Founded in 1243, Brno is the second largest city of the Czech Republic. Today, Brno is home to the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. The derivation behind the city’s name can be debated. Most believe that it derives from an old Slavic word Brnie, which means mud, or Brniti, which means to fortify or to armour. There is a further belief that Brno is a result of Celtic language spoken in the area before Germanic and Slavic individuals over took the region.
The geographical location of Brno is at the point where the Svitava River and Svratka Rivers meet. The political and cultural hub of South Moravian Region, Brno has an estimated population of 1.1 million residents. Sitting on the ancient crossroads of trade routes that joined southern and northern European centuries together for centuries, Brno sits in one of the Czech Crown historical land areas. The Southern Moravian lowlands mixed with the Bohemian Moravian highlands produce a moderate temperature climate for the residents of Brno.
At some point during the 5th century, the first group of settlers called Brno home. The Premyslid Dynasty placed a governing castle in the region during the 11th century that was home to a non-ruling prince. The 14th century saw Brno becoming one of the Moravian regional assembly centres. Here, meetings were held to make political, financial, and legal decisions for the region. The thirty years war brought Brno recognition as the only city able to defend itself against Swedish siege. This allowed for the Austrian armies to regroup and hold off Swedish pressure. During the 18th century, Brno earned the distinct label of Czech Manchester. This was in large part to the city developing into a key industrial city of Moravia. Brno became a notable location for industry and commerce in the 19th century. There was the development of the first university, the state armoury and the Brno fairgrounds.
Today, the Brno Exhibition Centre recently hosted the 14th meeting of Central European Presidents. There was also a visit by the Rolling Stones in concert. It is exhibitions and conventions like these that have earned Brno the distinction of the nickname Capital of Trade Fairs of Central Europe. These events contribute a substantial portion of the city’s economic welfare. Each June, the international fireworks festival is held inside the city. This event draws an estimated 200,000 plus spectators each year. In September the city plays host for an annual wine festival. This festival is held in celebration of harvest time for surrounding vineyards. With a long standing history of motor racing, Brno is home to the Czech Motto Grand Prix that is held each year.