Brno is, with its population of approximately 367 000 of inhabitants, the second biggest city in the Czech Republic. It is the unofficial capital of Moravia, there are important universities, the seat of the Czech highest court, and there is a lot to see for tourists. Lets have a brief look what.
There is the old castle Spilberk in the city center, close to the main train station. Spilberk was founded by the Czech king Premysl Otakar II. in the middle of 13th century. Czech kings used it from time to time, in 1337 the castle became the home of Blanka of Valois, the first wife of the famous king Charles IV., after she was forced to leave Prague. Soon after that, the castle became the resident place of Charles´ IV. brother Jan Jindrich and later his son Jost, who were quite poverfull rulers of Moravia. Castle was later used also as a prison. In 1783 here Josef II. a civil prison for the most dangerous criminals, which was later used also for “political” prisoners. Also Nazis used Spilberk as a prison for Czech patriots, but most of them were later transported to concentration camps. After war, the castle was shortly used as a basement of Czechoslovakia army, but they left the place in 1959, and since then, there is a museum. In the Spilberk court are in summer often organized numerous shows, as theatre or swordsmen fights. The castle is a nice place for a family trip, you can visit the interiors and museum exhibitions as well as to go for a walk to the beautiful park around it.
Another places of interests are Saint Paul and Peter cathedral on Petrov Hill, probably the oldest church in Brno, founded in 12th century, now built mainly in late gothic style or the old Brno city hall, also late gothic. The worth of seeing is also Svobody Square with the baroque style plaque column from late 17th century. Square is sometimes filled with (Easter, Christmas and other holidays) markets.
Outside of the city center, there are the Zoo and the reservoir, both are ideal to visit when the weather is nice. And there is also villa Tugendhat, which is a very famous piece of modernist architecture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the most important functionalist architects. Luxurious villa was built for a wealthy Jewish Tugendhat family in 1930, who had to leave it soon because of the World War II.
Those are “highlights” of Brno, but there are obviously other things to see, as Moravian Gallery with rich collections of Art, various churches, parks and so on.
There is quite good public transport between Brno and Prague. You can go by bus, and there are few companies among those you can choose. The travel by bus takes about 2 and half hours. But bus goes on D1 highway, where are quite often car accidents, so sometimes you may get stuck here and arrive later. And if you decide to drive on your own, it is necessary to drive carefully. Another option is to take a train, that is more expensive, but also more comfortable. Fast train is in Brno in 2 hours and 42 minutes, special train Pendolino then even in 2 hours 26 minutes.
Apr 24, 14:55 (Filed under: Advice )