban architecture in Europe. The most important functionalist structure is the Tugendhat Villa (part of UNESCO world heritage list since 2001), one of the three most famous functionalist residential villas in the world.

Villa Tugendhat, zahradní průčelí,2013, foto: David Židlický

Tugendhat Villa

• Brno is proud of its continuously developing Exhibition Centre (the BVV). It was designed by leading functionalist architects of the country and first opened in 1928. Year round a wide range od trade and hobby shows are held for professionals and the general public. In autumn 2014, the Moravia Science Centre VIDA! was opened.

• Brno is the place where Gregor Johann Mendel (1822–1884), abbot of the Staré Brno (Old Brno) Monastery, discovered the laws of modern genetics. In autumn 2014, the interactive Mendelianum exhibition will open to the public where the legendary DNA helix and much more will be on display. Mendel's life was closely linked to Staré Brno neighborhood around the square which is named after him today.

Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), world-famous composer and teacher but also a rebel and lover of life, lived and worked in Brno. If you want to see the places that inspired the life and work of Leoš Janáček,  visit the Leoš Janáček Memorial – the house where Janáček lived at Smetanova street no. 14. Those who want to explore further can set out on a walk named Leoš Janáček and Brno (leaflets are available at information centres). 

The Mahen Theatre in Brno was the first theatre building in Europe where the electrification was designed and installed under the personal supervision of T. A. Edison in 1882. You can still see the original “Edison” light bulbs on display in the theatre even though they are no longer in use. There is one place, however, where four light bulbs shine and can be viewed at any time – it is a sculpture by Tomáš Medek situated near Mahen Theatre, in Malinovského square, in memory of T. A. Edison and his Brno project.

• Brno is the second most important centre of education in the country. Brno is a university city with more than 86,000 students at 14 universities with 34 faculties and three university campuses. Lectures at the Masaryk University, Mendel University, Brno University of Technology are open to the public, so it's possible to stop by and experience a bit of student life.

• Brno is a city of research and innovation with many business incubators and scientific centres, such as the CEITEC research centre. Its offices and labs are located throughout buildings of important Brno universities

• Brno is a dynamically developing centre of industry, trade, science and information technology.

• Brno has an interesting clock in the main city square which was designed to look like a bullet.  It is 5.8 m high, 1.7 m wide and made out of polished “Nero Zimbabwe” granite. The mechanism is controlled from Frankfurt am Mein. At 11 a.m. the clock announces noon (according to Brno tradition) with a glockenspiel melody and one lucky person who places their hand inside a special opening is rewarded with a genuine Brno glass marble which drops from the clock. 

Hodinový stroj - archiv KPMB   

The clock

• Brno also boasts a newly renovated and upgraded observatory offering unforgettable experiences thanks to the state of the art technology.   

• The Brno ZOO located in the Bystrc neighborhood is constantly being modernized. With new enclosures, its train tour and famous polar bears, it has been an attraction for children and adults for over 60 years. Combine your trip to the zoo with a visit to the reservoir near by and a ferry ride!

• Brno is a city with an extensive historical underground passages system. Thanks to the financial cooperation of the Statutory City of Brno and the European Union a project for making the Brno Underground accessible was implemented and now it offers three independent trails to discover – Labyrinth under the Cabbage Market, Mintmaster’s Cellar under Dominikánské náměstí (Dominican Square) and the Ossuary under St. James church.

• Brno is a city of many open air events. Spring festivals such as Čarodějáles and Majáles start the season.  Theatre World Brno, the Ignis Brunensis international firework competition, Summer Shakespeare Festival, International Guitar Festival and many more fill up the cultural calendar. Several open-air cinemas are open during the summer as well.  

• Brno is also the right place for bar flies and everybody who enjoys relaxation in cafes and bars. Brno features many cafes, terraces and various other establishments of which the city registers 666 in its territory. Some of the hotspots include Veveří street, lined with bars and restaurants, the main square náměstí Svobody (Freedom Square) which is the city’s instersection for clubbers and barhoppers and the square at the church of St. James, which has come to life with many hip new joints.

• An inseparable part of Brno is the "Masaryk Circle" or the Brno Circuit race track located just outside Žebětín neighborhood. The first race track was constructed in the 1930's and was led directly in front of houses of Brno locals. The track you can visit today was built in 1987 and offers a much safer experience for drivers and their fans. World championships of road bikes are held along with many other events. In 2013, The Grand Prix attracted over 200 000 visitors during the three day event!

• Everyone knows when it's hockey night in Brno. HC Kometa fans clad in Kometa blue and white scarves and jerseys are out and about in the city. Before games they meet up at their favourite pubs and then make their way to the famous Rondo hall to support their team. Rondo hall is used for major sporting and cultural events and has been a major part in Brno life since 1982. 

• The tallest building in Brno is the 111 metres high AZ Tower built in 2011-2013 and designed by Burian – Křivinka atelier. The building is in the Štýřice neighborhood close to the centre. 

• Brno has a new addition to its architecture collection - the newly opened SONO Centre in Veveří street no. 115, an acoustic multi-functional building offers a varied cultural program in a modern space worth exploring.

• Brno is the seat of some of the oldest museums in the Czech Republic: Moravian Regional Museum and Moravian Gallery.

• Brno was the seat of the diocese of Brno founded in 1777.

• You can find more about the history of the city here – History of Brno

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