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Deep Into The Czech Republic: 10 Facts About Brno

Czech Republic

Prague is incredible, but there's more to the Czech Republic than just the capital. We are talking about Brno, another shining gem among the cities. Get primed for some interesting facts about the place. And to make sure you really get a sense of its vibrant energy, we've added some pictures that will transport you straight there. Let's dive in!

Fact #1: Brno is the unofficial capital

Located in the charming Moravian Region, at the confluence of the rivers Svratka and Svitava, Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. It only takes a train or bus ride of 2.5 hours (205 km) to reach Prague and 1.5 hours (147 km) to get to Vienna.

Although not as renowned as Prague, Brno holds a special place in the hearts of its inhabitants as the best place to reside, as is the case with any city that people love and take pride in.

Anyway, Brno used to be a temporary capital of Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 1960 while Prague was under Soviet occupation. After that period, however, the capital was moved back. Despite the occasional proposals to designate Brno as the official capital, it never came to fruition, and the title remained with Prague.

Fact #2. Locals affectionately refer to Brno as the "Second Paris"

Upon visiting Brno, those who have been to Paris before will notice a striking resemblance. The exquisite architecture, broad boulevards, and vibrant street lamps (around 40,000 in total) are reminiscent of the French capital. Moreover, during the chestnut flowering season, the streets of Brno transform into enchanting, fairy-tale-like alleys, adding to the charm of the city.

Fact #3: Brno plays a crucial role as a transportation hub

The city is a vital transportation center. All thanks to a strategic location in the heart of Europe and a big international airport. It also boasts numerous railway and bus stations, making it easy to travel to other charming destinations in Europe, in addition to Prague and Vienna, as we previously mentioned.

Within the city, traveling around is effortless, with the tram system being one of the most convenient modes of transport (passengers enjoy over 13 lines). Bus and trolleybus routes are also available, as well as rental bicycles and electric scooters.

Fact #4. Brno is the center of science and technology

Brno has more than just a rich history and beautiful architecture. It is also a hub of intellectual activity, hosting Masaryk University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Central Europe.

Moreover, Brno is home to numerous scientific centers, institutes, and high-tech companies like IBM, Avast, Siemens, Red Hat, and more. They attract specialists from all over the world to join their teams.

Fact #5. The language spoken there is distinctive and unique

Czech used in Brno has a slight Moravian dialect, which makes it distinct from the official language. This is reflected in word abbreviations, specific intonation, and unique vocabulary.

While some expressions may be challenging to comprehend for those unfamiliar with the dialect, it is still possible to understand the main content of the conversation if you have a grasp of the common Czech.

Fact #6: Brno hosts some of the biggest trade fairs in Europe

The famous Brno Exhibition Center has been in operation since 1928, with annual exhibitions showcasing achievements in various fields such as science, engineering, tourism, and culture.

Among the most fascinating sections is the science and technology where you can see the latest innovations in IT, robotics, etc.. The exhibition also features entertainment events, including concerts and special programs for children.

Fact #7. A castle of immense size and grandeur can be found in this city

Špilberk Castle, located on a hill in the heart of Brno, was constructed in the 13th century and has become a key attraction. The castle boasts a fascinating history and was used for various purposes, for example, as a prison and barracks.

Today, the castle is open to visitors, offering exhibitions that show the castle's and Brno’s history. It is especially interesting to visit the prison museum and get acquainted with the life of prisoners in different historical periods.

Fact #8. The Catholic community in Brno is strong

Although secularization has affected the country in recent times, Catholicism remains one of the primary religions in Brno. Approximately 45% of the population in the city practice the Catholic faith, which is the highest percentage of Catholics in the Czech Republic.

Fact #9. Brno boasts one of the Czech Republic's most historic breweries

Dating back to 1872, the Starobrno brewery has a long history of producing traditional dark beer and other popular varieties that have gained a following among locals and beer enthusiasts worldwide.

Starobrno is a favorite destination for tourists that offers guided tours about Czech brewing traditions, the brewing process itself, and tastings of different beer varieties.

Fact #10. The city is known for having the strangest monument

In Freedom Square, there is a large astronomical clock shaped like a bullet and made of granite. Every morning at 11:00, it chimes and releases a glass ball with a surprise inside. It is the best souvenir for a tourist, but, as a rule, there are too many people wanting to get it.

Why at 11:00?

It is a reminder to residents and visitors of how Brno was saved when it was under attack by the Swedish army in 1645. The siege lasted for 112 days. According to folk legends, general Thorstensson vowed to retreat if he did not capture the city completely by noon. The inhabitants of the city didn’t want to just sit and wait for the conquest, so they struck noon an hour earlier, when it was still only 11:00, and the general retreated.

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