Brno (www.brno.cz) is the Czech Republic’s second largest city with a population of 380.000, served by its own international airport (www.brno-airport.cz), Four universities: Masaryk University (www.muni.cz), Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University (www.vfu.cz), Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry (www.mendelu.cz),University of Defence.Other insititutions of higher education: Brno University of Technology (www.vutbr.cz), Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (www.jamu.cz).Regular venue for international trade fairs (www.bvvz.cz) and motorcycle and automobile races (www.auto-moto-brno.cz). Brno has a rich history and architectural heritage. The nearby Slavkov (called Austerlitz in German) was the scene of one of Napoleon’s greatest victories, the Battle of Austerlitz (also knownas the “Battle of the Three Emperors”) in 1805 (www.austerlitz.org). The Bata Canal built in 1936-1938 is an interesting technical monument, a remember of the old plan to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe Rivers (www.batacanal.cz) Moravsky kras (Moravian Karst) is the Czech
Republic’s largest karst area with more than thousand caves, four of which are open to the republic. The (Moravske Slovakia) cultural region is known for preserving folk customs and traditions (costumes, music,craft, architecture) as part of its living hertitag. Straznice, one of the local centres, regularly hosts the Straznice International Folklore Festival (www.nulk.cz). Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov are major Early Stone Age archaeological sites. The most famous find coming from this systematically excavated are is the “Venus of Dolni Vestonice”, an Upper Palaeolithic ceramic statuette of a woman. The area of Southern Moravia (www.jizni-morava.cz) is associated with the earliest periods of national history and culture. The region has many castles, chateaux, fortified manor houses and monasteries (www.jm-unesco.cz). Southern Moravia is a well-known wine growing region, accounting for 96 per cent of the Czech Republic’s total vineyard are (www.wineoftheczechrepublic.cz)
The present appearance of the castle is the result of a late 19th century Neo-Go-thic reconstruction, the 18th century riding hall is Baroque. Other sights include a conservatory, a hunting manor, John’s Castle (an artificial castle ruin in Neo-Gothic style), large French gardens and a park with follies -a minaret, an Apollo Temple, an Empire-style Temple of the Three Graces and the Border House.
Brno – Villa Tugendhat
The villa was designed by Ludwing Mies van der Rohe in 1929 for the family of Fritz Tugendhat, a textile factory owner. It has a reinforced concrete frame and a glass facade (vander Rohe’s “skin and bones” architecture). The workmanship is perfect down to the finest detail, the masteries are durable and of high qualitity, all in keeping with the architect’s most famous principle “less is more.” Some of the furnishings were designed specifically for the villa (“Brno chair”).