Brno, with its population of about 400,000 inhabitants and area, is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and the largest Moravian city. It is an administrative centre of the South Moravian region and the Czech capital of judicial authority - it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office. Besides, throughout the school year, Brno becomes a new home to many Czech or international students, as there are five universities and nine high schools.
Thanks to its central position, Brno is also the ideal home base for exploring Central Europe. Most of the great historical cities, such as Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Krakow or Munich, are easily reachable by coaches or trains (junction of the N-S and W-E principal routes).
On the one hand, Brno is large enough to offer all the amenities of a major European city. On the other hand, however, it still retains its friendly and intimate atmosphere. It offers rich cultural enjoyment in its numerous museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, and music clubs.
The City of Brno prides itself on lots of remarkable historic sites that show evidence of its cultural history. The particularly renowned places which are worth a visit are Spilberk Castle, originally a royal castle, then a baroque fortress and feared prison from the 17th century, which is one of the principal monuments above the city. On Petrov hill, a few steps from the main railway station, dominates the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul built in the 14th and 15th century. Villa Tugendhat is a distinguished example of functionalistic architecture designed by a well-known architect Mies van der Rohe. It was built in the late 1920s, and it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.
Brno is linked with lives and work of outstanding persons. Great composer Leoš Janáček studied and worked there. Johann Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, discovered his laws of heredity as a monk in Augustinian Abbey. Brno is a birthplace of physicist Ernst Mach or logician Kurt Gödel.