The second largest city in the Czech Republic is the business, social, and cultural centre of the South Moravia Region. Brno also happens to be the “trade fair centre” of central Europe. Up to fifty trade fairs and expos take place here annually. There is an ample amount of theatres, museums, art galleries, movie theatres and shops in Brno and there are social and sporting events to attend all year round. The functionalistic-style Tudendhat Villa, a UNESCO monument, ranks high among the many tourist attractions here, as does the Saint Peter and Paul gothic-style cathedral or the Špilberk fortress which also served as a prison in the days of the Habsburg monarchy.
Ostrava, with a population of 312,000, is the third largest city in the Czech Republic. One of its oldest sites is the Silesia-Ostrava fortification ruins, featuring an historical exposition. The fort was built during the latter half of the 13th century. There are many items of interests for tourists here such as the Town Hall tower, the Johann Palisa observatory or the Ostrava Zoo.
Outside of Prague, Olomouc has the most historical sites in the country. The city’s very rich history is displayed through its many buildings and monuments. The Přemyslid Castle, one of the oldest and most significant of its kind, serves today as the Archdiocese museum for Olomouc’s most cherished, historical jewels. Other significant monuments include the Town Hall with its astrological clock, a set of six baroque-style monasteries (expanded in 2002 to include the Arión monastery), the statue of the Holy Trinity, the Hradisko monastery, Saint Vaclav’s home, or the monument of Saint Maurice, home to the annual, international organ festival.
This modern, relatively young city is unique for its exceptional, functionalistic architecture, considered by some to be phenomenonal and worthy of global notoriety. Zlín boasts one of the largest and historical tourist zones in the country and is equally proud of its “garden-like” character. Zlín’s skyline is dominated by its own skyscraper, a functionalistic wonder commonly referred to as “twenty-one”. This 77,5-meter high building, the career work of architect Vladimír Karlík, was not only the largest of its kind in the country, but in all of Europe as well.