City of Brno

The Czech Republic is a democratic country situated in the geographical centre of Europe with an area of 78,866km². It shares borders with Poland in the northeast, Germany in the west and northwest, Austria in the south and Slovakia in the east. The population of the Czech Republic is approximately 10,500,000 and its capital and largest city is Prague. The country comprises the historical regions of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as parts of Silesia. The Czech Republic has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004.

With its size, influence, and population of more than 400,000 inhabitants, Brno is the Czech Republic’s second city, the centre of South Moravia. The city of Brno was granted town privileges in 1243 by the Czech king Wenceslas I. However, people have lived here, at the confluence of the Svratka and Svitava rivers since prehistoric times. At the turn of the first and second millennium AD, a settlement giving the city its present name was built near the ford across the Svratka river, and in the 11th century, the ruling Přemyslid dynasty built a castle here. Brno enjoys a unique geographical position, making it possible to reach many major European cities within just a few hours (it takes less than 2 hours to Bratislava and Vienna, 2 hours to Prague, approximately 3 hours to Budapest or Krakow, and so on).

The city of Brno is home to dozens of museums, theatres, galleries and clubs. The most significant historic sites include the royal Špilberk Castle (13th century), the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul (14th and 15th centuries) and the UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Tugendhat (1928-1930) designed by L. M. van der Rohe. To the north of Brno lies the protected landscape area of the Moravian Karst with dozens of caves and the 138-metre deep Macocha Gorge.

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