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twice laid

Brno

[br-naw; Eng. bur-noh]
Brno (IPA: ; Brünn) is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 1243, although the area had been settled since the 5th century. Today Brno has about 380,000 inhabitants and is the seat of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme Prosecutor's Office and Ombudsman.

Geography

Brno is located in the southeast 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.

Etymology

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, ברנו in Hebrew, and Bruna in Latin.

Administrative division

The city of Brno is divided into 29 city districts:

Administrative division of Brno
District Cadastral areas
Brno-Bohunice Bohunice
Brno-Bosonohy Bosonohy
Brno-Bystrc Bystrc
Brno-Center (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 Pole, 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-Slatina Slatina
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)

History

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 Olomouc. 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 Austerlitz take place 6 miles south-east 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 Czech Manchester. 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 fortress, which became a notorious prison to where not only criminals were sent, but also political opponents of the Austrian Empire. Gas lighting was introduced to the city in 1847 and a tram system in 1869. Mahen Theatre in Brno was the first building in the world to use Edison's electric lamps.

During the "First Republic" (1918 – 1938) Brno continued to gain importance — it was during this period that Masaryk University 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.

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.

Historical population

Brno today

  • Brno Exhibition Center, 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. Exhibition and convention industry contributes heavily to the region’s economy, while 90% of Czech population associate Brno with trade shows. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure with modern facilities, Brno Exhibition Center has a prominent position in the region. Therefore, Brno can be nicknamed the capital of trade fairs of Central Europe.
  • Masaryk University, located in Brno, is the second biggest public university-type school in the Czech Republic and the first in Moravia. Today, it consists of nine faculties, more than 190 departments, institutes and clinics. It is recognized as one of the most significant institutions of education and research in the Czech Republic and a respected Central Europe university with democratic traditions advocated since its establishment in 1919.
  • Špilberk Castle (royal castle, from 17th century fortress and the feared prison e.g. Carbonari) is one of the principal monuments, as is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, also known as Petrov. 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 Swedes in 1645.
  • The town has a long history of motor racing. The first races were run as a checkpoint for the ViennaBreslau race in 1904; in the 1920s, the town hosted the Brno – Soběšice hillclimb race; and in the 1930s, all races were held on the street course called Masaryk Circuit 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 Prix was held from 1930 to 1935, in 1937 and also once after the war, in 1949. Since 1968, Brno has been a permament 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 Circuit, 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 Tugendhat, 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 UNESCO 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 criticized 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 Technology, 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.
  • 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 (Moravian Square), 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 Prague. 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.

Transportation

Mass transit

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.

Air

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

Famous people associated with Brno

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: 505mm
  • Average annual sunlight duration: 1771h
  • Average number of precipitation days/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

Twin cities

See also

Notes

External links

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